Bronco Spotlight: Meriah Putnam
GPSC TRACK at General Motors
I am currently in a rotational program with General Motors called TRACK. In this rotational program you have 4 rotations in 2 years so you rotate every 6 months. Currently I am in my purchasing rotation as a buyer for switches and sensors on a Powertrain Fuel, Air, Ignition, Switches & Sensors team where I work with 8 other buyers.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of this role in purchasing is knowing that the savings achieved as a team affects General Motors bottom line directly. As buyers, we contribute to the overall savings of the company and work to achieve yearly targets and goals the company has set. The most challenging part about my job is learning how to network both inside and outside of GM to assist both GM and our suppliers in any issues that may arise and to keep things running smoothly.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
I think what most prepared me for my career was a combination of my on-campus jobs and the professors and staff that I worked with. I had the opportunity to start off in HCOB’s management department at the front desk, which gave me exposure to different faculty and staff. Through working in the management department I became an auditorium assistant for Dr. Carey and a grading assistant for Dr. Wagner. Both Dr. Carey and Dr. Wagner helped prepare me for my career because they gave me valuable experience in how to conduct myself professionally and take on a wide range of responsibility. Because of these two, I was able to have the support and guidance that I never knew I needed. Being a first generation college student, I had no idea what to expect out of college, but Dr. Carey and Dr. Wagner made sure I knew my full potential and helped push me to be the best I could be. They saw something in me and allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and for that I will be forever grateful.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
The best advice I could give on pursuing a career similar to mine is to go the ISM career fair. Go even if you aren’t sure you are ready because it will never hurt you to get practice being comfortable in a career fair setting where you can talk to future employers and learn more about their companies and what it is you want for your future. There’s never a right time, so you need to make that time for yourself because you never know when putting yourself out there will be your big break that will lead to an internship where you gain valuable experience in the field you are studying in and this can then lead to a job offer. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable and that is where you will grow the most.