AHS alumnus to intern with Walmart

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, May 6, 2021

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Andalusia High School alumnus Will Black is getting the opportunity of a lifetime by interning with the Fortune 1 Company in the top Fortune 500, Walmart.

Black is a rising senior at Auburn University studying supply chain management.

“I am in the Harbert School of Business at Auburn and our core curriculum requires an internship before graduation,” Black said. “We have a program champion that is heavily involved with employers, especially employers known for their supply chain.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the U.S., Black watched Walmart and saw how they adapted during the pandemic to serve their customers, which is why he ultimately decided to intern with the company.

“To have the opportunity to work with the Fortune 1 company is a goal that I set for myself just because it takes a lot to maintain being Fortune 1, especially with a competitor like Amazon, who has an incredible supply chain,” Black said. “the reason that I really wanted to work for Walmart is because the pandemic really highlighted just how crucial the supply chain is. With Walmart in particular, their pivot really showed how adaptable they could be and how willing they were to change their strategies to advance business and retail. A few years ago they introduced curbside pickup, but when the pandemic hit, they really pivoted into that to meet consumers where they were. To me, the most important thing is to keep your consumers in mind.”

Black will be working at one of Walmart’s regional distribution centers.

“Basically a redistribution center is where all the goods are stored before they ship to a store,” Black said. “So, with me working at a distribution center will mean day-to-day I will be making sure that the trucks that come in to unload have the right goods and the goods that we ship out are going to the right store.”

While working at the regional distribution center, Black will be completing a project that will go along with his internship.

“Walmart tasks their interns with an internship long project,” Black said. “It’s not just an internship to keep me busy and give me a credit. They will give me a project and senior executives will meet with me fairly regularly just to see how the project is going along and then the results that I get will be considered by Walmart based on how it is presented and how effective they see the project was.”

The main thing Black said he wants to get out of the internship is an overall hands-on experience to increase his knowledge of supply chains.

“Our college and program coordinator always says it’s one thing to know the book and material, but it’s another to actually do it,” Black said. “It’s really important to know how businesses and companies operate because you can study all day long, but until you go out and do it there on the ground and actually have to adapt and adapt quickly, there is another side to it. That is what I’m most excited about just because I know things are going to be changing very quickly and there is going to be a lot of adapting, but I am ready to see the practical side of it and see how companies change their operations and supply chain to make things more efficient and effective. That’s what I hope I walk away with.”

After graduation, Black said he doesn’t know if he will open his own supply chain or work with a company like Walmart or Amazon, but the main thing he wants to do is focus on finding an area that is most interesting to him.

“If COVID has shown us anything, it’s that the supply chain is incredibly long with a bunch of moving parts,” Black said. “So finding that area of most interest to me is going to be the main thing that I am going to be focusing on.”

Black is the son of Jimmy and Ashley Black.