Purchasing Assistant Internship
A purchasing internship abroad allows you to work under the guidance of a purchaser. This person is in charge of the procurement side of the production cycle. First of all, he designs the specifications in collaboration with the customer or the project leader. Then, he has to identify the provider who can provide him the right quantity of products or materials he needs. Of course, he has to respect quality, budgets and time constraints. Negotiation is one of his main activities because he tries to get the best prices from his providers. Also, providers’ retention is a main topic as fluctuation can be costly. Thus, a purchasing assistant intern contributes as a support on these different missions.
Tasks of a Purchasing Intern
Here are the main tasks that an intern in procurement can undertake:
- Designing specifications with the person in charge.
- Comparative studies of the different providers.
- Negotiations with providers.
- Structuring the tender process if there is one.
- Preparing orders.
- Follow-up of orders and providers’ performances.
- Follow-up of invoices: payment method and term.
- Continuous monitoring on providers’ position (financially).
- Improving purchasing processes.
Usually, an education in Supply Chain Management or Logistics include Procurement as a specific course. Those field of studies would therefore make you a relevant applicant for this internship abroad. Different degrees from a Bachelor to a Masters are available. Obviously, the further you are in your education, the more responsibilities you could be given. For example, some key materials or products require negotiations or technical knowledge. In those cases, being enrolled in a Masters degree could be required.
Skills and Qualities
You need key skills to get your purchasing internship abroad. First, having specific knowledge in purchasing is mandatory. Indeed, this job requires using precise technics and tools. Normally, if you follow one of the field of studies mentioned earlier, you have the relevant abilities to be a good purchaser. Up to you to use them during your internship to secure the best tariffs!
Beyond those theoretical knowledge, some core qualities will make you a successful purchaser. Your interpersonal skills and negotiation abilities are determining. The purchaser is in daily contacts with his customers, he has to retain them. A provider who is used to work with him knows what is expected. Thus, it is easier to respect the specifications. To go further and secure the most interesting prices, his negotiation skills will be useful. He has to use the right arguments in order to respect his budget and quality standards.
Then, your curiosity must be one of your assets. The more curious you are and interested by what you buy, the easier you can meet your requirements. Indeed, sectors needing purchasers are numerous and products or materials bought endless. From the automotive to the medical sector, he can undertake his tasks in many different contexts. Even if the position stays the same, merchandises bought can turn it different. Thus, if you want to be efficient, find out about your domain.
Finally, you have to be rigorous. The purchasing field involves managing budgets and respecting time constraints. The purchaser needs a rigorous organization if he wants to reach his objectives. He has to remind the provider when he doesn’t fulfill his commitments. The whole project can be delayed because of a mistake in an order.
Curiosity and rigor
Local language (if required)
Skills developed during a Purchasing internship abroad
Once your purchasing internship abroad will be done, you will have new skills.
First, you will improve in your favorite domain. You will apply methods and principles of purchasing learnt in university. It is the best way to master them. You will be more comfortable with negotiations and your speech will sharpen. All those skills are mandatory to pursue a career in purchasing. Thanks to this experience, you will be able to apply with much more legitimacy to your next internships or even jobs!
Given that the internship will be abroad, you will have the opportunity to improve your language skills. English, Spanish, German… it will depend on your destination. Nowadays, it is important to fluently master English, or even a second language. Working in a team and in contact with clients will allow you to exchange and interact with foreign people daily. In the field, your ability to speak would improve rapidly. Of course, it will also allow you to add a new asset to your CV. Companies are more and more internationalized and their target markets are spread worldwide. It is a mandatory competency on the job market.
Finally, you will be able to develop a whole new set of cross-disciplinary skills for your future career. Adaptability, as you will live in a country with a different culture and working methods. But also, your organization, interpersonal skills, autonomy… just to mention a few. All these values will be useful for your future, professionally as well as personally.
- Our purchasing internships are available all year long. You can be in the end of your studies, in a gap year or in-between two academic years. We can find what you’re looking for!
- It is better to apply about 2 months before the start of your internship. The idea is to have as many internship options and destinations to your disposal as possible.
- Most of our purchasing internships are available for 6 months. As tasks need a proper training, companies are looking for students for a longer period. Yet, it is sometimes possible to negotiate 5 months internships with some partners. Occasionally, we have this kind of internship for 3 to 6 months.
This is just general information and trends, the best, in order to have a full feedback on what you are looking for, is to contact one of our consultants: email@example.com