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Got my first job! Working as a prototype buyer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Got my first job! Working as a prototype buyer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

September 26, 2019 at 11:00am

Name: Timothy Ramjattan '18

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

Degree/Major: Finance/International Business

Where are you working? Title? Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) as a Prototype Buyer

How did you get your job? I got my job after interning with FCA the summer of 2017. I originally got the internship after attending FIU’s College of Business Internship/Career Fair where I was able to meet and interview with FCA. After interning in Michigan for the summer, I was offered a full-time position.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? My greatest fear going into my first job was moving so far from home. I overcame it by immersing myself in all things Michigan; and a year later, I am extremely happy I did. Leaving home is always difficult, but it really opens your eyes to different perspectives and environments (everywhere but Florida has seasons!).

What surprised you the most about your first job? What surprised me the most about my first job was the learning curve. Coming out of school, I had been used to textbook learning and being able to research until I had all necessary information to succeed. I quickly learned in the real world you’re faced with many problems that don’t necessarily have a clear-cut answer you can find online or in textbooks. Experience is a great teacher!

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Work on your resume, develop/refine your elevator pitch, practice interviewing and participate in on-campus recruiting events. Firms are always looking for new talent, so make sure you stand out as talented!

What does a day on the job look like? The majority of my job involves interfacing with our supply base, both to secure new components and managing any of their open issues. Buyers manage “decks” or groups of commodities (types of parts), these decks can range from $100 million to $1 billion. Given the large spend we manage, we spend a lot of time negotiating with suppliers, both during the sourcing process and afterward, in order to keep costs down and deliver the best value to our customers.

How does your job connect back to your coursework? The Honors College taught me to think both critically and outside the box, which has been immensely useful in my career. Using the skills the Honors College taught me has allowed me to look deeper in many day-to-day issues. I was also able to work alongside startups during my time at the Honors College and have been able to bring some of those ideas and mindset to my current role.

How was your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? Transitioning from school to work required me to improve my time management skills. Working at a company with a flexible schedule, I balance my time by waking up early to go to the gym and get to work a little early so that I can leave a little early. This frees up the evenings to play basketball, hang out with friends or even just relax at home (at least until grad school starts).

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? The coolest thing about my job so far has been my interaction with prototypes and future programs. It has been an extremely interesting aspect of my job as I get to see some concept and pre-launch vehicles before the public. I also got to drive a Wrangler around our custom-built off-road testing track, which was an extremely cool experience.