University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Intern Spotlight: Ruben Chung Loo

Ruben Chung Loo

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Episode Transcript

00:00 Ruben Chung Loo: I would say study to learn and not for a grade. Because you can get a better grade but you will know nothing about what you study and dare to expand your comfort zone because that's how you get better at something.


00:32 Stephanie Thomas: Hi. Today, we're outside beautiful Old Main on the University of Arkansas campus, and I'm here with Ruben Chung Loo, a supply chain student. So Ruben, could you tell us a little bit about how you came here to the University of Arkansas?

00:45 Ruben Chung Loo: Sure. Yes. I am international student from Panama. I am a sponsor student by the government of Panama, and I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the students, that group of students that come in the United States to study at the University of Arkansas. The reason I selected... I applied for this scholarship was because in Panama, there is no career for supply chain but for logistics and transportation. And once I knew about this opportunity, I did not hesitate and I applied, and luckily I was selected.

01:21 Stephanie Thomas: And we're glad to have you here. So Ruben, could you tell us a little bit about... I know you went back home this summer and did an internship with Copa Airlines. Could you tell us little bit about what your position was and what type of responsibilities you had?

01:33 Ruben Chung Loo: Yeah. So I was an operational efficiency intern. So I was... The summer internship was project-based, so I was basically in charge of collect and analyze all the post-fly data to make meaningful insight to the executives airport managers, insight from fuel efficiency, finding ways to reduce the fuel consumption of the aircraft and the CO2 emissions also, finding the sweet spot for the right amount of fuel for the aircraft because if you put more fuel into the aircraft than it should be, it will consume more than it should be.

02:23 Stephanie Thomas: So in terms of the classes that you had in supply chain, what classes do you think or what did you learn in some of your classes that helped prepare you for your internship?

02:32 Ruben Chung Loo: So at the beginning, I knew about transportation, but once I took the transportation and distribution management, it really helped me a lot because it prepared me so much for that area because, for example, I knew about the water carrier, the truck carrier, but I didn't know about the aircraft, the air carrier. So that course really helped me, and yeah I only needed to do more research about specifically from the airline industry.

03:08 Stephanie Thomas: So I know a lot of times in supply chain, we'll talk about the value of having a mentor. So during your internship with Copa Airlines was there anybody that filled that mentor role for you?

03:18 Ruben Chung Loo: Yeah, definitely. I had Melissa Vasquez as my supervisor and mentor. She was really helpful and willing to help me, but not only my mentor, but also, all the flight operation department were really willing to teach me whatever I needed to know.

03:38 Stephanie Thomas: That's wonderful to have people willing to help out, especially when you're early in your career. So during your internship, was there anything surprising that took place or happened?

03:48 Ruben Chung Loo: Since the summer internship was project-based, I already planned to start doing my project, and halfway through the internship, the Human Resources came to me and told me that we're going to present our project already just halfway through the internship. It was a surprise because I really... I didn't prepare for that but we got one hour or so to start doing the PowerPoint and present it to them.

04:23 Stephanie Thomas: That's always fun to have to put something together quickly. [chuckle] But I bet you learned a lot from the experience. So if you can think back now, you've been here a couple of years at the University of Arkansas, and what would you tell your former self what you know now, what you wish you knew when you first started?

04:45 Ruben Chung Loo: Well, I would say study to learn and not for a grade because you can get a better grade but you will know nothing about what you study and dare to expand your comfort zone because that's how you get better at something.

05:03 Stephanie Thomas: Perfect, that's great advice. I hope some more students listen to you. And I know that you have been involved with one of our student organizations, Arkansas Supply Chain Association. So could you talk a little bit about your involvement with ASCA?

05:17 Ruben Chung Loo: So I first started as a member of the ASCA because my friend, my colleague, Winston, he told me just, "Hey, apply." I really wanted to start being involved on campus, so that was the first organization that I was a member, I was part of. Yes, since then my professional development has been so great because ASCA not only helped me just by being a member, but it really helped me to get better professionally by talking with recruiters and having exposure to different topics in the industry.

05:57 Stephanie Thomas: So Ruben, can you tell me a little bit about some of the leadership positions that you've taken within ASCA?

06:00 Ruben Chung Loo: So currently I am the Vice President of Finance of the ASCA and I basically manage all the financial transaction of the organization, and besides that we also plan have monthly meeting with all the members, students, with the recruiters, the...

06:00 Stephanie Thomas: Industry professionals?

06:00 Ruben Chung Loo: Industry professional. Yes.

06:00 Stephanie Thomas: Awesome. So I have to ask, so you came a much longer way to school than a lot of the other students here at the University of Arkansas. So is there anything you miss from home or from Panama?

06:00 Ruben Chung Loo: So from Panama, I would say the food, but from home, in my parents home, I would say my mom's cooking because in Panama they have their own way to make the food, but my parents are Chinese, so I really miss their food.

07:00 Stephanie Thomas: There's nothing like mama's home-cooking.

07:03 Ruben Chung Loo: Yeah.

07:03 Stephanie Thomas: So thank you for talking with us today, Ruben. It was great to learn more about what you've done here at the University of Arkansas and your internship with Copa Airlines. Thank you.