University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Intern Spotlight: Sam Silva-Nash

Sam Silva-Nash

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Episode Transcript

00:00 Sam Silva-Nash: So, LASA's Latino Alumni Scholar Association. So we pretty much just give more opportunities to minorities in the community, as well as in the school, in order for them to do well in school, and for them to also not see their differences as obstacles and instead see as opportunities.


00:32 Brian Fugate: We're here with Carol Silva-Nash, who goes by Sam, in front of the Walton College of Business on Homecoming weekend at the University of Arkansas. Sam has interned at Academy of Sports, at FedEx. She's currently interning at Tyson, and she's just recently accepted a position with Walmart Transportation Analytics and Special...

00:56 Sam Silva-Nash: Projects.

00:57 Brian Fugate: Projects Area. So you've also... You're a Walton Honors student with a 4.0. You're a mentor for the honor students. You are a founder of LASA... What is that?

01:12 Sam Silva-Nash: So, LASA's Latino Alumni Scholar Association. So we pretty much just give more opportunities to minorities in the community, as well as in the school, in order for them to do well in school and for them to also not see their differences as obstacles and instead see as opportunities.

01:28 Brian Fugate: Okay, that's great. And you're in so many other things on your resume that I don't have time to go through today, but very impressive in all that you've achieved in your four years here. Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

01:40 Sam Silva-Nash: Right.

01:41 Brian Fugate: And what has gotten you here?

01:42 Sam Silva-Nash: Okay. So actually, I'm a first generation college student as well. Growing up, I really saw my mother work hard. And she actually worked as a maid, and she worked up to own her own maid cleaning company. So with that, she grew it, and she really taught me at a young age to be really aggressive with what you want, be really aggressive with your goals, be really aggressive with your expectations out of yourself. Don't set the bar too low. And that's really helped me in all these years to expect the most out of me, regardless of where I came from and my background. I also came from... In high school, the... Only two other kids came with me up here, and the... Pretty much, it's not known to be the best, but I have been taught from a young age, like I said, to go ahead and not base myself off of my peers, but base myself off of my maximum potential.

02:35 Brian Fugate: So Sam, could you go back maybe to your FedEx experience and tell us some about what you did there?

02:41 Sam Silva-Nash: Okay. So this summer I was a field operation intern. So what I did is I looked at reports of packages that were delivered short, damaged, or over and pretty much through data analytics as well as through regressions, we really looked on opportunities to decrease that number for them.

03:00 Brian Fugate: Oh, very interesting. And so then now you're at Tyson as...

03:02 Sam Silva-Nash: Transportation Analytics.

03:04 Brian Fugate: Transportation Analytics. Okay. So what are you doing there now?

03:07 Sam Silva-Nash: So, as transportation analytics, I'm part of the distribution analytics team. And we pretty much build tools, we build reports in order to help Tyson's transportation team to lower either costs, effort, labor, or any other KPI that they think could be affected.

03:23 Brian Fugate: Very interesting. So thinking about all of these interns, really, how did you go about preparing for those?

03:29 Sam Silva-Nash: Okay. So whenever I went to class room very first year, I went ahead and understood that these classes, I will be utilizing them down the road. So, I can't tell you how many times in FedEx Freight I pulled up my transportation and distribution class Power Point slides, just to know what they're talking about. Their jargon is so different. And that really gave me a brief overview... Even for courses that doesn't seem related. Freshman year, I would never think that business analytics, I would be using their stuff, but I did for their regression in FedEx. So it really is important to know that you will be using it, and you'll also learn it much better.

04:05 Brian Fugate: That's great. And I bet each time that you came back from an intern, it really heightened your interest in learning what we were going over during classes, right?

04:13 Sam Silva-Nash: Right. Yeah. Especially with my supply chain classes, I'm like, "Okay, I understand that now and it's... " So using your information and then afterwards, it's also better, because you're able to understand the content better.

04:24 Brian Fugate: That's right. That's great. So, thinking about now, you're going into your internships and going through those, maybe, the last two, FedEx, and Tyson. What were maybe some of the challenges that you faced and had to overcome?

04:37 Sam Silva-Nash: Right. So I think a lot of times I personally get intimated whenever I don't know the material. I'm very big on knowing as much as I can. So once I'm able to pretty much understand that employers aren't really looking at the content I know right now, they're looking at how am I able to digest what they teach me and then apply it as well as putting my own twist on it and applying in ways that only I could because I have my past knowledge too, I think that's what they're more interested in versus my current knowledge.

05:10 Brian Fugate: Okay. Well, that's great. And as you progress, you'll see that continue and continue to improve upon that. So, now, thinking about... You chose to be a Supply Chain major. Could you tell us why you did that, and what you like about supply chain?

05:27 Sam Silva-Nash: So with supply chain, I love that it's dynamic. I love that it's in almost every field of business, right? So like my internships, I've done sourcing, I've done operation, I've done analytics. All of it really does tie in together. And it's awesome how supply chain no matter what you're doing, it will affect the business in some way, somehow, and you can really make your own solutions and set your own path.

05:49 Brian Fugate: And I know that you certainly love data and analytics and numbers as well as the creativity side and so it provides you that opportunity as well. So, then which classes, if you were to look back, were really some of your favorites?

06:00 Sam Silva-Nash: Yeah. I really do love my honors process improvement class. Before, I pretty much saw transportation, or supply chain only as transportation, logistics, warehousing... But once I came to this class and we all got assigned projects, I realized that it's also process, which is way different because with those other fields, everything is so tangible But with process it's so much more intangible. It's knowledge, it's recruiting, it's emotional intelligence. It's all that stuff. So, just having that and seeing how different it is, but it's still supply chain, it's really opened a lot of doors for me too.

06:38 Brian Fugate: Okay, that's fantastic. Now, looking back just a few years ago, if you were talking to your earlier self or other classmates, what advice would you give them?

06:48 Sam Silva-Nash: So I think, like I said before, just being really aggressive with what your expectations are of yourself and also being really aggressive with your goals. I think a lot of times, as students, we get really passive and say, "I just want a job, right?" We don't really think, "I want a job that will give me this experience or that I can grow in this way." So, I think it's really important for you to go ahead and take charge of that for yourself. Also to be your own champion. Definitely, for sure, if there's anybody in the room that believes in you, it should be you. Again, like I said, I've always been taught that. And really, even whenever you're personalizing your degree, I know mix and matching degrees and minors, everybody goes to their advisor or goes to their teacher and says, "Okay, what complements this minor? What complements this degree?" Instead, I think you should personalize your education based on your personality because there is a job for everything... So yeah.

07:42 Brian Fugate: That's so good advice. Well, Sam, we certainly believe in you. We know you're gonna do wonderful things and excited to see you thrive in the business world and very proud of you.

07:52 Sam Silva-Nash: Thank you.

07:53 Brian Fugate: So, thank you Sam.

07:55 Sam Silva-Nash: Thank you.