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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Best schools to recruit students for transportation internships and recent grads for early career jobs

Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
June 17, 2024


In the quest to find the best new talent for internships and early career positions in transportation, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs and founders among others. From preferring specialized schools for technical expertise to focusing on schools with relevant programs and networking, here are five unique perspectives.

  • Prefer Specialized Schools for Technical Expertise
  • Select Top Chinese Universities for Innovation
  • Choose Schools with Robust Logistics Programs
  • Target Institutions with Strong Transportation Engineering
  • Focus on Schools with Relevant Programs and Networking

Prefer Specialized Schools for Technical Expertise

I’ve been managing the sales team at Apple Truck and Trailer for a number of years, and one thing I’ve noticed is the significant value that comes from recruiting students from specialized schools. When looking for interns or recent graduates for early-career transportation jobs, I often target institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). These schools are known for their strong engineering programs and emphasis on hands-on experience, which aligns perfectly with the technical demands of our industry.

For example, MIT has a fantastic program in mechanical engineering, which is essential for understanding the mechanics of trucks and trailers. Students from MIT come equipped with the latest knowledge and innovative approaches that can be directly applied to our operations. I once recruited an intern from MIT who brought fresh perspectives on optimizing our truck maintenance processes, saving us countless hours and significantly reducing costs.

WPI is another favorite because of its project-based learning model. Graduates from WPI tend to be highly adept at practical problem-solving, which is crucial in an environment like ours. We had a recent graduate from WPI join our team, and they quickly developed a new client tracking system that improved our response time to customer inquiries by 15%. This has directly contributed to higher customer satisfaction and retention rates.

So, schools like MIT and WPI stand out due to their rigorous curricula and the practical experience they impart to their students. These qualities are exactly what we need to keep Apple Truck and Trailer ahead in the industry.

Michael Sensano, Sales Manager, Apple Truck and Trailer

Select Top Chinese Universities for Innovation

When recruiting for internships or early-career positions, top picks include Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These schools consistently produce graduates with strong technical skills and innovative thinking. 

Their rigorous programs and emphasis on real-world applications ensure candidates are well-prepared for the fast-paced demands of the transportation industry, making them invaluable additions to our team.

Robin Luo, Founder, ICRFQ

Choose Schools with Robust Logistics Programs

When recruiting for internships and early-career roles in transportation and logistics, I’m drawn to schools with robust supply chain or logistics programs such as Pennsylvania State University, the University of Tennessee, and Michigan State University. Penn State has a highly comprehensive supply chain program that extensively covers important industry aspects like global business, logistics, and ethics. 

The University of Tennessee stands out due to its strategic location, which promotes educational partnerships with logistics industry leaders, and its commitment to experiential learning. Lastly, Michigan State University has a renowned reputation for its strong focus on technological advancements in logistics and sharpens students’ understanding of industry-influencing trends. 

Recruiting graduates from these institutions ensures that the talents we integrate into our team at Nationwide United Auto Transport are well-versed in industry fundamentals and are prepared to disrupt with innovative solutions.

Chris Estrada, CEO and Founder, Nationwide United Auto Transport

Target Institutions with Strong Transportation Engineering

When recruiting for transportation roles, schools like Georgia Tech, MIT, and the University of Michigan stand out. These institutions have strong programs in transportation engineering and logistics, offering a blend of technical expertise and practical experience. 

Their graduates are well-versed in the latest industry technologies and innovations. Engaging with these schools through internships and career fairs ensures we attract top talent who are prepared to tackle the complexities of the transportation sector, driving forward our projects at CrownTV.

Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing, CrownTV

Focus on Schools with Relevant Programs and Networking

My preferred schools for recruiting interns or recent graduates in transportation roles are those with strong engineering, logistics, or urban planning programs. These schools typically produce candidates with relevant skills and knowledge for the industry. 

Additionally, I look for institutions with active career services departments that facilitate connections between students and employers. Networking events and career fairs these schools host provide valuable opportunities to engage with potential candidates. 

Lastly, schools located in areas with thriving transportation industries are particularly attractive, as they often attract students who are passionate about pursuing careers in this field.

Adrian Pereira, Co-Founder, Eco Pea Co.

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