(Female, Age 28) from Del City, OK
This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 28 who works as a Account Manager in Del City, OK. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.
At a Glance
Basic data on your current job
|Del City, OK
Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)
|Years in Career
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
|0 / 10
Current job Q&A
Describe the type of organization you work for.
We are a 3PL (3rd party logistics provider) in the international freight forwarding and customs brokerage fields. We have approximately ten offices in the U.S. and Asia with around 100 employees in our U.S. locations. Our Asian counterparts are a new addition to the fold, and I do not know the employee count for them.
Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I route cargo internationally from overseas factories to the foreign ports/airports for departure, then via the U.S. ports and after clearing Customs, I deliver to the ultimate consignee. I am cross-trained in exports and occasionally route freight in the reverse — out of the U.S. to various points worldwide.
Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
401k, retirement plan
Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
slightly under to reasonably well-compensated
Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
It is usually fine, although there are occasional customers who view what we do as “magic” and not as a process. Therefore, when they want us to do something, they sometimes do not accept the fact that some things cannot change when they want us to. For instance, we cannot tell the railroad to stop their train so we can pull a customer’s freight off and send it by a quicker method of transport. We are constrained by the railroads, airlines, etc. too, and people often get very upset that we are not in complete control of their freight.
Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work in a small office of seven people. We are cramped and there is a lot of noise since we are basically on top of one another, but we are planning to move to a much better location in two months.
Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 3
The Actual Work: 6
A day in the life of…
Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:
|5am to 6am
|6am to 7am
|7am to 8am
|I do not typically arrive at the office until just before 8 AM.
|8am to 9am
|Arrived at the office. Started my computer, brought up my email. Made coffee for the office, since we all share in these sorts of responsibilities. Began responding to messages sent overnight by our overseas partners. Received booking notices from vendors and replied to our agents with approvals to book shipments for transport. For sailing messages received, I located the appropriate files (opened recently upon receiving the corresponding booking notice) and printed the provided documentation such as air waybills, ocean bills of lading, commercial documents, etc. Wrote all possible cross-reference information on the front of each file for quick access, in the event of a mishap or inquiry. This takes a considerable amount of time, as organization is “half the battle”. Information keeps us afloat.
|9am to 10am
|Continued working on the updating of files. Answered a phone inquiry from a customer regarding when a particular shipment would be delivered. Luckily it was scheduled for delivery the following day and the customer was happy with this. Tracked several shipments on the rail via Steelroads.com and noted their locations, projecting new ETAs to destination. Generated two insurance certificates for shipments I had just received the necessary documents by mail to do so. Answered the general office phone a couple of times and forwarded to the appropriate parties. Since this is a slow day for me, I took my “recycling” box and went to a nearby room to get caught up on my shredding of documents. Much of what we generate in the way of paper waste must be shredded to ensure client confidentiality.
|10am to 11am
|Continued shredding, went outside for a short break and returned to continue shredding. Nearly finished all of it, which I had not done in some months. Went back to my desk and answered a few non-critical emails. Received a few email messages from automated websites that provide email notification of shipment status, such as FedEx. Handled an inquiry from a customer in Costa Rica. The customer wanted to know the location of two shipments. One shipment had already been delivered at their site in New England, while the other was on the ocean in transit to his location in Costa Rica. The customer was content with this, though I gathered that if the ocean shipment did not arrive by the estimated date, there would be further pushing from him. I, in turn, would have to push my associates in Costa Rica to make it move faster, though I know all too well that it would not help much.
|11am to 12pm
|Caught up on some filing, answered and forwarded a few calls. Pre-keyed an ocean shipment into our system for customs clearance, though it was way too soon to transmit it to customs. Ran to lunch at approximately 11:30, ran a few errands.
|12pm to 1pm
|Returned from lunch around 12:25. Answered and forwarded a few calls to others. Received a request for a quotation on a move from Taipei to the Bronx. Sent a fax to a trucker inquiring whether they serviced Bronx, NY. They did not, unfortunately. Looked up information on another trucker’s website and they did service the area. I got a quote on their website for a delivery from JFK airport to the Bronx, figured our markup along with the cost for air freight, the various surcharges, and sent off my quotation. Received documents from a local truck line that works on behalf of several airlines locally. Our city does not have many airlines that fly freight directly into it, so often it is flown into Chicago or Dallas and then the airlines contract with truckers to move it here. Broke down the packet of documents, looked at them thoroughlly and began to prepare them for customs clearance.
|1pm to 2pm
|Before beginning the shipment, I took a brief break outside with a coworker at around 1:10. Returned, began trying to identify the product on the commercial invoice. Each product imported into the U.S. has a corresponding tariff number in a giant book published by the Government Printing Office. One of the most arduous and time-consuming tasks we undertake is in classifying merchandise. Often, the item you are looking for is not expressly identified in the tariff book, so you have to determine which best fits. This is a matter of applying the appropriate duty due upon importation of the merchandise, so it is also very important to do properly. In this case, the goods turned out to be a certain type of bicycle parts. Wrote the appropriate classification on the document, opened a green file (this designates an air shipment in our office) and finished “marking up” the documents with the other appropriate notations. Opened our software that allows us to input a customs clearance and transmit it electronically to customs. Input the four screens of information, and sent it. Had a chat with co-workers regarding the recent increase in fuel prices, and how they related to the fuel surcharges being charged to us by truckers and airlines.
|2pm to 3pm
|Stocked up on supplies, as things were looking to get busier. Checked for a response from customs on that file, and found I had to prepare documents to present to customs in hardcopy for their review and action. Printed the necessary CBP form 3461, made copies of my other documents and stapled the originals to the bottom of the form 3461. Took the documents downstairs (conveniently) to our city’s customs office. This is actually becoming less and less common. We are a remote location filer (RLF), meaning that unlike firms who are not RLF, we can transmit customs clearances on shipments that are not even located anywhere near us. So at my location in Oklahoma City, I can customs clear freight in Oregon, Vermont, even Puerto Rico (as a U.S. territory). However, these clearances are purely electronic, and often we do not even deal with the customs officers that approve the shipment for clearance in that distant port. We receive the electronic approval and use the printed confirmation as an authorization for us to move the freight out of the airline or ocean line’s custody and into our own custody.
|3pm to 4pm
|Received information on an upcoming air export shipment, quoted the customer using our tariff with a particular airline. Called them and waited on hold for a lengthy period of time to confirm their current fuel surcharge and verify the rate I was using was current. Noted our standard trucking charge for a “minimum” shipment, meaning the freight was easily small enough for me to quote the trucker’s minimum charge off the top of my head. Presented the quote via email. It was immediately accepted and I was told it would be shipping on Monday of next week.
|4pm to 5pm
|Departed work at around 5:00 PM. We have major construction occurring around our place of business, so it is necessary to leave promptly at 5 in order to make it home in a timely manner. This is not my normal routine, however, as I like to stay later to get more work done when it is quieter in the office.
|5pm to 6pm
|6pm to 7pm
|7pm to 8pm
|8pm to 9pm
|9pm to 10pm
|10pm to 11pm
|11pm to 12am
Table of Contents
How you got your job
How did you get your current job?
I “fell” into it. I was working at a temporary employment agency.
What was the application process?
At my first job in the industry, I was a “temp” for three months and provided my resume to them before I was brought in, and was hired in directly by that company once my contract was up.
Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I was a shoe-in for my current job. There were only three companies in my city in this line of work, and we all knew each other from previous jobs. I simply called the general manager, who had been my district manager previously, and told her I was unhappy at my current employer. They were more than happy to take me from their main competitor. The following Monday I started a new job.
If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
What kind of compensation do you expect, that kind of thing. Smalltalk. That is all I recall.
Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
In a sense, no, we mostly learned as we went. There really is not much formal training available in our industry because it is very specialized.
Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, much of it is mandated by government agencies (Bureau of Industry and Security, Federal Maritime Commission, IATA, etc.) More or less the regulations for international transportation and also cargo security in light of terrorism threats.
Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, my education was general enough that much of it applied to general office work.
If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Come down and apply at my company. It will take approximately one year before things “click” because it is difficult to comprehend in scope, but there is always a need for people to be brought in on the ground level in our industry. Many who have the experience either move on into related industries that have higher pay or less responsibility, or they get out of logistics all together.
What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Social skills are a must; in particular, a good attitude. People who are pleasant even under stressful circumstances get much further. You are your reputation. And of course, you must be meticulous and be very detail-oriented.
Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Network with others in the industry. You learn a lot and can keep other job options within reach.
Long-term career plans
Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
It is now. I have almost seven years under my belt, and I do not plan to start over somewhere else.
What are your current career goals?
I do plan on working for an importer at some point in the future, because you take a lot less flak than if you are providing service to an importer.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It seems very glamourous to those on the outside, but for us it becomes very routine at times. Some people get into the mode that they’re working a file instead of dealing with a tangible product someone needs. That is invariably when those people begin to slip up and occasionally fail in the industry altogether.
Prior work history
Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:
|Prior Job 1
|Customer Service Rep
|International freight forwarding and customs brokerage.
|Prior Job 2
|4000 for 3 months
|Temporary, data entry and customer service.
Please list your educational background:
High School GPA:3.3
|University of Northwestern Ohio
|Business Administration – Associate (Bachelor in progress now)
|Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
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