UTM grad turns internship into position at Nike

When Shuan Harris graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in December 2023, he already had work experience under his belt through an internship with Nike from the previous summer, which led to him gaining a position with the Nike corporate office after graduation.

Harris majored in information systems with a concentration in managing information systems and minored in management. He found the internship to be challenging and educational.

“For Nike, I was a digital fulfillment intern,” he said. “Basically, I worked closely with the digital fulfillment team. I was able to see how Nike processes, ships and manages the freight around the United States.”

Harris said it was a challenge just to get the summer internship at Nike.

“They had over 51,000 applicants and only 248 people got selected for the internship,” he said. “It was a difficult process, and you had to have shown that you were not just qualified but that you wanted to excel within the company.”

Soon after graduation, Harris became a logistics analyst for the Last Mile of Transportation Team at Nike’s corporate office in Memphis, where he was born and raised.

Harris said he was impressed by two aspects of working with Nike.

“It’s not your average company,” he said. “Nike treats everyone the same. If you have a manager, they’re not going to look at you any different – everyone is the same in the company, and that’s one of the things that really stuck out to me during my internship.

“Another thing is that they are big on networking. They want you to go out and meet other employees. I had the opportunity to visit the world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and that really expanded my network within the Nike corporation.”

In his current position, Harris tracks Nike freight across the nation from the distribution center to its destination.

As a UT Martin student, Harris was a member of the Tau Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and was the president of National Pan-Hellenic Council in his last semester.

“Having those big positions kind of led toward me learning to meet different people and resolve problems that were presented to me,” he said.

Harris was also a member of the National Honor Society and Leadership Emphasis as a student.

Harris said he would advise undergraduates to be prepared for life after graduation.

“Be intentional about what you actually want to do,” he said. “Make sure that the major that you’ve chosen is something that you want to do.

“I would advise juniors and seniors to apply for internships because you will actually get that hands-on exposure through working the jobs. Even if you don’t end up with the position with that company after graduation, other employers will look at that work experience, the hands-on experience in a job related to your major.”

Shuan Harris wanted to get a job in corporate America after graduation, and through a work internship, planning and determination, he was able to land such a position right after graduation. He might add that anyone seeking a job should not put off seeking internships or opportunities to network with professionals. Just do it.

Photo: Shuan Harris graduated from UT Martin in December 2023 and took his degree to a job in the Nike corporate offices in Memphis. He is shown receiving his diploma from Chancellor Yancy Freeman with Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier at far left.

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