The Dugal Impact Fellowship Program provides a stipend for two undergraduate students to spend their summers interning at early-stage social enterprises, thanks to a generous gift from Ish ’05 and Priya Dugal ’05.
by: Candice Daytner ’19
Team bonding on the New York Subway during rush hour, late night juice tasting at our co-packer facility, tasting fresh microgreens grown in an urban aeroponic vertical farm…these are just a few of the things I got to experience while working at Misfit Juicery this summer.
Misfit is a mission-oriented startup dedicated to fighting food waste by making delicious products from supply chain inefficiencies. This primarily comes in the form of “misfit” fruits and veggies that are often considered too misshapen, discolored, big or small to be sold in traditional grocery retail. My role at Misfit this summer as a supply chain and operations intern consisted of being the right-hand person to the head of operations. With such a small and dynamic team environment, I was able to take on a lot of responsibility and independence.
One of my primary responsibilities was managing the production and inventory Excel workbook. This included a lot of order fulfillment tasks such as entering Purchase Orders, creating Bills of Lading, checking inventory levels, and reconciling outbound signed paperwork with planned pickups. For planning production, I slowly learned more and took over more of the process throughout the summer. From forecasting demand, determining buffers, and planning produce quantities, I was able to plan a whole production run from start to finish by the end of the summer with relatively minimal oversight and adjustment from my managers.
In addition to managing the production and inventory workbook, I was tasked with improving it, sometimes with suggestions from my manager and other times with a lot of free reign for me to determine and execute improvements. While I primarily want to work in supply chain management, this gave me the chance to flex my information systems muscles by digging in deep to Excel. Compared to information systems classes, where the assignments are challenging but manageable because the professor designed them, the biggest challenge for me was understanding if a solution was even possible.
Working for a food waste company in New York City made for a lot of really cool after-work events, all with amazing food and like-minded people. Early on in the summer I went to a rooftop dinner hosted by Gotham Greens, a hydroponic farm on the rooftop of a Whole Foods in Brooklyn. While the long and sweaty subway ride with my colleagues was an adventure to get there during rush hour, it was a picture-perfect evening filled with salad made from freshly grown greens, other food innovators, a tour of the greenhouse, and a sunset in the background to top it off.
The culture at Misfit felt very dynamic, collaborative, and inclusive. There was a never a time in which I felt like my opinion wasn’t considered or valued because I was an intern. Often times my boss or one of the co-founders would ask my opinion on something operations-related and it challenged me to continue to stay engaged and not hold back on giving my thoughts, even if I wasn’t confident.
The team was split with two thirds in DC and the rest (including me) in New York, so it was not rare for me to hop on a video call with someone in the DC office to work out an issue or collaborate on a project. I volunteered to join the new impact and sustainability working group, an employee-run group focused on challenging both the business and employees as individuals to make the most impact and “walk the talk.”
Because of our small and dynamic environment, we worked out of a coworking space, which still gave an office vibe, but with a lot of other young people either working for small companies, remotely, or for themselves.
This summer I learned so much beyond what the classroom could teach me, and I’m excited to see what comes next for me as I finish my last year of school and search for a full-time job.
Candice Daytner is a senior studying Supply Chain Management and Information Systems at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. During a semester studying abroad at Copenhagen Business School, she learned a great deal about corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship in the classroom. Her strong interest in travel and other cultures has led her to a passion of working to make international supply chains more ethical and sustainable.