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A procurement intern is a job given to a student or recent graduate who wants to become a procurement clerk. A procurement clerk is a person who prepares purchase orders for a company and keeps track of purchase-related tasks. They are often called purchasing clerks because purchasing goods is the main part of this job title. An intern works alongside a procurement clerk assisting in all duties performed by the clerk. Internships are a great source for a student or graduate to learn a job through hands-on learning.
A procurement intern assists a procurement clerk in all common duties a procurement clerk handles. A procurement clerk’s main duty is preparing purchase orders for ordering merchandise and supplies. To do this, an intern determines what goods are needed and if the goods are available in the company’s inventory. The clerk also checks to see if the goods are still available from the company’s normal supplier. The intern assists the clerk in searching catalogs and Internet sites looking for new suppliers. When new suppliers are found, many companies issue invitation-to-bid forms and send them to the suppliers. The suppliers fill out the forms and return them to the company. The intern helps create spreadsheets reflecting the goods each company has available as well as the prices.
When the spreadsheets are created, it is the job of the procurement clerk to choose the best supplier for the goods. The clerk may utilize several companies’ products, always ensuring the company is getting the best price for the best quality goods. The intern also assists in choosing these goods and comparing prices as well as comparing expected delivery dates. When the suppliers are chosen, purchase orders are sent to them when the orders are ready to be placed. The appropriate divisions within the organization are notified at the time the order was placed.
Communication is an important duty for a procurement intern. Much of the clerk’s job is made up of communication between departments in the company and with suppliers. The intern learns to communicate with suppliers regarding the status of delivery dates for orders. If products are back ordered or will be delayed too long, the intern and clerk must decide if the products should be ordered from another source. When orders come in, procurement clerks match purchase orders with shipment documents verifying that all information is correct. If there are inaccuracies, the clerk contacts the supplier to resolve the issues.
Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.