Business major Amanda Margkrathok helped find essential healthcare supplies as an intern with the Department of Defense during the COVID pandemic.
As the coronavirus shut down much of the world, Amanda Margkrathok began the hunt.
Not only was the junior in the College of Business & Economics seeking swabs, saline, goggles, gowns and masks, she was also hoping to snare a medical item that will be in high demand once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved.
“I was asking some manufacturers if they would expand their product lines to produce syringes,” she says.
This was all part of her Pathways internship with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) in the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pathways Internship Program offers paid internships in federal agencies, many of which lead to full-time jobs within the government.
After making countless phone calls to vendors, Margkrathok handed her search results to senior leaders, consolidating the information on Excel spread sheets.
“The Excel classes I took at TU have been amazingly valuable and made me the Excel guru of the office,” Margkrathok notes. She often walks colleagues through the how-tos of freezing rows or doing V look-ups.
One of the “mature group of students,” Margkrathok enrolled at TU 10 years after graduating from high school. “I needed a bachelor’s degree,” she explains. Without one, her career was stymied.
She took prerequisites at Harford Community College, then left her job at a credit union to pursue a dual major in business administration, and business systems and processes full time. Margkrathok was balancing family — a husband and two girls — her internship at Aberdeen Proving Ground and her campus classes.
In the wake of COVID-19, she’s navigating all these responsibilities from home. But the lockdown has given her the opportunity to learn more ways to work remotely, adding Microsoft Teams, and courses in SharePoint and Metadata to her repertoire.
“The pandemic has taught all of us how we can collaborate so much more efficiently,” she says.