Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
I filled out a survey from a Student Leader that was handing them out at the beginning of a class during spring of my freshman year. Two days later, I received a call from someone inviting me to attend an informational meeting inside the Dunlap Success Center. I attended the information meeting and loved the presentation so I decided to apply. After a three-day interview with the student rep, I got the opportunity to join the program.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
I started looking for internships during the spring semester of my freshman year. After I was accepted, I had two months to memorize a sales talk and train with other student reps on campus. We had meetings every two weeks and had an accountability partner to rely on. I was given a training manual and one-one meetings all the time. I became very close with my student leader and to this day keep in touch.
If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship, what were they? How did they support your application process?
When the student rep called me on the phone the night I heard about this opportunity, I was relieved to know that the meeting was taking place inside The Career Center on campus. It was inside one of the interview rooms on the second floor that held twenty-plus people. Ever since joining this program, I've been recruiting students the same way and using the interview rooms to do my presentation. The Career Center employees are very helpful and are always on top of their work.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
Since the internship is out of state, I live with host families in different parts of the country every summer. Every summer I go to Nashville, TN right after finals. The company pays for the training, housing, and supplies we need to learn direct sales. I learn how to approach prospects, take orders, and organize my business. We sell education books and websites to families with young children all the way to high school seniors. Every day during the summer, we network throughout different neighborhoods and approach 30 families every day. I learn how to utilize self-talk to stay positive, ask prospect for referrals, and use the company sales talks to close clients.
What was a typical day like "on the job?"
A typical day on the field is busy. I wake up early in the morning and have breakfast with the team that I live with. We use the time at the breakfast spot to plan our days while at the same time keep each other positive and excited for the day. For the rest of the day, I network in a particular school district and demonstrate our products to 30 families in their homes. Inside the home I connect with the kids and get them excited about our educational products that I end up delivering at the end of the summer. I leave everyone in a good mood and add them to my business page on Facebook. At the end of the day I go back to our host family and eat dinner with my roommates.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
This internship has changed my life. One of the biggest reasons that I am working with this company, is because the impact it has made on my life. I learned how to stay positive in situations that I can't control. I learned how to set long term goals and crystallize them so I can reach success. I learned how to believe in myself and use communications skills to build relationships with strangers. Most importantly, I learned that being service-minded is the best way to approach life. Thanks to the money I’ve made through personal sales in this position, I am able to graduate debt free.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
Yes, more than I could ever imagine. After 4 years, I earned the leadership role of Campus Leaders at Florida State. With over twelve Student Leaders on our campus, we keep each other accountable with school, recruiting and life. I am staying with this company long-term. Our goal is to become the #1 Campus out of the 400 universities that participate in the program. My career has become fulfilled by training young college students in building the skill and character they need to achieve their goals in life.
"This internship changed my life. Thanks to the money I’ve made through personal sales in this position, I am able to graduate debt free."
Major: Finance, Class of 2019
Company/Organization: Southwestern Advantage