I spent my summer the way every college girl only dreams of: selling toilets online. I traded in white sand beaches for colonial white toilet bowls and beaming rays of sun for fluorescent lights, and I could not have loved it more. I have learned more in my eight weeks at SUPPLY.com than most business classes can cram into a semester – from executing on marketing strategies to ordering at Krog Street Market (go for the burger and fries at Fred’s). You only get so many college summers, and I’m thankful to have spent this one as a SUPPLY.com intern.
But, before I dive into my internship experience, here’s a little about me.
I currently attend the University of Georgia (go dawgs!), where I study public relations. I’m also earning a certificate in public affairs and communications, with the hopes of one day moving to D.C. and getting involved in a political campaign; at least, that’s the plan for now. Harry Potter is easily my favorite book series, and my celebrity crush is hands down Logan Lerman. I plan on winning the reality television show Survivor one day (although all four of my applications have all been rejected so far).
Like my background, I’ve been a bit of a jack-of-all-trades intern, which has allowed me to see the inner workings of several areas of the business. The people at SUPPLY.com have really gone out of their way to make sure that this internship has been worth my time, and that effort has not gone unnoticed.
My internship centered around three main buckets: writing, a skill I’ve been able to refine and utilize on multiple platforms, customer service, something a little newer to me, and recruiting, an invaluable skill for an ever-approaching career. When it came to writing, I managed the company’s social presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus. Basically, I got paid to tweet; how cool is that? I also wrote a buyer guide on TOTO shower systems for the SUPPLY.com Knowledge Center – a solid portfolio piece in the future.
India, working with the M/UX Team in the Fish Bowl
On the customer service side of the aisle, I interacted with customers on multiple review sites like Houzz and ResellerRatings. SUPPLY.com has the highest-ranked customer service in the industry and maintaining it is something they take very seriously. On top of that, I hit the phones, assisting customers with orders or any plumbing questions they stumbled across during their renovations.
Lastly, I got the inside scoop on recruiting by screening résumés and conducting phone interviews – a responsibility not often entrusted to an intern. If candidates came in for an interview, I gave them the full tour of our building, warehouse and all. For a college student who’s yet to enter her career, getting such a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the recruiting process has provided me with valuable insights into what employers look for in a candidate – something I’ll be sure to utilize in the future.
The amount of responsibility given to me at this internship was awesome. I didn’t just do monotonous tasks like make coffee or staple papers; my job made a measurable impact on the success of the company. The entire team invested in my internship to help create a position that was mutually beneficial to myself and SUPPLY.com, and I’m leaving here with refined communication skills, a referenceable portfolio, and a network of people on my brand new LinkedIn profile.
All that being said, the most important things I learned at SUPPLY.com this summer weren’t social media best practices or how to fill out a damage claim, but how to connect with people from different walks of life. I learned that Carey Tucker has a restaurant recommendation for half of Europe and that Joe Murphy loves Teen Wolf almost as much as I do. I learned Ambrish’s favorite Office character is Creed, but Lauren is more of a Parks and Rec fan. I learned that Justin and I have a mutual love of Harry Potter, Harrison’s favorite Athens restaurant is also Trappeze, and Mike Owens has actually been to the Waco, Georgia (my hometown).
India & Daniel hopped on the rocket ship this summer
And, I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to write an intern blog post and not mention Daniel Tressler. The second best intern at SUPPLY.com, Daniel graduates from the University of West Georgia this December with a degree in marketing and finance and a certificate in sales. His greatest college accomplishment was being elected president of his fraternity as an 18-year-old, and he didn’t know how to make coffee before getting a job here. I sat down with Daniel and got his take on his internship experience.
What has been the best part of being a SUPPLY.com intern?
My experience as an intern with SUPPLY.com has been fantastic. I have been exposed to so many different areas of the company and have already learned so much in my two months here. I would say my favorite part has been seeing how much management actually cares about my internship experience. They are going out of their way to make sure I am exposed to as much as possible and care about how much I learn. It is great to know that there are employers like SUPPLY.com who care about each and every employee, even the interns.
What would your dream job look like?
As a college student, I still am not 100% sure what I want to do with my life. After working so closely with the SUPPLY.com team, I think that I may have a passion for sales. I would like to gain some experience in outside sales, and then possibly work my way up to become a sales manager. And if all of that doesn’t work… maybe I’ll become a pilot.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an intern?
I would say the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is how important it is to build relationships with customers, especially when it comes to repeat business. I’ve seen our account managers go above and beyond to serve our customers. I can see how important that is to them, and I will take that lesson with me throughout my entire career.
Daniel, maintaining our expert-level customer service
What are your opinions on Bigfoot?
I’ve met him. Cool guy.
What’s it like being the second best intern at SUPPLY.com?
Hah… Yeah right, India
We hate to say goodbye to stars like India, but we’d like to thank her for making a big impact this summer! Are you interested in an internship at SUPPLY.com? If so, check out our careers page.