Business Administration and Management student, Paul Malafronte describes his experience during his summer internship with Achieve Athletics:
Over this past summer I was one of the two sales interns at Achieve Athletics in Branford, CT. Along with others, we worked to learn the basics of the company, the product, and the industry. We went through extensive training in which we learned and practiced both verbal and written business communication, the importance of beating deadlines, how to generate leads, and the keys to being a good salesman. We created a sales binder to use on sales calls and had mock sales calls with each other and our mentor. We also sat in on numerous sales meetings with clients and took notes on what products they wanted and their customizations. Through this we learned how to better communicate with the customer and learned the product line. Throughout the summer I became more and more involved in these meetings and was able to control and run my own sales meeting by the end of the summer. On top of my duty on the sales side, I also worked on product design, helped work in the outlet store, and packed ready product for pickup.
I want to work in sports in some facet when I graduate, so this really fit in well with that. Achieve Athletics is a sports apparel company where we make custom apparel for youth leagues and high schools in different locations around the country, but mainly Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia. It was quite helpful working with different people in the sports industry because I got to deal with and problem solve the issues that come up on a daily basis in the sports world.
The skills I really developed this summer were my verbal communication, my written communication, and learning how to speak to a customer and make them feel important and valued. Along with those skills, I also really improved my ability to be able to think on my feet and ask the right questions when talking to a prospective customer.
The most important thing I took away from this summer was always try your hardest and be the best person you can be. You never know who you’re going to meet or who’s watching you. The way I got this internship was originally as a customer and the President of the company really liked how I followed up when we were in discussion about my order. He repeatedly asked me to come intern at Achieve. Now reflecting on it, I couldn’t have made a better decision on how to spend my summer. Just me being my best self turned into a great opportunity for me. You never know where your next opportunity will come from.
Advice I would give to other students is don’t count out smaller companies because you can learn a lot more a lot faster in these situations. Since there are fewer employees and you can be a lot more hands on there is a lot more to do and a lot to learn. I may have been considered a sales intern this summer, but I did a lot more than just sales. I learned the company as a whole. So, my advice to other students would be never judge a company too quickly because you haven’t heard of them or they’re a smaller company. You never know what they have to offer or how much they can personally benefit you.