Senior economics major Alex Hughes went into his summer internship this year confident that he would win the first place scholarship. After a summer of hard work, Hughes achieved his goal.
Hughes said his motivation to win was not the $2,000 cash prize but rather the reward of being able to tell future employers that he was a top regional intern for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
After returning from London, Hughes began the ten-week internship at the end of May continuing until the beginning of August.
The interns were judged and ranked for the scholarship based on three qualifications: daily sales, customer service and a final collaborative project.
Every Wednesday, the interns were exposed to employees from every branch of the business, such as president of risk management. They learned what their daily job responsibilities entailed.
Hughes said the training sessions were helpful in understanding how the company worked as a whole.
The customer service component was the most difficult to master, according to Hughes. He learned to deal with rejection, angry customers and car accidents. Becoming personable with customers was key in obtaining high ratings.
For the last component, the group-designed sales project, Hughes teamed up with fellow intern, junior actuarial science and business double major Daniela Miranda. The group launched a Facebook campaign that provided Enterprise with free advertising and ultimately secured each branch of the company around $10,000.
Hughes said he gained a variety of knowledge from the internship and improved his public speaking skills when faced with the task of presenting ideas to Enterprise executives.
Another key skill Hughes said he gained from the internship was experimenting and learning his sales pitch strategy.
Everyone has a certain style and Hughes said his was to find common interests with the customer in order to create a friendly connection. This way, the customers feel more relaxed because the sales representative acts like they are simply advising them as a friend.
“[It was] definitely an experience I would recommend to anyone looking to gain useful and immediate sales experience,” Hughes said. “I really enjoyed getting to work with all the people I worked with. And I think [that’s] what makes Enterprise such a great company is the people they hire.”
Overall, Hughes said he had a successful summer, and his experiences with Enterprise made him a more dynamic potential employee in order to pursue his dream career in financial sales.