Throughout my internship at Sweete, I have had the opportunity to develop both technical and interpersonal skills that will be beneficial to me in many future avenues of my career. Primarily, my job requires a lot of written and verbal communication, mostly over email and phone calls. I am responsible for reaching out to clients about new promotions the company is running, including their new online gift card reselling website, to gather participants. This recruitment happens exclusively via email so that a call can be arranged between us and the new potential partner, which means I have to ensure the email is correct, clear, and concise. Not only that, but since I have messaged close to a thousand clients thus far, I must keep track of whom I have emailed and when that contact was initiated so I can send a chase email two days after. Maintaining my inbox is definitely something that will be important in other positions I will hold, as well as being able to write strong emails that get the point across in a professionally polite way. When it comes to verbal communication and global competencies, I have grown more used to business language and Irish speaking patterns. It’s easier to have conversations with my coworkers about non-work-related topics and also know what is going on with the tasks I am completing because I’m more accustomed to the details of the programs that we run. Talking to customers is easier for the same reason. I just started making calls to arrange free flights across Europe for Vodafone customers who won our promotion, and while understanding the way Irish people pronounce certain letters is unfamiliar to me, the flow of the conversation is becoming more natural. I’ve even used typical Irish phrasing of several expressions instead of how I would say it at home in order to have the best results in obtaining and conveying information, inquiries, and instructions. A third behavioral competencies I have been developing is time management. I control how many calls I make, how many emails I send, and how many company names I look at per day; I just have to keep up with entering data from customer forms that my boss sends me. Because of this independent nature of my internship, I have to make sure I am achieving milestones every day to meet expectations and have a strong level of personal initiative to keep myself on track. I do not want to slack off all week and have to catch up on Friday to have any type of measurable progress. Keeping myself accountable and working at a steady pace with a to-do list has been an essential daily ritual for me.
Technical competencies I have gained include project management exposure, research practices, adaptability to different technology, and management of many spreadsheets at a time. I am not handling any projects singlehandedly, but I observe my three coworkers running their individual campaigns and their tasks. Some are calling suppliers, others are phoning customers, others are researching brand deals, some are arranging and constructing Excel files, and others are packaging prizes for winners of giveaways at any given moment in the office. Watching each step come to fruition and see the program transform was a very valuable experience and foreshadowed what I could expect from future endeavors in different industries. Furthermore, I have been able to discover optimal research practices while I have been here, such as making Google searches specific but not overly precise. Knowing the best words to get the desired results quickly has allowed me to reach out to a high number of businesses to onboard the highest amount of companies possible to our promotions. This leads to additional exposure and more profit for Sweete. Another hard skill I’ve been mastering is the management of many spreadsheets at one time. I handle researching companies and emails, and depending on what happens with those firms and their responses, I have to update one of the Google Sheets with new information and/or color code different cells. A separate file contains names, numbers, emails, and destination and month preferences of people who have won free European flights through Vodafone, and I’m constantly adding new winners and updating the sheet when I provide flight offers for them. Sometimes, coworkers will send me spreadsheets to do data organization and ensure that formulas can work properly and take information from the desired cells. Overall, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to sharpen each of these proficiencies while also learning how to operate within a new culture.