Isabel Marin is majoring in Economics and graduating in May 2019. Last summer, Isabel interned with Steelcase in Hong Kong.
If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help. My job varied from day to day. Although Steelcase is mainly a B2B sales company, there is also a growing market for walk ins which I was responsible for. The Steelcase office is interesting because it is a showroom for potential customers but also a fully functioning office for product development, brand communication, Sales, Marketing, etc. I was responsible for showing clients the functionality and the research behind the products we sell. After, I created quotations and collaborated with the pricing team on projects. During this internship, I also got the opportunity to give my input based upon past Sales records on how to transition customers from older preferred products to new ones.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? The biggest challenge I faced during this internship was self- confidence; particularly at the beginning. Since Steelcase has existed for years, its product portfolio is massive. Therefore, in a short amount of time, I not only had to become knowledgeable about each product, but I also had to be able to give my input to customers on potential solutions to their issues as quickly as possible. Therefore, at the beginning I was more shy in doing this. However, as time passed I overcame this fear, and was able to be more confident when constructing solutions to problems.
What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad? Its really helpful for you to know the workplace trends when entering the company you are interning in. Since my company specialized in this type of information, I read the studies available to me about how the main leading countries work, and how best to approach work with them.
How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship? Since my internship was in B2B Sales, I found that I used a lot of skills from the Eller Professional Sales Club. This gave my tangible experience on how to sell. I also found that insight about human behavior, which I learned about in Behavorial Economics was helpful in understanding clients.