A paid internship is great. A paid internship with three travel experiences is irreplaceable. During my forth week at Reynolds and Reynolds, we had a meeting with a territory reveal. The sales interns and mentors all met together while we anxiously waited to see where we would fly off to. Reynolds and Reynolds sends all of their sales interns to different locations across the nation. The reveal would show us where we would go for a week and which account manager we would be shadowing. We sat in the Penske Room in anticipation. Most of us were hoping to be sent to California, but I was personally excited to go anywhere! It was revealed that I would be shadowing an Account Manager in New Orleans. I immediately thought of the jazz music I’d hear along the way. But then, life had other plans. I received a call on Sunday afternoon that I wouldn’t be traveling the next day because my Account Manager had a family emergency. I went into the Dayton office feeling a strange sense of loneliness as my 11 peers were traveling to their destinations. That loneliness was soon filled by my proactive coordinator’s news. She had been working all morning and found an Account Manager who was willing to let me shadow him with less than a day’s notice. I left the office and was on the way to Johnson City, Tennessee!
I felt like I was living the life that my favorite song, “Wagon Wheel,” describes. I flew into North Carolina then continued through the Cumberland Gap into Johnson City, Tennessee. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t sing to myself once or twice.
Life has a funny way of working out. My mom grew up in the Tennessee area that I was traveling to, and I took a photo with her childhood home during my stay. My roommate during the internship went to ETSU, and I was able to visit her campus as a part of my stay. The mountains, bright skies, and white clouds are still present in my mind. Plus, I was able to try some amazing Southern-style dishes. The ability to see the country while working is my ideal career, and Reynolds and Reynolds provided that opportunity.
While in Tennessee, I learned a lot from my Account Manager, Lance. Our day started at 9 AM when Lance picked me up at my hotel. He introduced himself and gave a thorough overview of his role with Reynolds. He constantly asked me, “What questions do you have?” and took genuine interest in who I was. He divvied up our days so we could spend time at Reynolds’ accounts and our competitor’s accounts. I was able to talk to car dealers as an intern and understand the process that could be my future career. The most important part of my day was discussing takeaways with Lance, he gave excellent advice and encouraged me to be introspective during our sales calls. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me was to listen with the intent of understanding. This is true in sales and life! If we learn how to actually listen to what people say to us we can take the time to understand how to improve their processes and their life.
My advice when it comes to interning:
- Take the initiative to see the world, even if that means interning somewhere that isn’t your hometown
- Understand your comfort level when it comes to location. Reynolds has interns drive to Dayton from all over the nation. Luckily, we get to live together in an apartment complex. Ask questions. Does your future internship have paid housing?
- If you travel, download all the apps and stack up points!
- Explore the city you are in. I’ve found a lot to do in Dayton. My favorite place is The Oregon District.
- If you’re interested in sales, definitely check out Reynolds and Reynolds!(Above: The view as we drove to different car dealerships)
(Above: A local restaurant with amazing key lime pie)
(Above: A local brewery called Yee Haw Brewing Company)