San Antonio: Road Work Ahead

After my first trip to Tennessee, I could not have been more excited to hear where I would be placed next. Just like the previous group meeting, myself and the 11 other sales interns walked to our Penske meeting room and sat in anticipation of our next placement. We went through a slide deck one-by-one. It was quickly revealed that I would be sent to San Antonio, Texas! The other locations this round were San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Nashville. Our coordinator did a great job of matching us with locations we had never seen before. Following our meeting, I went to my desk to send an email to my account manager in San Antonio.

While I prepared for my second trip, I felt more confident because of my experience shadowing an account manager in Tennessee. I am a person who strongly believes the best way to learn how to do a job is to actually go out and do it. I believe this hands-on experience is what sets Reynolds and Reynolds apart from other companies. This is my fifth internship since the beginning of my college career. I have never experienced such a real-life view of what my future career could look like through my internship experience. The sales internship here is for someone who is willing to push themselves outside their comfort zone. I have been able to speak with my company’s vice presidents and car dealers that normally wouldn’t have time to speak with a college student. Keep in mind that Reynolds and Reynolds has thousands of employees; this is not something to brush off. They genuinely care about their interns here.

In regard to my experience with the account manager in San Antonio, Ragan, it was incredible. She is the account manager for a region of Texas, and her dealerships are HUGE. It was like looking into a sea of cars whenever we pulled up. I was glad to shadow a woman for my second trip because I was curious about whether or not gender affected the way dealers work with their Reynolds representatives. When I entered this internship, that was my number one fear, will the auto industry be disrespectful towards me? Ragan took the time to discuss this with me and explain her perspective. This was helpful because she had been with the industry for around 10 years. Through our discussion and my experience in dealerships I was pleasantly surprised. At the end of the day, dealers didn’t care what I looked like, they just wanted to improve their business.

Reynolds and Reynolds has a, “work hard, play hard” mentality. Ragan wanted to make sure that I had time to experience San Antonio. My favorite excursion was when she took me to a newer district called The Pearl District. We got to know one another, and I was sad to go. My second trip was a success! When I returned to the Dayton office, I anticipated hearing about my third placement.

Accidentally a “Wagon Wheel”

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)

Insight from Cisco’s CEO: Chuck Robbins

Chuck Robbins has served as Cisco’s CEO for 3 years. He’s gone from a humble upbringing on a farm in Georgia to Leading a fortune 500 tech company in Silicon Valley. It was an honor to hear him address us interns and to take some of his wisdom with me moving forward.Here are some of my thoughts from the event:

Background: This intern event was extremely hyped up! On Tuesday, hundreds of interns joined in Cisco Building 9 anxiously awaiting to meet Chuck in the flesh. We were met with a brief stint of disappointment when it was announced that he would not be joining us. This disappointment quickly dissipated as we were addressed by two other big names at Cisco instead, our Chief Information Officer Guillermo Diaz and Board of Director member and SVP Amy Chang. Guillermo reminded us to have fun and Amy was inspiring in talking about what it’s like being a women in an executive position. Also, during this event, we were informed that Chuck would in fact be meeting with us tomorrow morning instead.

The next morning, I headed to building J to finally meet the man himself! When he greeted the crowd my first impression was his calm demeanor and poise. He went on to show a lot of vulnerability when he revealed that the reason for him missing the original event was not in fact due to a customer emergency, which was assumed, but instead from dealing with some family matters. This theme of authenticity continued as he commented on how to treat coworkers, saying that they should be treated as friends.

Something strategic that he mentioned that has stuck with me is his comments on the hiring process. Chuck has a greater than 50% ratio of females as direct reports, meaning that those in the leadership positions at Cisco closest to CEO are women-and for a Fortune 500 tech company, this is essentially unheard of! He mentioned how when he looks to hire someone, he ensures an equal playing field, making sure the qualified candidates are approximately a 50/50 male to female ratio. He then mentioned how he always makes sure the interview process has equal representation for the interviewers themselves as well. This makes so much sense when a company is trying to diversify the people they hire.

I have a few Chuck quotes to share from him as well that hopefully will inspire you too!

“Be a leader before the org chart tells you you can be one”

“If you’re not excited for your job find something else”

“Always surround yourself with people who will make you better, don’t surround yourself with people who make you feel good”

“If you’re building networks to only use for what you get out of it, people are going to turn it off”

 

That’s all-hope you enjoyed!

Alli

Adventures in the Motor City

Welcome back everyone! With only a few weeks left in my internship now, I have had plenty of time to explore the Motor City, otherwise known as Detroit, on the weekends. I got some really great recommendations from my co-workers, and we were able to check some stuff off of our Detroit bucket lists! Here are some of my ~favorite~ adventures:

One of the first things I did on the weekend was go to a Tigers’ game! They were playing the Indians, so I had to go support my hometown team. A couple of interns who were also from Cleveland went to watch our team win! I actually worked for Akron’s minor league baseball team (the Rubber Ducks) for a little bit in high school and I’ve always liked going to baseball games. Up until that point, I had only been to an Indians’ game at home at Progressive Field, so I was really excited to get to experience a game in another city. Like I mentioned in my previous post, all of the Quicken interns were lucky enough to get free(!!) tickets to another Tigers’ game as well as getting paid(!!) to go to the game. So, during my time here I went to not one, but two Tigers’ games and I regret nothing 😉

One weekend my parents were here and we decided to go to Canada for the day! A lot of people don’t realize that Detroit and Windsor are only separated by the Detroit River, and that crossing the border can take as little as 20 minutes. We made sure to bring our passports as we drove through the tunnel under the river and came out in Canada! We went to a cute restaurant on the water for lunch and we had a beautiful view of the river and the Detroit skyline on the other side. My mom and I had never been to Windsor before (we had only been to Canada once, when we went to Niagara Falls), so we enjoyed trying something new and exploring a new city. That trip also meant that I visited my second country in one summer, which as an International Business major, I can’t ask for anything better!

My roommate and I went to the Eastern Market one Saturday morning and had fun walking around and trying food samples. The Eastern Market is a huge farmers’ market and every weekend brings different products to buy, such as food, flowers, and artwork. It is actually the largest historic public market district in the United States, and it was cool to see how big it was and how much it had to offer.

A few interns and I decided to go to dinner and see the Incredibles 2 movie right after it came out. We were looking at movie theaters nearby, and decided on one conveniently located on 8 Mile. If you’ve ever seen the movie 8 Mile with Eminem, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The media has done a really good job of portraying Detroit in a negative light. My dad comes to Detroit sometimes for work, and he has actually driven across all of 8 Mile. I talked to him about it and he said that we would be just fine going there. We went to dinner and saw Incredibles 2 and we were surprised at how different the real 8 Mile was compared to the way it was portrayed in the movie. I guess you just can’t trust everything you read on the internet!

We also went to Belle Isle that same weekend. Belle Isle is a cute little island park in the middle of the Detroit River. It is not a part of Canada, as the U.S. border encompasses the whole island. One of my friends had a pass, so we were able to get onto the island for free! We went to the conservatory and the aquarium that they had. We also stopped and walked along the beach, taking in the view of both Windsor and Detroit’s skylines. After we left, we went to River Days, which is a festival that takes place in Detroit along the river and has fun activities to do on land and in the water. Back home, we have county fairs each year, and we always like to go and look at the animals, eat food, and play games. This event reminded me of our county fairs, minus the animals! Quicken had given us free tickets to River Days and we were very lucky to experience another fun event because of the great company that we work for.

Another great attraction that Detroit has to offer is the Henry Ford museum! It has a ton of historical stuff and has other attractions attached to it, like Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. I’ve never been a big history/museum person, but my dad said that this was one of his favorite things in Detroit and he always makes sure to bring his coworkers here when they get the chance. We somehow got through the whole museum in a few hours, and I was really glad that we went.

I did go home every few weekends, as Detroit is only a three-hour drive from my house. It was nice to go back home and spend time with family and friends during select weekends; we even went boating on Lake Erie which is always a highlight of my summer! These last few weeks are going to be busier than ever – we still have a few events left and they’re going to be super fun. The mortgage banking interns are having a “closing dinner” this week and I’m excited to get to spend time with everybody one last time before we all go back to school. We also have our final event, which *might* be a Met Gala-themed dinner that *may or may not* be taking place at the Detroit Institute of Art! I’m very excited to get all dressed up and feel like a celeb for a night.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned to hear more about my final days here in Detroit and how I transition back into college life in just a few short weeks 🙂

A day in the life of a Sales and Trading intern

Hello!

As the summer comes close to finishing, the internship is heating up! So far this summer I have been interning on the Fixed Income Trading floor. If you are interested in an Internship in Sales and Trading, here is what your day will look like:

 

6:30am- I get to the office and start getting ready for the day. This includes sending emails to network with people, working on projects, sending out morning updates on what happened over night in the markets, preparing who I am going to shadow at work and other things.

8am-12pm- I usually spend this time shadowing people. Shadowing typically looks like sitting behind someone and following what they do during the day. You will ask them many  questions about what they are doing, how they do it, and how the markets affect what they are doing.

12-12:30pm- This is the prime time to catch someone off of their desk. It is a great idea and time during lunch to grab someone and walk to lunch with them. Don’t bother packing your lunch, buying lunch and spending the time with someone off the desk is CRUCIAL. This will be the only time you will be able to connect with someone on a personal level and really get to know them. NETWORKING is 10x more important than the projects. Although projects and showing your technical skills are very important, you need to form a personal connection with people in order for them to want to give you a job.

1-5pm –  Again, shadowing and getting coffee with people.

5pm-9pm. Projects. During this time you will work on projects that your desk assigns you. Projects can either be learning experiences or added value. You want the latter. Being able to add value to a desk by creating an interactive excel model that works with Bloomberg and actually helps the desk is HUGE. This makes their life easier which makes them happier, which in turn could mean you get a job offer.

9-10pm. Finally, some personal time, but not really. This is your 1 hour a day to relax and get caught up on chores. Yes, it is a long day, but I spend this hour listening to music as I clean up around my dorm and iron clothes. Spend this time wisely, as it will be the fastest hour of your day. Then it is off to bed to rinse and repeat.

Tune in next time to hear more about the work you are assigned and the different desks you could experience!

 

Best,

 

Ryan