I spent this past summer interning on the inside sales team at Millward Brown Digital (formerly Compete) in Boston. I primarily worked with two sales representatives to find new business leads and reach out to them – I targeted a total of 96 companies in technology/entertainment, financial services, real estate, travel, and publishing. I spent several hours a day doing email outreach to leads at these companies, and tracked all activity using Salesforce.com. When we did schedule a phone call with a company, I did additional research on the company and its industry ahead of the calls. Other cool projects I got to work on included 1) presenting to the sales team on social selling best practices and how to leverage LinkedIn/Twitter for sales relationships, 2) calling competitors of MBD to better understand competitive product offerings, and then reporting back to product/sales directors, and 3) using data from the Compete PRO analytics tool to compile real PowerPoint reports for four clients (mainly in retail). I also got to write a blog post and the description for a product update on the site.
HOW DID YOU FIND THIS OPPORTUNITY? I met two representatives from Millward Brown Digital at the Isenberg Marketing Club’s event, Marketing Career Networking Night (MCNN), in February. Unlike a typical career fair, MCNN allows students to talk and network with professionals in a conversational setting with hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and most importantly, no tables in between students and recruiters. I had great conversations with both Isenberg alumni from Millward Brown Digital (with whom I actually ended up working all summer). I got their business cards and followed up with both of them after the event via email – a few weeks later when the position was posted online, one of them contacted me to set up a phone interview. After the phone interview, I was asked to come in for an in-person interview and to prepare a presentation that we would discuss on-site. I went into the office one morning over spring break, everything went well, and a few weeks later I heard back that I had gotten the position!
WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE AND WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED? My experience was fantastic. One of the best parts of my internship was getting the chance to sit in on phone calls between an MBD sales representative and somebody from a different company interested in our analytics product. It was so interesting to hear about marketing problems that other companies were facing, and help to figure out how we could partner with them to solve those problems. Partially through the sales training we received, and in part from sitting in on client calls, I learned the importance of listening to a customer’s specific needs and really nailing down what someone’s “pain points” are before you as a vendor do much of any talking in a sales conversation.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER STUDENTS? My best advice is to meet as many people as you can, and to stay in touch with them – this applies to both the application process and the internship itself. Before applying, speaking with people who work at the company is important for learning more about where you could potentially work. It’s also very valuable to establish a good connection with a person who may be able to help you get an interview or vouch for you down the road. Once you are actually at the internship, meeting lots of people is important for a few reasons. First of all, it just makes the office an enjoyable place to work. Secondly, you’re able to learn about other parts of the company and positions you may not have been aware existed. And finally, you seriously never know how the person you just met could have an impact on you in the future (or how you could have an impact on him/her). When I finished my internship, a guy that I had only spoken to a few times ended up connecting me to his friend from college who works at an ad agency in Los Angeles. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t started up a conversation with him by the coffee machine a few months earlier.