Written by: Kalvin Yeung, MBA ’24
As I continue my internship with Rich Products, I find myself reflecting on the transformative journey that the past few months have been. My experience as a Customer Marketing intern has not only bolstered my professional development but has also reshaped my perspective on the significance of internships in shaping a student’s professional and personal development.
Action Learning Matters
One of the lessons I learned from this internship is the importance of hands-on experiences. While learning in class gives you a strong foundation, using that knowledge in the real world is a whole different ball game. Internships bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practical skills. They offer a valuable opportunity to apply classroom theories to real-world scenarios.
My role at Rich Products allowed me to hone various skills, especially project management. Juggling multiple projects and tasks, meeting deadlines and collaborating with cross-functional teams became second nature. The internship served as a training ground, shaping and improving my organizational skills while fostering a sense of responsibility essential for thriving in any professional environment.
Effective communication was another big part of what I did during my internship. Engaging with colleagues, stakeholders and clients demanded clarity and precision. All those meetings and presentations boosted not only my verbal communication skills, but also taught me how to put my ideas down in writing, a skill that is useful no matter where you work.
I got a taste of market research during my internship as well. Looking at market trends, understanding what customers want, and checking out what the competition was up to—these things expanded and tested my analytical skills. Learning how to make decisions based on data is something I know will come in handy in my future endeavors.
The Importance of Company Culture
What really hit me during my internship was how much company culture matters. At first, my primary concern was to secure a position that paid well. However, interning at Rich Products showed me that a positive work culture is a big deal. The collaborative environment, open communication and emphasis on employee well-being showed me how much a good work environment matters for enjoying your job and being productive.
In a nutshell, my summer internship at Rich Products has been a game-changer. It’s given me skills that go beyond what I learned in class. It reminded me why internships matter so much for setting up your career and opened my eyes as to how important a good company culture is for a satisfying and successful career.
Bio: Kalvin is a Buffalo native and earned his Bachelor’s degree from University at Buffalo concentrating in marketing and international business. He decided to pursue his MBA degree to focus on the analytical side of marketing to further prepare himself for a full-time position. During his undergrad, Kalvin worked as a part-time server, which led to his passion for creating memorable experiences with food. This passion led to an internship with Rich Products.
In his free time, Kalvin spends a lot of time at the gym. He believes that physical health is essential to one’s success, not just professionally but personally as well. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family, trying out new places to eat, and traveling.
Photo credit: Tom Wolf