Finding a Summer Internship that Works for You and Your Employer

photo(1)As my freshman year at the University of San Diego was coming to a close, I needed to find a summer activity.  I decided working would probably be a better way to spend my summer than sleeping in until noon every day and watching the various shows on ESPN.  And surprisingly my parents agreed with me.

I started brainstorming ideas and began applying for different jobs in my area.  Being “unskilled” I was very limited in my job search.  Many of my friends come home for summer and work in the produce industry, which is essentially the bread and butter of the Salinas Valley.  I wanted to do something besides working in the produce industry, so I reached out to a friend’s father, Rodney Meeks, who is the Vice President at a collection agency in Salinas.

After an exchange of several emails and phone calls, he offered me a marketing/social media internship position at Credit Consulting Services(CCS).  I thought my internship would be like most of my friends where my job basically entailed clerical work that no one else in an office wants to do.  That was not the case.

Week 1: Social Networking Bootcamp

I have spent my first week learning as much as I can about the collection business and the business world in general.  I’ve watched hours of videos in order to educate myself, and learned a lot simply from talking with Mr. Meeks who is an expert in the field and is an endless source for business tips.

Growing up in the digital age, I had no idea the impact social networking has in the business world.  Facebook was always a way to stay connected with friends, but I learned that it is also a marketing component for businesses, including CCS.  He introduced me to LinkedIn and the importance it has in connecting and influencing clients and being introduced to prospective clients.  From there I created my own profile that will help me in the future.  LinkedIn allows me to build my credentials and begin to create a network of business colleagues.

Youtube is a great educational tool if you watch the right videos.  Watching videos on youtube goes beyond cute clips of puppies playing in the snow.  I learned about the benefits of hiring a collection agency and how debt collectors overcome payment objections.

CCS: A Great Place to Work

There are about 30 employees at CCS.  Some new employees can find a new business environment intimidating, but this was not the case for me.  It turns out these employees bptw_logo_2012may be the nicest, most genuine group of people I have encountered in my young life.  After I saw the unwavering smiles these employees have on their face throughout the work day I was put at ease.  Seeing such happy employees, I was not surprised CCS was voted “Best Places to Work in Monterey Bay” by the Monterey County Business Council.

My Takeaway

The plan was to return to San Diego for my sophomore year of college with just enough money to spend on “extracurricular” activities.  These next three months will be a valuable experience that will not only allow me to fund my college expenses, but also build my resume and network system.

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