By: Meredith DeLong, Agribusiness | Columbus, OH
Hi everyone! I’m Meredith DeLong and I just finished up my third year as an Agribusiness major at The Ohio State University. I am fortunate enough to be living on the west coast completing a coffee internship for a company called Trezo d’Haiti located in Dana Point, California for the summer!
So your first question is probably, how did I find a coffee internship?
It all started a close friend of mine asked me one day: What do you love about life? So I started making a list. She mentioned, “Get detailed, and include things that make life worth living”. Then she asked me what is the first thing you do when you wake up? I said I drink a cup of coffee.
There we go. So I researched coffee companies and found Trezo d’Haiti. It’s funny how you have to use one piece of paper (your resume) to sell yourself to a person. So my advice is make sure that paper is perfect and represents exactly who you are. The process took roughly 2 months though email and phone interviews.
So after landing this one unique internship opportunity and knowing one friend in the Sothern California area who has continually supported and motivated me to purse my career dreams out west, I moved to California for the summer.
So what is a coffee internship?
I’m not talking about a typical internship setting in an office in New York City where employers expect you to make “coffee runs”.
I was brought on as an intern to work on the agronomy/sales/marketing for Trezo d’Haiti. Trezo d’Haiti’s coffee company’s mission is to rediscover a treasure, revitalize a tradition and rebuild a nation through coffee. 100% hand-picked, natural, organic and unmodified. The incredible side of my internship is that Trezò d’Haïti uses an expanded fair trade model our growers are partners, not suppliers. Therefore renewing an industry (coffee) that was once the backbone of a nation, we can begin to cultivate a sustainable business practice and source of pride for millions in Haiti.
So now approaching the halfway point of my internship, here are my responsibilities and opportunities within Trezo d’Haiti:
- Sales skills and how to implement marketing strategies (ex. point of purchase) in both established and developing territories in the Orange County area.
- The importance of organizational skills (through excel spreadsheets), including sales preparation and time management.
- Understand the company’s practices, product knowledge, and product placement.
- Assist in planning and organizing events to promote the coffee business and increase brand awareness
- Present coffee agronomy information/research directly to Jason (co-founder of the company)
Working in sales, a common theme I’ve noticed is that everyone wants to be heard. It’s a people to people business, where communication is key. So with that said the biggest advice and concept I’ve learned thus far to be successful not only in sales but in life: be interested not interesting.