Friday, August 22, 2014

How I Changed—And What I Learned—During My Kepware Internship

Posted by Justin Towle

Making the adjustment from a college lifestyle into the professional working environment has caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety up until this summer. No help to the matter was the fact that I had yet to pursue an internship before I had the opportunity to join Kepware Technologies as their first Sales intern. I had many misconceptions about what an internship would entail, but I quickly realized how meaningful a position like this can be when you are surrounded by co-workers who understand its importance.JT_Internship

I pictured the professional environment to be a high-tension cubicle-filled office, where everyone wore suits and ties and only spoke about business. I quickly realized that was entirely wrong. Nobody was intimidating or overly serious, and the conversation—whether it regarded business or not—was genuinely organic. Although my co-workers’ motivated work ethic was immediately apparent to me, Kepware’s company culture is impressively laid back and friendly for the amount of work getting done.

I also had the privilege of having a seasoned veteran as my mentor. Robert Murray, Kepware’s Director of Support Services, has spent all 20 years of his professional career in the technology service sector. Having him by my side proved both insightful and incredibly helpful: he was able to teach me how to use the Sales team’s primary software programs (SalesForce and Microsoft Excel) to best fit my objectives in a way that I was able to easily absorb. The work I would be doing was perhaps my biggest apprehension with regards to an internship in general: I did not want to be stuck in the mailroom doing busy work all summer. While I certainly helped around the office with minor tasks from time to time, my main focus was on data entry that would help Rob develop a new forecasting model. I learned that by eliminating expired accounts and categorizing each account into its appropriate industry, we are able to get a clearer picture of our sales pipeline and determine which industries we should be targeting.

Although I expected to be doing the same thing every day, I was quickly integrated into many phases of the order process. Before long, I found myself competent in creating a variety of different quotes and was even able to reach out to customers via phone calls. I was also introduced to the order booking process, which enabled me to learn another previously unfamiliar software platform.

Before my internship at Kepware this summer, I lacked the experience needed to accept my diploma confident about making the next step. But thanks to this incredibly insightful summer, I’m now aware of my ability not only to fit into a professional environment, but to absorb new information. It was with the help of Kepware’s supportive employees that all of this was possible, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.

Learn More

Kepware’s Summer Internship Program is a great opportunity for students. Recruitment kicks off at the University of Maine Orono's Fall Engineering Job Fair. To apply to Kepware’s Summer Internship Program, please send an email with resume to careers@kepware.com.