Kyle Albertson 15 - From the moment I walked into the distillery on May 19th I knew that I was in for a summer of hard work. I was thrust straight into the process of distilling rye whiskey and since then I have not looked back. My internship consisted of two parts; a production aspect and also a sales/marketing aspect. The production aspect of distilling whiskey is very time consuming; from mashing the grain to fermentation to then actually distilling the mash it takes a solid week of work. However, there is a lot of down time in between those processes and therefore, many of my days consisted of hand filtering, bottling and labeling the whiskey to be sold into bars, restaurants and stores around the St. Louis area. Along with that I would go on sales calls in the afternoons during the week. Sales calls were a 4 to 5 hour process everyday. I would go to check on existing accounts as well as look into getting into many new establishments as well. While there was tons of hard and tedious work involved there also came a lot of fun too. Most weekends were times to get out to local places and do tastings to try and further market our product while enjoying ourselves at the same time. Fun and hard work made these few weeks some of the best and most valuable weeks I have ever experienced.
After having gone through all but a week of this internship I really feel that I am ready to start thinking about starting something like this on my own – once I am graduated, of course. This internship was able to give me a full prospective of the ins and outs of owning my own small business. Luckily, because I was the second employee I was able to fully participate in every aspect and it was truly a great experience.
I would sincerely like to thank David Weglarz ’03 (Owner and Master Distiller of StilL 630), Scott Crawford, Wabash Career Services, and the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing this internship to become a reality for me. I really encourage anyone looking to hone their skills in any aspect of a small business to apply! There definitely isn’t another internship out there like this one.