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Holland ’19 Gains First-Hand Experience in Customer Service

Nick Holland ’19 The Headshot Truck – First off, I would like to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing me to take part in an internship this summer. I was fortunate enough to be able to intern at The Headshot Truck in Los Angeles, California. My official title was Operations Intern, but as my time with the company progressed, my roles and responsibilities increased beyond that.

My time with The Headshot Truck can really be broken down into two work experiences: learning the sales process, and working LA Pride.

Though I was slated as an Operation Intern, after about a week of work I was able to garner enough trust that they allowed me to learn the sales process and make sales calls. Learning this process was one of the most challenging parts of my internship as I had never been exposed to any kind of process like it in school or otherwise. But my boss was very helpful and took the time to make sure that I understand not only how the process worked, but the methodology behind why they did things the way they did.

His explanation proved to be invaluable as I continued to ponder the sales process and worked side by side with him to further refine and evolve the sales process as to improve numbers. The hardest thing about working for a start-up is that money is usually scarce, which means that we had to be creative in our approach to marketing and sales as to solicit our product most efficiently while also being cost effective. I initially saw the idea of marketing with no funds as a daunting challenge, but as I learned more about the world of working in a small business I began to embrace the risks that come with being financially strapped and it helped me grow into a mindset that there can be no reward without a little bit of risk.

Working at LA Pride was an eye-opening experience in its own right, but the amount of first-hand event management and customer service experience I gained from it was so important also. I worked in tandem with a photographer from our company to create an experience for patrons that saw them get their photos taken and then they could choose which ones they wanted to be sent to them. It sounds like a fairly simple process until you understand that we set up a booth in the middle of thousands of people, meaning the whole process had to run smoothly otherwise we would have a long line of impatient people trying to enjoy their festival experience. It taught me a lot about customer service and event management, but it also gave me a chance to see our product first hand and see the positive impact that it had on people. You wouldn’t believe how many people thanked me just for taking time out of my day to be there and contribute to making their festival experience the best. That was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time in LA.

Once again, I want to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me such a great opportunity to not only travel across the country and live life in a whole new place, but for allowing me to work with such a great company and be a part of a group of driven people who are passionate about building a small business from the ground up.