Michael Zubeck ’21 – Sales and Marketing Intern, The Headshot Truck

My first weeks on the west coast were a completely new experience, to say the least.  When agreeing to my internship in Los Angeles this summer my boss, Brian, told me that this was my internship and I would only get out of it what was put in.  To make sure that I would get the most out of the internship, I tried to do any and every task that was available, even if was not mine.

On my third day there was a photoshoot in the office and instead of doing normal work I was the photographer’s assistant, which gave me a new perspective of how the other side of the business was ran.  This helped me better understand the logistics of a shoot later when I would talk to prospective clients about how the shoot functions.  Besides the photoshoot, my work was normally consistent, with my first task being to gather and then contact property managers throughout Southern California.  To do this I began by researching the different firms and before long there was a list of close to 500 potential clients.  Having the experience of cold calling before had helped me, but this was still not one of my strengths.  Noticing this Brian decided to have me switch my focus from targeting new clients to client retention.  To do this I began by researching the different ways that this is done.  After talking with him we decided that my new task would be to build a software that he could use to more effectively manage his clients.  This software is known as customer relationship management (CRM), would allow The Headshot Truck to communicate with customers, record information, send and receive quotes and contracts, and accept invoices all on one platform.

The benefits of having a CRM are organization and convenience, and this translates to hours that are saved from the workday.  Unfortunately working with the software from the very beginning was similar to looking at puzzle pieces without the final picture.  Drawing from different tasks that I had previously done, I was able to start assembling this puzzle.  Before long, it was up and functioning and it was even running.  This experience had made the largest impact on me.  This process allowed me to see and understand the learning curve and how learning one thing, such as a photography assistant, can help with another later, like building a CRM.  This experience reinforces the importance of being involved and doing as many tasks as possible.  I am very thankful to the Small Business Internship Fund for providing me with this opportunity.