My name is Melanie Andres and I am currently a business development intern at ZappySales, an online retailer that sells a broad range of products including sporting goods, furniture, cosmetics, bedding, electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture. ZappySales was started four years ago by Igal Rubinshtien, alum of DePaul. Being a young company, it is fairly small. With a team of less than 20 people, many would think that ZappySales is minor, but once you look a little closer, you’d see that this is a company that is growing exponentially and is bursting at its seams. I think what I love most about this company is that they take on intern after intern, showing that they are open to young talent and the new ideas that come with them.
Since this was my first internship, I had no idea what to expect. I honestly thought that I would walk into something that would resemble Mad Men. I was wrong, but in many ways I’m glad that I was.
The ZappySales office is located right across the street from the Sears
Tower. So right after my classes finish around 1pm, I take a short walk from the DePaul loop campus to the ZappySales office. The ZappySales office is rented out from Level, a company that owns seven floors of the building to a lot of start-ups and small businesses. Once I get to our floor, I am greeted by Dana, the front desk person for Level.
By the time I get to the office suite, Igal Rubinshtein and Andrew Porter, the CEO and the Director of Sales and Marketing, are already hard at work tending to their daily activities. Andrew usually briefs me on what tasks need to get done that day. My first task is usually taking care of backorders and emailing customers if there has been a delay in getting their item shipped out. After that, it has become my responsibility to facilitate relationships with wholesalers, so I usually get on the phone, make some calls, send some emails, and follow up with those that I have already gotten a conversation going with. The goal of these conversations is to ultimately find wholesalers that have products we can feature on our websites and marketplaces. Once we have come to an agreement with these wholesalers, the information is then given to the IT department to upload onto the websites. After that, I usually help out with the result of completing the backorder emails: the customer service emails asking for tracking numbers and cancellations. It’s something that I have recently been introduced to, and I’m getting the hang of it.
At the end of the work day, usually 5pm, I make my way back to the lobby, say goodbye to Dana, and make my way to the bus home.
Although it isn’t the glitz that Mad Men portrays, I now have a better understanding of what marketing is. Sales have become a big part of what I do every day, and it is something that I have found that I have a knack for. Having this sort of experience is valuable to me because by being exposed to different areas of marketing, it’s helping me steer myself towards something I’d love to do after graduating. The work may be demanding and fast paced, but seeing the results of facilitating relationships and being a part of a developing business make it more than worthwhile. And as this internship ends, I am happy to say that I have accepted a full time position with the company starting in June right after finals.