Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Marketing Major Leads at Amazon Internship

Emily and her manager. Provided.

by Mia Olijslager

Emily Cooperman takes a selfie at her Amazon operations internship. Photo provided.

There is a lot that goes on between the time you hit that “place your order” button and seeing your package delivered at your doorstep, just ask Emily Cooperman ‘22.

After spending ten weeks as an intern at one of Amazon’s delivery stations in New Jersey this summer, the marketing major and minor in hospitality and tourism management found her knack for impacting customer’s lives through delivery operations.

The School of Business recently caught up with Emily to learn more about her summer at Amazon.

What drew you to an internship with Amazon?

Throughout college, I’ve had multiple internships with small companies. They were great and I am thankful for those experiences, but I really wanted to experience working for a larger company. I figured what a better company than Amazon, the world’s fastest-growing online retailer! The application process included a behavioral profile and situational questions about real-life instances in the workplace. After I sent in my application, I had two back-to-back virtual interviews. Once I was offered the position and accepted, I became a part of the Intern 2021 Cohort.

What did your day-to-day look like as an operations management intern?

In a word, hectic! Each delivery station operates on a 24-hour workday. The night and day shifts are each entirely focused on getting packages out the door. As part of the day shift, we oversaw the loading of over 100 delivery trucks daily. In the world of operations, and especially Amazon, the smallest mishap can cause the entire process to get bogged down.

What is one thing you are most proud of accomplishing during your internship?

Once the trucks departed, a key part of my day was to work on my internship project. Each intern at Amazon was required to work on local process improvement needs and present their research to senior leadership after their internship. My project addressed delivery errors, and through my work, I ultimately made a process improvement recommendation that saved the station approximately $16,000 during my ten-week internship alone!

Emily and her manager. Provided.

Emily and her manager. Provided.

That’s impressive! What business classes prepared you for your time at Amazon?

MGMT 301 — Management and Organizational Behavior — taught by Alexis Carrico certainly pertained to my internship as it equipped me with background knowledge about leadership styles in the workplace, customer responsiveness and six sigma. Amazon prides itself on its “customer obsession,” and I saw much of the class’s teachings and theories put into practice. Another course, Productions/Operations Management, DSCI 304 taught by Maryam Mahdikhani, was especially helpful in giving me an understanding of supply chain and process improvement methods. Amazon is assessing its operations daily and constantly tweaking for improvements.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while interning at Amazon?

The process of how a package completes its journey and ultimately winds up at the correct customer’s doorstep was fascinating! As a customer, I was always very curious about the process of ordering something and it showing up at your house two days later. Amazon’s daily success is truly a supply chain miracle!

What has been a key takeaway from your internship experience?

I was so shy when I started college and got nervous about everything. But, I was extremely motivated to use all the resources I could during my time at CofC to help set me up with the best career I could find. I knew the first part of that would be securing meaningful internships. Using the School of Business Student Success Center and resume and interview practice from my business fraternity Phi Chi Theta helped to polish my skills and taught me where to find opportunities.

Any advice for your peers?

Get out of your comfort zone, apply to as many internships as possible and research companies you are interested in! It is never too soon to start planning for your future. “Have fun, work hard and make history,” as they say at Amazon.

 This interview has been edited and condensed.

School of Business Co-Hosts Summit to Strengthen German-American Ties

Economics and employment are at the forefront of conversations slated for the 2019 German-American Business Summit, which will be held on February 5 at the Charleston Gaillard Center.

If good occurrences happen in threes then students, alumni and business professionals are in for an exciting event as the College of Charleston School of Business co-hosts the third-annual German-American Business Summit.

The Summit, co-presented with the business school by the College’s German Program, School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs and Career Center, will connect job seekers with German companies in the state to sustain a pipeline of talent coming from the College of Charleston and summit partners Trident Technical College and The Citadel.

According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Palmetto State receives more investment funds and jobs from German industry than any state in the country per capita. What’s more, German companies employ upwards of 32,000 South Carolinians annually and are always on the lookout for their next hire.

Attendees pursuing internship and job opportunities will have the chance to meet representatives from the state’s most visible German companies such as Mercedes-Benz Vans, KION North America, Bosch and BMW of North America.

Dinning (left) and McEwen (right)

The Summit seeks to foster relationships and push for stronger ties between students and German-American business industries. B-school students Sarah Dinning ’20 and Will McEwen ’20 both successfully secured internships at Mercedes-Benz Vans and IFA Rotorion, respectively, after attending the inaugural summit.

This year’s keynote presenter is Torsten Scheffler, senior manager of the Engineering NAFTA Hub USA for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. — the production location for the GLE-, GLS- and the GLE Coupe sport utility vehicles as well as the C-Class for the U.S. and Canadian market.

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. with a job fair featuring nearly 20 German corporations. The conference portion of the day begins at 1 p.m. with the keynote presentation by Scheffler followed by a presentation on tariffs and panel discussions on sustainability and the future of the German-American industry.

The entire College community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) as well as business professionals and community members are encouraged to attend. Registration is required. To register, please visit go.cofc.edu/GABS.

Data Reigns Supreme for Marketing Major at Summer Internship

Leanna Conti ‘19 is all about storytelling through data. Equipped with a knack for analytics and a tenacity to hone her digital marketing skills, the information management minor successfully landed an internship this summer with SnapCap by LendingTree, a lending firm founded by CofC alum Hunter Stunzi that connects small businesses with loans.

The School of Business sat down with Conti to find out more about her internship, daily duties and the ways the experience has reinforced what she’s learned in the classroom.

Conti

What made you decide to pursue SnapCap for an internship?

I came to the College as a Swanson Scholar in the Honors College. That program was made possible by Steve Swanson ‘89, a generous alum and graduate of the honors program. He also happens to serve as an advisor for SnapCap. I had heard from him, as well as others, that the company was doing great things here in Charleston. When it came time to look for a summer internship, I knew I wanted to further my experience in the field of digital marketing and SnapCap by LendingTree had an open position that fit the bill.

That really worked out for you! Can you tell us a little about your day-to-day duties at your internship?

My duties vary day-to-day but typically revolve around search engine marketing. Every day I’m doing hands-on work running tests and performing optimizations. I put together weekly and monthly reports as well as ad-hoc analyses for any questions that may arise. I’ve been strongly encouraged to pursue any area of the business that I’m interested in here, which makes every day unique and exciting!

It sounds like you’re gaining a lot of real-world experience. Are there any classes you’ve taken that directly relate to what you’re doing at SnapCap?

I was enrolled in the first iteration of Professor Lancie Affonso’s MKTG 360 digital marketing class. That class helped pique my interest in the realm of digital marketing and its ability to toe the line between business, technology and data science. Around the same time, I took Professor Christopher Starr’s INFM 350 business analytics course, an offering from the new Information Management minor. That course gave me an understanding of data management that is invaluable as a business student in today’s world. At my internship, I feel confident pulling information from databases using SQL (structured query language) — a feat I couldn’t have imagined doing before taking Professor Starr’s class.

What have you learned from your internship?

I’ve been taught the incredible power of data as a decision-making tool and its prescriptive capabilities. Additionally, I’ve seen the sentiment “always be testing” in full force, which can be applied in any area of one’s life. Even the smallest .0001 percent improvement can make an impact when you’re working at the incredible scale that LendingTree is. It’s not enough to remain stagnant, one must always be looking for the newest edge or next leg up.

Summer’s quickly winding down. What skills have you gained that you will take with you into the Fall?

I hope to walk away from this internship with stronger analytical and interpersonal capabilities. I would also like to continue to pursue new trends in digital marketing and have a better understanding of how those trends can be applied to benefit companies as small as startups to as large as LendingTree.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Internship Spotlight: Logistics Intern at Mercedes-Benz Vans

Ruben Urquiza

Ruben UrquizaRuben Urquiza is an efficient guy. Or rather, he likes executing tasks in a logistical manner so that the end goal is met in an efficient and effective way. This summer, the international business major from Westminster, South Carolina, is fine tuning his logistics and efficiency skills with an internship at Mercedes-Bens Vans in North Charleston, S.C. Read full story here »

School of Business Students Do Business with Israel

Ani Meloyan stands at the helm of a full boardroom in Roper St. Francis’ hospital, poised and prepared to pitch a business idea to potential investors. The faces staring back at her belong to Roper Hospital’s CEO, its vice president of medical affairs, physicians, local business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors, all of whom have come ready to either opt in, negotiate, or leave Meloyan’s business plan in the dust.

Ani Meloyan presents a business plan to potential "investors" as part of the "Doing Business with Israel" internship final presentation. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Ani Meloyan presents a business plan to potential “investors” as part of the “Doing Business with Israel” internship final presentation. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Only, Meloyan is not actually seeking money, and the bigwigs in the room don’t really intend to spend any.

That all played out last spring for Meloyan and her peers.

College of Charleston School of Business students, Meloyan, Samantha Curtin and Michael Stalcup participated in an internship program that connected them with Israeli startup companies to learn more about international trade, writing export plans, and ultimately pitching their plans to local “investors” who would potentially have a vested interest in the product.

The internship program, called “Doing Business with Israel,” is a joint initiative between the Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute (CBRI) at Roper St. Francis, the College of Charleston’s School of Business and the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program. The program connects students with international business partnerships – specifically Israeli startups in the life sciences industry.

This Shark Tank-style scenario was arranged as a part of the internship program’s final business plan presentation. Leading up to this day, the students were each paired with an Israeli business, working with their respective CEOs to learn about the products they hope to launch in the U.S.

"Investors" provide students with feedback on their business plan presentations. (Photo: Mark Swick)

“Investors” provide students with feedback on their business plan presentations. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Meloyan was connected with a business that invented a special kind of baby bottle that preserves 50 percent more nutrients of breast milk than standard bottles. Curtin’s assigned company developed smart sensor epidural needles, ensuring a more accurate needle placement. And Stalcup worked with a business that created a blood-based diagnostic test to detect Alzheimer’s Disease in its earliest phase.

The interns spent two months producing business plans with the guidance of Rene Mueller, professor of marketing and director of the School of Business’ International Business Program, and the final month comparing their business plans with those of the actual Israeli businesses. Throughout the span of the project, the students also worked alongside Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, who offered insight into the medical component of the program.

“I was drawn to this internship due to its competitive nature and the international aspect of it,” says Meloyan. “The opportunity reinforced my decision to major in international business, and served as a great opportunity to gain valuable industry experience.”

Curtin adds: “The premise of ‘transforming an idea into a product’ caught my attention. While the work was daunting and, at times, exhausting, I can say for the first time in my professional career that I was truly inspired as a result of this internship.”

U.S.-Israel Partnership

The international component is an integral part of this internship program. But, why Israel, specifically?

Mintzer, who spearheaded the initiative, completed his medical internship and five-year residency at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, and is keenly aware of Israel’s booming healthcare industry.

Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, with business students Ani Meloyan and Samantha Curtin. Not pictured: Michael Stalcup. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, with business students Ani Meloyan and Samantha Curtin. Not pictured: Michael Stalcup. (Photo: Mark Swick)

According to the 2015 Israel Advanced Technology Industries Report on Israel’s Life Sciences Industry, more than 1,300 active companies in the life sciences industry – comprising medical devices, biotechnology/pharmaceutical and healthcare IT/digital health businesses – operate in Israel today. In the past decade, Israel’s life sciences industry has seen an annual growth rate of 20 percent.

The only problem with this growth is its inability to flourish domestically due to Israel’s small market. Because of this, Israeli entrepreneurs tend to turn to the U.S. as their primary market. Mintzer observed the success of these U.S.-Israel partnerships along with the Israeli model of aggressively merging business and academics, and thought of it as an incredible learning opportunity for local business students.

That is when he contacted Mueller at the School of Business and Martin Perlmutter, director of Jewish Studies, to initiate the “Doing Business with Israel” internship program. The School of Business’ “ready-to-work” tools and resources, coupled with Jewish Studies’ strong interest in connecting with Israel given the strength of Israeli business today, made for a no-brainer partnership in Mintzer’s mind.

“CBRI’s connecting to Jewish Studies and the School of Business, enriching the educational opportunities for the College’s students, and exposing them to the rich fabric of Israeli business innovation is an all-around winner,” says Perlmutter. “The fact that it is a long-term initiative, with a bright future, makes it even sweeter.

To learn more about the “Doing Business with Israel” internship program, please contact Mark Swick, community liaison for the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, at swickmn@cofc.edu.

Learn more about the School of Business, the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and the Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute.