This summer, Stahls’ ID Direct™ has implemented its first internship program, with 10 college students gaining real-world experience in the heat printing industry. This is the first in a series of blog posts by our interns, discussing their experiences.
by Katilyn S., Marketing Intern
Interns at Stahls’ ID Direct go through training where they learn everything from the history of the company to product details. This summer’s interns are participating a customer relationship management (CRM) profile-building project. They go through training beforehand because it’s essential that they have a basic understanding of products in order hold a conversation with customers. They must also understand the guiding foundations that Stahls’ was built upon: innovation and customer satisfaction. Over the course of the summer they will gain experience in both a business environment and with customer interaction.
Although I am a marketing intern and not participating in the call project, I went through the same training. It was a lot of information to learn in 3 days and it took a while for everyone to understand. A cutter is the same thing as a plotter. What’s the difference between PU and PVC heat transfer materials again? They keep saying this word, appliqué, I should figure out what that means. Luckily, I had some background in the industry to help me understand all of this quickly.
By the way, PU stands for polyurethane and PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. The difference is in the chemicals but PU material offers excellent wear properties and the elasticity of rubber. Also, appliqué is using material to replace fill stitches on an embroidered design. There are also pre-sewn appliqué options that can be heat applied.
Once the training was over, my days became filled with the stereotypical intern tasks: sending emails, making PowerPoint presentations, weeding (I don’t care what anyone says, I love doing it), using a heat press to apply screen printed transfers, more weeding, attending meetings, taking notes, writing blog posts, and lastly, more weeding. If you’ve never had the opportunity to weed material before, it is the process of removing the negative areas off of the cut material in order to get the final design ready for heat application. With all of this work, I am happy to report that I don’t have to get anyone coffee, although, I do bring one of my coworkers chocolate every Wednesday.
Once I got into the swing of things, all of my tasks became enjoyable. I find weeding therapeutic and I do it whenever I get tired of looking at a computer screen. Stahls’ ID is very good at keeping me busy, making sure that I am getting relevant experience, and giving me a great environment in which to both laugh and learn. I don’t think any of the interns are masters of the industry quite yet, but we are working our way there.