Learning on the Job

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 part of an ongoing series of blog posts by our interns, discussing their experiences.

by Bella B., Marketing Intern

Bella, who obviously doesn’t have enough to do.

This summer when I applied for this internship at a large company, I imagined myself running around, picking up coffee, and doing anything that was asked of me. I assumed I would just do whatever was needed for the money and focus on all the nice things I would spend with my paychecks! Walking in on my first day I thought “Wow this is really early in the morning and I am never going to survive this.” Within minutes of being there I was sitting down in a meeting with 4 other colleagues, including my boss. I could not tell you what they were talking about – everything was going so fast I thought I was in way over my head. All I could think about was earning money to help pay for my college expenses and tuition so I could become a teacher.

I got a tour of the offices and met everyone working at Stahls’ ID Direct. To my surprise everyone was extremely welcoming and very professional.  Within a week I felt like I was part of the Stahls’ family! Week after week, I learned more about business processes, customer profiles, and operations.  And I continued to meet more and more employees who were extremely influential and expressed passion for what they did. Working here at Stahls’, I have been given an opportunity to meet and work with some very hardworking and passionate people. I have learned what it takes to be a loyal employee vs. a normal employee who punches in and out daily; what the difference is between having a job and a career.

When people talk about Stahls’ being a family-oriented business they are not kidding. Everyone treats each other like family, they disagree and argue but they also work together; they are kind to one another and welcoming.  Whenever I had an issue with anything, I knew I had people willing and ready to help me. Whether it is the customer relationship management program or not knowing exactly what product something was. Through this experience I have learned more than I ever expected, I have had laughs, jokes, and made friends and “bunkies”.  I have also had a boss who has taught me more than I could have learned sitting in a classroom listening to a professor. She also never made me go get her coffee or run around, but she taught me about social media status, customer profiles, and collecting relative data. It is more than I ever expected to learn.  Now I have confidence and am an Excel spreadsheet professional, almost an expert, which can only be helpful for the future.

From this amazing experience, little did I know that months later I am awake and ready to go at 7:30 every morning, ready to work and learn more.  Now I am saving my paychecks, my dream to be a teacher took a 360 and now I’m working to get into Western Michigan University’s Business College, and narrowing down my business major with the help of my summer internship.   A special thanks to all the departments at Stahls’ ID – I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you for this experience.

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