Hi! I am so happy you’re here. My name is Jordyn Bradbury, and I am a senior double-majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. I will be graduating from Chapman in just a few short months (crazy!), so before I go, I wanted to take the time to share my personal experience as a sales intern with E. & J. Gallo Winery.
If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, don’t worry – you are not alone.
The first thing to understand is that this is perfectly normal; people are not born knowing what their ultimate role in society is going to be. Instead, we are born with endless possibilities from which to discover our calling. The problem is that while the choice is immense, the choosing is ever so tricky.
The first step I took to narrow down my internship search was attending the Chapman University Fall Career Fair in 2018. The Career Fair, organized by the Career and Professional Development office, provides an opportunity for students and alumni alike to meet potential employers. At the Career Fair, I was able to casually converse with recruiters, practicing the soft skills taught to me in many of my communication courses. Because I had practiced elevator pitches and selling myself in class, I felt confident interacting with recruiters, which ultimately landed me an interview with E. & J. Gallo the next morning – yay!
I woke up the next morning eager, excited, and also quite nervous. I had an engaging and memorable conversation with the recruiter the day before, but interviews never fail to give me butterflies in my stomach. Flash forward to a few weeks later and I received another interview, which ultimately landed me an offer for a summer internship! Of course, I was beyond excited about the opportunity and quick to accept the position.
So now you are probably wondering, “what did the internship entail? How was your experience?” Let me tell you – it exceeded ALL of my expectations.
The sales internship program at Gallo is rotational. Simply put, I was able to experience a day-in-the-life of sales professionals, gaining a glimpse into various career paths within the organization. Every day was a new adventure, as I collaborated with different colleagues throughout my time with Gallo (rarely ever working with the same person). I met so many amazing individuals who challenged me, believed in me (more than I did in myself at times), and inspired me to achieve what I was set out to do. Some highlights of my summer included enthusiastically pitching sales to store managers (yes, I generated sales as an intern!), attending fun and informative training on the products, and completing a creative marketing research project on their newest brand, High Noon.
When my 6 weeks of interning came to an end, I was heartbroken. I had found a company in which I loved the culture, core values and beliefs, team (and their passion for what they do), and growth and educational opportunities. I learned so much about sales, the industry, and most importantly, myself, in just 6 short weeks. Before interning at Gallo, I had no idea what it was that I wanted to pursue as a career post-graduation. After the conclusion of my internship, I knew I had found my passion, my calling, my people, and my dream company.
I am thrilled to say that I was offered a full-time position to join the Gallo family post-graduation and I wholeheartedly accepted the position. With my story in mind, I want to leave you with this. Apply for internships to dip your toes into different industries. Self-reflect to identify your skills, determine your goals, and understand your values. Remember that things can change, and it is okay to not know. The way that you currently imagine your career to be might not be what you were actually set out to do, which is OKAY. Try everything and anything because you never know where your true passions lie. But if you never try, you will never succeed.