Hi, my name is Bradyn Wolkoys, and I am a current senior majoring in Strategic and Corporate Communications and minoring in Leadership. I had the opportunity this semester to intern for Gorjana as a Sales Stylist/Operations intern. I intern at the store in Irvine, yet there are 23 other stores, primarily on the West Coast, with the original store location and headquarters in Laguna Beach.
Due to my COM 102 class, I learned very quickly that I loved public speaking and interacting with individuals daily. When it came time to look for internships, I knew I wanted to find an internship in sales. After talking with a girl in my SCC 498 class who worked at Gorjana, she gave me her manager’s number, who I contacted for internships. They had the current position I’m in, and I knew it would be perfect because I would get to see how the whole company ran, and not just a section of it.
One of the most valuable skills I have learned during my internship is my selling technique. I realized that I have a very “chill” selling technique where I want customers to feel like we are having more of a conversation and getting to know each other than me trying to sell to them. Realizing my selling style, I was able to ask questions along the lines of how their day was, what their style is, whether they tend to wear more chunky or delicate pieces, and more to get to know a customer and their true style. After finding my selling technique came the second biggest skill I learned, which is how to quickly come up with solutions to target every audience that comes in. Almost everyone who walked in was different. The audience ranged from 15-year-olds to 70-year-olds, all with unique interests, styles, and jewelry they wanted. On the weekends, I talked to about 200 people a day, so I learned quickly that one selling technique wasn’t going to work for everyone. This required me to look back on everything I learned from COM 210, theories of persuasion, and have a few different approaches that I could switch between based on the customer that walked in. For example, I learned that the Golden Circle Model (the what, how, and why) was the most effective in selling. When you sell to people based on your why, they are more likely to buy it if they resonate with that same why. My “why” is because wearing jewelry makes me feel confident and more put together, and that is the way I like to look. My “why” resonated with many customers because so many people were coming in to feel good in jewelry and I was able to give that to them.
Overall, this internship was initially very challenging but such a great experience. The more I got comfortable with product knowledge and selling, I learned to love it. It helped me grow personally and professionally, and I am able to take the two most valuable skills I learned into my job post-grad.