Top Sales Pitch

By Matt Hawkins
September 23, 2014

Alex Hughes ’15, an economics major from Arlington Heights, Illinois, set out with one goal for the summer: win Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s internship competition. After a summer of long hours, hard work and a watchful eye on rankings, Hughes was named a regional top intern and was one of several high-performing Bradley Enterprise interns.

Hughes tackled the internship like an athlete, telling coworkers his first day that he intended to win the $2,000 scholarship top prize. He motivated himself by checking intern rankings every day to see where he stood.

“I’m competitive and felt like I had to win,” he said. “It was fulfilling to accomplish that goal. Since I did so well, it could kick-start my career.” 

Hughes spent the summer in Mount Prospect, Illinois, learning sales and management skills on the job. He polished his sales pitch to earn extra revenue for the company, which boosted his performance marks in the scholarship competition. Interns were evaluated on sales, customer service and a final collaborative project.

For the summer’s final task, a group-designed sales plan, Hughes was placed in a group with several other interns, including Daniela Miranda ’16, an actuarial science major from Wheeling, Illinois. The group designed a social media campaign that won top honors as judged by Enterprise executives and university career center staff.

“I was pleased to attend Enterprise's intern presentations,” said Springer Center for Internships Director Dawn Koeltzow. “Daniela and Alex did an outstanding job representing Bradley. It was great to learn about the meaningful outcomes of their summer internships.”

Enterprise interns were treated like full-time employees and were given the freedom and responsibility to make sales. The sales environment challenged Hughes to perfect his customer service skills, which previously had only been tested in the comfortable Bradley classroom environment. 

This knowledge will be valuable as he pursues a career in investment banking, which he said “has a little more risk.”

“I didn’t have to deal with negative feedback before, but this gave me confidence, especially for advanced sales,” he said. “Last year was on-the-spot role-playing, but now I could handle situations without a script. I’m ready to sell.”

Enterprise’s competitive, incentive-laden approach to sales and emphasis on positive gave Hughes a vision for the ideal workplace.

“If I ever opened my own business, I would structure it the way they do,” he said.

In addition to Hughes’ top finish, three other Bradley students finished among the top 15 interns in Enterprise’s Chicago-based region. Those students were Mackenzie Gange-Anderson ’16, a management and leadership major with a concentration in human resource management from Oak Park, Illinois; Kaylee Moeslein ’15, a psychology major from Downers Grove, Illinois; and Mayra Ocampo ’16, an international business major from Wheeling, Illinois. Ocampo also won the Living Values Award, which recognized an intern for outstanding customer service.