Despite the whole company needing to work remotely due to coronavirus, the techspert.io internship still went ahead – we weren’t going to let a pandemic stop us from nurturing the future generation of STEM pioneers! Below Lea Sixtl shares her techspert.io remote internship experience. She decided to spend her summer break interning with us before beginning her trainee program at an energy company in Vienna.
Hallo, I’m Lea!
Originally from Vienna, Austria, I completed my undergraduate degree in economics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. I applied for the Business Development Analyst internship at techspert.io because I wanted to experience working at a fast-growing tech company, learn about the different strategies and tactics around business development (BD) and see first-hand how the sales function operates in a BD team.
Remote interning abroad
Unlike the other interns who were interning remotely while in the UK and were all members of the tech team, I completed my internship while in my home town of Vienna and I was a member of the sales team within techspert.io’s BD function. Similar to the other interns, I was concerned about working with people that I’d only met virtually and how I’d be integrated into the team. Thankfully, the well-thought-out onboarding process helped me ease in quickly.
Ashwath and Toby (tech interns) gave a great breakdown of how the tech team is structured in their blog post, so let me do the same for the BD team. It’s split into five units (as mentioned above, I was in team sales!):
- Sales: Responsible for bringing in new customers and working together with Customer Success to maintain healthy relationships with existing customers.
- Project Team: Handles customers’ expert requests, ensuring they get the precise expertise they need for their projects.
- Marketing: Focuses on positioning techspert.io as leaders in the expert network field and attracting, engaging, and delighting customers.
- Customer Success: Ensures our customers achieve their desired goals when partnering with techspert.io for our services and products.
- Biz Ops: The business analytics arm of the team which uses data and internal systems to optimize BD’s processes and performance.
Now that I’ve given you an idea of how the BD team is set up, let’s dig into what I did during my internship!
The mission? Bringing in new business
As a Business Development Analyst Intern, my core responsibilities over the 8-week internship were supporting the sales team with account expansion within existing customer accounts, identifying new business account opportunities, conducting competitor analysis, and creating email templates for prospecting. But before I could hit the ground running, I had to familiarise myself with techspert.io’s offering and the expert network industry.
With the support of Mike (VP of Sales), Will and Jack (Business Development Representatives), I spent my first week brushing up on our existing customers, target market, and competitors, and learning to use new software such as Salesforce and SalesLoft (the two primary customer relationship management platforms the sales team uses). Week one also included introductions to the other teams in the business and a presentation from Dave and Graham (the co-founders) on techspert.io’s journey and goals.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about the internship is the company-wide visibility and knowing how my, and everybody else’s, efforts contribute towards the company’s success. For example, it was encouraging and enlightening to see accounts I identified as prospects go through the journey of becoming customers and how everybody in the BD team plays a role in this process. Attracting, engaging, delighting, and retaining customers truly is a team effort!
Little things, big impact
There are many different initiatives and practices at techspert.io which made my internship so enjoyable. Below, I list a few of them.
Social company culture
Despite the internship being virtual, I still got to experience techspert.io’s vibrant, friendly and inclusive culture. Small activities such as the monthly book club, weekly coffee breaks (online catch-ups people can join for a social chat), company-wide all-hands (monthly meetings where company updates and projects people have worked on are shared), and Friday food talks (an interactive session for people to present on a topic that interests them) were a great way to stay connected and feel part of the team.
I got to observe customer calls with world-leading life sciences and healthcare companies which was a great learning experience for me. I saw first-hand how different skills are needed to nurture customer relationships. Including, good communication skills, asking the right questions, taking in customer feedback, and using active listening to understand customer pain points and identify the solutions to address them.
The freedom to explore ideas
Although I had core tasks to complete by the end of my internship, I had the freedom to explore different methods to achieve my goals. This gave me room to be creative, broaden my knowledge of a range of topics, and improve my confidence in my ideas.
And that brings me to the end of my blog post! If you’re interested in interning in a fast-paced, vibrant and welcoming environment where you’ll be encouraged to learn, explore and contribute towards team and company-wide goals, apply for the 2021 internship when applications open.