Internship Spotlight: Kassie Kotrick

So, if you could take a semester to intern in Hawaii, would you? University of North Georgia (UNG) marketing student, Kassie Kotrick, landed an internship with Pederson Worldwide Companies and is doing just that, spending her fall in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

She is currently an intern for their Cariloha company, and her responsibilities include brainstorming different sales and marketing strategies, operating a point of sales and inventory software and designing merchandising strategies in conjunction with the corporate office.

“I have learned different sales strategies, how to interact with different customers from all around the world, and how to target difference audiences,” Kotrick said. “It has been really great to apply some of my classroom education from the Mike Cottrell College of Business to a real-world business experience.”

Many of her previous courses have helped her in this role, specifically Advertising (MKTG 3710), Consumer Behavior (MKTG 3730) and Personal Selling (MKTG 3730).

“I have learned how to not only sell different products but also sell myself with networking,” Kotrick said. “I have been able to work with a marketing team through brainstorming different ways to target audiences from around the world.”

She has learned many on-the-job skills including how to work with a team and the importance of effective communication. These skills are critical to success. Kotrick has also found that professionalism in the workplace is something that is extremely important when interacting with both her customers and her superiors.

“One of my favorite parts of the job is being able to engage with people, customers and company staff from all over the world,” Kotrick said. “Learning about their different cultures and finding common ground between one another is important when trying to engage customers, sell and market products and network.”

Corporate culture in Hawaii is different in that most businesses thrive off of tourism. The average customer is likely more laid-back and locals are very welcoming.

“Everyone here is so friendly and it makes the work place so much fun to be in the mix of everything,” Kotrick said.

She learned about the internship through a childhood friend and decided to apply online. The process included applications, creating a video where she had to market a product and Skype interviews.

She knew that traveling was something she’d always wanted to do with her career, and found this internship to be the perfect opportunity to do that. She hopes to be able to move up in the Cariloha corporate office someday or for another company that would allow her to work in incredible places while doing the things she loves.

“Returning to UNG, I will bring what I have learned back to my classes in regards to interacting with people, professionalism, enhanced teamwork skills and the willingness to accept challenges,” Kotrick said. “The opportunity to take on more responsibility and be more creative has changed my outlook on both how I’ll handle classwork and prepare for my career.”