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Alex Friedman: Intern at Kopali Organics

Name: Alex Friedman
Class: 2013
School: Barnard College
Major: Anthropology
Interests: human rights and social justice

So tell me about your summer internship.
My internship is really cool! The company I work for is called Kopali Organics, which is an organic food company that directly supports sustainable farmers in Central and South America. It’s an awesome internship because it takes tasks that seem shallow, such as sales and marketing, and it applies these aspects to a deeper, more meaningful cause.

That’s amazing! How’d you find it?
I found it through Barnard NACElink – the site was very helpful.

What skills is your internship teaching you?
Besides learning more about sales and marketing strategies, I have learned so much about the dangers of big corporations taking over the agricultural world. Did you know that simply by buying fair trade products you are saving thousands of children from dying of pesticides? Also, did you know when you eat an M&M you are supporting the horrible chocolate trade in West Africa? In this trade, many children are kidnapped and forced into labor and never get to see their families again. Kopali helps farmers develop businesses that positively influence their communities. By working with Kopali I’m helping teach these communities how to use the free market to their advantage.

It sounds like you’re really into it! What’s a typical day like at Kopali?
On a typical day, I get to visit stores and I can see how our products are doing. I also speak directly with the store managers about ways to make sales go up. I also go to different locations where we sell our products and do a “demo” where we give out samples and educate the consumers about the benefits of fair trade and organic products. We each get to do special projects that are geared towards our strengths. For example, I hope to blog for my project and possibly find other blogs to advertise on. I also get to pitch to stores as to why they should carry our product; through this, I get hands on experience in the sales and marketing world.

This internship seems really hands-on!
It is! The company is truly dedicated to the cause, and they treat their interns very well. What’s especially cool is that I get to work directly with the President and CEO of the company as well as with many other interns. I feel like I am actually making a difference in the world through a marketable skill I didn’t know I had! 

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