Over the course of this past winter break, I had the opportunity to complete a sales internship in Columbus, Ohio. I worked on inside sales for Dyenomite Apparel, which is a custom dye house that’s one of the biggest in the country. They operate business-to-business, which means they sell their products to other businesses, rather than straight to consumers. They work with companies like Hot Topic and Victoria’s Secret, and also supply smaller shops and wholesalers across the county.
Dyenomite Apparel’s new ad campaign (Dyenomite.com)
As a native Daytonian, I was initially worried about the hour-long commute back and forth each day, especially since I didn’t have a ton of driving experience in the winter weather. But, after consulting several of my friends and professors, I figured that the opportunity to gain valuable sales experience was a lot more important to me than the extra hour of sleep I was missing out on, and I accepted the offer.
My first day was very interesting. I had completed an internship in France over the previous summer, but this was my first big girl desk job, and I was nervous. I sat in the HR office with another intern who was much older and had more experience than I did, and began wondering if I belonged in an office at all. I was soon sent to the sales office, and met some of the nicest people I had ever met.
Everyone instantly welcomed me with open arms and began asking questions about my majors and interests and outside hobbies. Working at Dyenomite didn’t feel too different from sitting in a classroom – everyone was willing to work together to ensure success throughout the group. I was able to shadow everyone in the sales department and learn how each individual was able to inject their personalities into their work to keep their calls exciting.
I spent most of my time on the phones, and I was responsible for calling companies off of a leads list with a goal of sending them either a catalog or a sample pack. I felt really uncomfortable at first because I thought everyone was listening to my calls, when in reality, everyone was focused on making their own calls and sales. I got more comfortable with it as time went on, and was able to meet my daily call goals with time to spare. Dyenomite was great about taking my interests into consideration, and let me help with projects in other departments so I was able to get bits of experience in lots of different areas.
How I felt when I was working on the phones (Tenfold)
While I was there, Dyenomite hit $12 million in sales, which was the highest amount in sales EVER! When the big sale hit and the margin was finally pushed over the edge, everyone stopped what they were working on to celebrate and congratulate one another. I didn’t do much to contribute to this achievement, but it was incredibly exciting to see their hard work pay off.
Ultimately, sales might not be for me, and I might explore other business areas before I look into sales as a career again. However, my short time at Dyenomite taught me so much about a good and supportive work environment, and what it meant to be a part of a high-achieving team. Wherever I go next, I know that I had an incredible start to my professional career with Dyenomite Apparel.