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Caitlyn Snyder

Some girls may be okay with settling in college or just earning their “M-R-S” degree – but if you’re a Her Campus Collegiette, you are chasing after your goals in full force! Our Campus Celebrity, Caitlyn Snyder, did exactly that this summer when she interned at The Campus Special to represent the University of Michigan. After a ton of hard work for 13 straight weeks, Caitlyn ended up being ranked #1 out of 400+ interns across the nation at over 150+ universities and broke the company record for most sales – ever! Learn about how she conquered the “man’s world” of business and sales and what her tips are for Her Campus Collegiettes to do the same.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am from West Bloomfield, Michigan, about 45 minutes away from Ann Arbor. I am a senior with a double major in Communication Studies and Psychology. Before settling on these two majors, I thought about applying to the business school, and was also interested in architecture. While I love my majors, I am still interested in business and I also have a creative side. I love the arts and have been singing since I was 3. In addition to singing, I play piano, enjoy photography, and LOVE dancing. My family is all about music, with both my sisters and my dad being music teachers, so I am actually the ‘rebel’ who didn’t go into it. I’m really close with my family, and so, I try to see them often. I am the ‘baby’ of the family with my sisters being 6 and 10 years older than me. On campus, I am involved in an organization called University Christian Outreach, and I try to play soccer when I can. My favorite season would be a tie between fall and summer, but right now I’m loving Michigan football, cider mills, and all things pumpkin flavored.

2. We heard you had a very unique internship this summer. Tell us a little bit about the company and what your internship entailed.

This summer I interned as an Account Executive with a company called The Campus Special. The Campus Special is a national company that provides students with deals on campuses throughout the country with their coupon books, online coupons, and mobile app. In addition to great deals, they also have online ordering for restaurants in the area.

As the Account Executive at The University of Michigan, I put together the coupon book for our campus by going to 30+ businesses a day for 13 weeks, meeting with owners, and making sales. Those who I sold are now in the coupon book, online, and in the mobile app.

3. What was the most challenging part of your internship and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging part of my internship was being repeatedly rejected or having owners try to take advantage of you. Even with averaging a little over a sale a day, I still heard about 20 “no’s” a day. Sometimes, an owner wouldn’t even let me talk and would tell me to get out of their business. Some of these “no’s” were accompanied with hostility or rude remarks. These situations were tough to deal with and sometimes I just wanted to cry or not go into another business that day. Yet, I was able to overcome the rejection by remaining positive, setting goals for myself, and not letting a previous negative experience affect the next place I went to. To be frank, I also just toughened up.

Along with the rejection were also owners who would string me along and wouldn’t tell me a definitive “no,” would repeatedly tell me to “come back tomorrow,” or would stand me up for our scheduled meetings. Thus, another very difficult part of the internship was feeling like an owner was taking advantage of me. There were some places that I had to go into at least 40 times before finally making a sale. But, in the end, those are the stories that are worth telling, because they exhibit my persistence, professionalism, and positivity.

4. How does it feel to know you were #1 in sales with a program of 350+ interns? What tips do you have to HerCampus Collegiettes on how to prove yourself in a “man’s world” of business and sales?

It feels really surreal to be the top intern and to have broken the record for the most anyone has ever sold out of 3,000. I remember at the training conference sitting in the room among 400 people and thinking to myself “it’s crazy how one person in this room will end up as #1, I wonder who it will be.” I would have never guessed that it was going to be me, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and all that I learned through the experience.
There are a few pieces of advice I can give to fellow HerCampus Collegiettes. One thing that really helped me in my internship was my extreme persistence. I relentlessly pursued the businesses that I wanted to be in the coupon book and would not shy away from being told “no.” I would go back to a place 40 times and finally catch the owner, I would work after hours, and I would get creative and vary my approach for different places. You have to go after what you want and continue to do so even when you are rejected or even if it is hard. Ultimately, it is worth it.

Furthermore, you have to have confidence. Women working in a “man’s world” have a lot to offer, and it is important that you believe that yourself and that you stand by your ability and expertise. Additionally, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, it often shows and you can be taken advantage of.

One last thing I would say is to be genuine. I didn’t use some typical tactics of sales such as being ‘pushy’ or trying to get people to sign under high pressure. Instead, I was completely genuine and friendly in my approach towards owners. I truly cared about the owners, their business and their concerns, and it was evident. They trusted me, and didn’t see me as someone who was trying to manipulate them to buy like some sales people are. Thus, in being myself, I was able to build relationships with owners and prove myself as a capable and professional woman.

5. What are your plans for the future, and how will your experience at Campus Special help you with your career?

My plans for the future have everything to do with Campus Special. Through the internship, I learned professionalism, persistence, how to go after what you want, and how to be positive in all things. I also gained real experience and developed a number of skills. Thus, the internship has set me up so well for finding a job and in fact I already have recruiters contacting me. I have also had a few job offers, and I still have a year until I graduate! I find it pretty amazing that I am not only going to find a job right out of college but will have options!? That being said, I am not exactly sure what I will be doing. I am interested in sales, but I’m also interested in consulting or human resources. One thing I am sure of is that I want to be able to build relationships with people and not only show my genuine interest in them but also be able to help them in some way (through a service, product, emotional support, etc.). I also know that I want to move to Chicago.
 

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