ERA White Pin Mark Motsinger Internship Program Overview
Now Accepting Applications for 2024
- ERA rep firms that want to commit to the internship program and ALREADY have a candidate – both the rep company AND intern need to apply using the above applications for the monetary subsidy.
- ERA rep firms that want to commit to the internship program and do NOT have a candidate – please apply using the Rep Application above and ERA can work with you to find a candidate. (No guarantees.)
- If you are a student interested in an internship in the electronics representative industry, please use the Intern Application above.
- A substantial monetary award from ERA/White Pin, to be given to the awarded rep firm, to supplement the anticipated cost of the intern.
Please submit additional questions to email@example.com.
White Pin Intern Awards: As a part of the ERA White Pin Internship program, there will be three intern awards given in 2024 — one for a rep in the East, one in the Central and one in the West of North America. These awards will be awarded to those rep companies after review by the White Pin executive team and ERA National. Each award will be presented to the rep company to supplement a substantial portion of the anticipated cost of the internship. Please email Ellen Coan, ERA SVP of Education, with questions.
The ERA White Pin Group is a group formed through recognition of individuals for their contributions to ERA in volunteering for different ERA Initiatives and for serving our industry in other ways. The White Pin Group has recognized the need of the rep community to help attract, hire and retain rising college juniors/seniors and graduates into the rep community to help keep our industry fresh and relevant.
The key issues impacting manufacturer reps and the manufacturers they represent, across all industries, are:
- Inability of interested, capable students and rep firms in need of new talent to connect through an established intern program.
- SMB, small to medium rep firms don’t have the resources or time to invest in consistently searching out new, capable and committed talent.
- A lack of formal education and awareness among students around sales and more specifically manufacturer rep sales.
Establishing an Intern Process
Many manufacturers’ reps don’t know where to start. With challenges ranging from multi-generational to the influx of digital marketing and sales, finding a realistic step-by-step approach or someone with the time to do it, is a daunting task. This White Pin Initiative has come up with the following ideas and is eager to hear feedback from interested rep firms.
- Identify your immediate needs and resources within your firm to work with an intern.
a. Advantages of an intern program: Firm start and stop date, no benefit or employee burden, opportunity to “try before you buy.”
b. Disadvantages: Finding a great fit and then having them return to school. However, some programs have found ways to continue to work with interns during the school year and more directly with scheduled holidays and breaks.
- Define skill set needed for the ideal intern (e.g., MS Office Suite, Social Media expertise, business acumen, industry awareness, sales and customer experience, etc.).
- Identify business majors you would consider (e.g., Business, Technical, Computer, Liberal Arts, etc.). Per industry experts, Business, Technical and Computer are most sought after interns, while Liberal Arts provide greater breadth of experiences, communication and relationship skills.
- Establish application process (e.g., application form, referrals, who will review the form, online or F2F interview, hiring process, communication back to applicant, firm timeline).
- Locate the University, College, Junior College and Trade Schools in your immediate vicinity.
a. Gain a contact in the office of the desired study major (e.g., business, liberal arts, etc.).
b. Gain a contact in the Career Development office and gain a calendar of school-sponsored job fairs and the requirements to set up an information table.
Tip: Most schools have integrated business and engineering (IBE) degrees with career counselors who are interested in working with companies in our industry. Reps are encouraged to sign up for Handshake.com. Rep firms can post their internship and job openings there.
Another tip: Simply enter into Google: “college of your choice + integrated business and engineering degree” and see what turns up. You may have to look under the Business school side; other times openings may appear on the Engineering school side.
- Put together a one-sheet outline of your firm, the opportunity, timeline, compensation.
a. Who we are: industry, products and line card, territory, business opportunity
b. Intern opportunity: start and stop dates, compensation, location and transportation expectations, in-firm resources, learning and growth potential
c. Application process and two-way communication expectations
d. Post intern review
- Attend the job fair and gain contact information.
- Conduct the application process and hiring review.
- Hire the intern.
a. Specified timeframe (summer break = 10-12 weeks)
b. Hourly rate
- Feedback for the school department contact and the Career Development office.