Wan Sze Hwai shares how her internship as a sales expert for La Mer turned into something completely unexpected and what she learned along the way.
As a student enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance, Wan Sze Hwai never expected to be spending her first internship in a luxury Zurich department store. Furthermore, she never imagined that it would turn out to be the perfect first internship experience introducing her to an entirely new perspective.
I remember at the beginning of term 5, many of my classmates had already found their internships through the International Recruitment Forum or from their previous internships. As a transfer student, I leaned on my personal career coach for support. I thought I still had time with roughly 10 weeks to go, but the time flew by! At the end of May, I was the only student who did not have a confirmed internship for July.
Not long after this, I received an email from my career coach informing me of an available position at La Mer (a luxury skincare line owned by Estée Lauder). They were looking for a Chinese speaking sales expert. I must say that I am an introvert by nature, and I honestly didn’t know if I could fill the position, which requires a lot of communication with strangers. Despite this, I knew that I needed to succeed in obtaining an internship and it is always good to challenge yourself, so I applied, and I believe it or not, I got the position!
Sell the company’s products, help the company to make a profit and compete with other brands? No, I was wrong!
As a sales expert, you need to fully understand a company’s history and product knowledge in order to sell the right products to the right clients.
I still remember the first time I talked to a customer. I felt like my mouth was zipped shut. I wanted to help but was worried that I would make things worse by talking. But turns out it wasn’t so bad. I did it! I made my first sale. It was a new achievement for me and my manager and colleagues watched me do it and were proud.
I was prepared for my internship with communication skills and hospitality sales and marketing knowledge. I was told that I was the first Chinese Speaking intern for the company. Using the sales and marketing knowledge I learned in class, I was able to do some research and find the right tools for the team to attract more Chinese clients.
I am not the best, but I always give my best. I never expected that intern life could be so fun and enlightening. I am in love with my intern life and I hope to develop myself further at the company within the coming months.
Originally published in 2019