Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Calgon, Take Me Away!: Life of a Calgon Intern

   First of all, a series of very fortunate events led me to this internship. Being a freshman last year, it is generally a difficult task to find an internship your first summer after college, nonetheless a paid internship. However, my trip to New York with SUSA in the Fall, led to my discovery of terpAMA, which led to meeting a terpAMA board member who interned for Ilex Consumer Products Group last school year. When she told me Ilex was looking for a summer intern, I immediately pursued this opportunity. Long story short, network, network, NETWORK. Many employers are not apt to read a freshman’s resume unless you know someone!

            That being said, I couldn’t be happier with this internship. I work at Ilex Consumer Products Group, which is located in the warehouse at Orioles Stadium in Baltimore. Ilex Consumer Products Group is a private equity firm, which means that we invest in companies/brands in our case Calgon, St. Josephs, and Digel. I am a Marketing and Innovation intern for the Calgon brand. This brand is an older brand that currently targets the 35+ age group and is known for their slogan “Calgon, take me away.” This summer especially, the marketing team has been extremely busy innovating the brand to target younger age groups. Stay tuned next year for the new product launches---I can’t give out any secrets!
            I have learned more than I had ever imagined I would in a matter of 2 months so far. I have been involved in every step of product development starting with the concept, the research/competitor comparisons to support the concept, the Request for Quotes to retrieve pricing info from our suppliers, the Creative Service Requests to know the price of creating product designs, fragrance selection, and of course marketing strategy for our product lines. A recent project that our marketing team worked on was creating planograms to present to a potential buyer. We had to include competitor products and our existing/new products in a rendering of a 4ft shelf plan and 8ft shelf plan. I found this project extremely interesting because it was not a matter of what looks good, but really a matter of what past numbers and future forecasts show to ultimately determine what items we would discontinue, keep, or launch for 2013.

            Lastly, I manage Calgon’s social media. I have been trying to post every day on this page to keep our fans involved. I really have been leveraging our slogan by posting luxurious pictures of vacation getaways along with the words “Calgon, take me away!” This strategy has really boosted fan involvement. Another strategy is to offer frequent giveaways. These giveaways always result in an increase in page likes and page virality.

            As you can see, I could talk about this internship for hours on end because of how invaluable this experience has been thus far!

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