Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.
I recently traveled to California where interns from Nutrilite’s Center for Optimal Health, a Nutrilite farm in Lakeview, Trout Lake Farm and four interns from Amway Hong Kong gathered for a two-day intern event. I will share my experience in four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of the trip.
In California, I caught up with six former Amway interns turned full-time employees that now work in California at the Nutrilite Health Institute. I sat down with them and chatted about their internship at Amway and what life is like as a full-time employee.
Lauren was an intern at Amway twice. She currently works for Nutrilite’s supplement production operations.
Samson began his internship in June 2009 and was hired as a full-time employee in March 2010. He is a software developer for Nutrilite.
Hongjinn was an intern at Amway during the summer 2008. He currently works in supply chain planning at Nutrilite.
Heather was an intern at Amway during the summer 2008 and was hired full-time the following summer. She is an associate scientist for Nutrilite’s supplement product development department.
Dave completed a co-op at Amway in 2006 and returned in 2008 where he spent one year working in research and development in Michigan before he was hired. He is now an associate scientist in product and development manufacturing at Nutrilite.
Lisa interned last summer (2009) and is currently manager of the NutriCert program.
What did you enjoy most about being an intern at Amway?
Lauren: I really enjoyed having my own project to work on. It was nice to be able to have that freedom and responsibility to work toward a goal and make it what you want it to be.
Dave: The fact that the work I was given truly meant something to the company. I also greatly enjoyed seeing so many different sides of business all on one complex. I learned a great deal through intern lunches about areas I might have never seen.
Heather: Ahh… there are so many things I enjoyed! That’s why I’m still here! I loved that my project was important, had visibility, and had an impact. I loved the people I worked with, their willingness to help me at the drop of a hat, and their passion for their work. I loved the respect I received from colleagues at all levels, even only being an intern. I loved that my opinion was valued and well received. The intern program in general was also great; not only was it extremely well organized and helpful from a functional level, but knowing how much time, effort, and resources the company puts into new recruitment and talent was/is very encouraging and exciting for me.
Hongjinn: The best part of my internship were my projects. They were challenging and had a lot of visibility. It was rewarding to work on something that had an impact in my department.
Samson: My internship project is not a project that a lot of companies would trust their intern to handle. However, Nutrilite and the IT department showed an enormous amount of trust in me and gave me a project that was crucial for the packaging department. Also, the experience I obtained was amazing. I felt that I learned more about programming at Nutrilite as an intern than I did in college.
Lisa: I enjoyed helping strengthen a triple-bottom-line program that will affect countries around the world, learning how cross-functional departments collaborate, learning about how to effect positive change in a large corporation, the opportunity to visit our organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington and the reverse career fair.
Do you have any advice for current or future interns about the job search as a new grad?
Dave: Make sure you find a location that gives you all of the opportunities you need to develop a strong resume. Even if you find that is not going to be the company for you, make sure you are developing your skill set to the fullest.
Lauren: Make as many contacts as possible, and keep in contact with them – don’t let them forget you. Show that you enjoy the company and you want to be there. People throughout the company really do want to get to know you. I learned during my internship that personal relationships mean a lot at this company.
Heather: If the opportunity is available to you, try internships with other industries, company sizes, public vs. private, etc. I was fortunate enough to be able to do so with 2 other companies prior to landing my Amway internship, and it was SO valuable to be able to compare my experiences between the various places.
Hongjinn: Make time for 1-on-1s with people outside of your department. Positive feedback from someone in a different group to your mentor or manager can make a big impact. Outside of Amway, work hard to drive results so you have a lot to put down on your resume.
Lisa: Approach your internship as if it had no boundaries– fearlessly but respectfully contacting other departments and uplines, trying to grasp the big picture and demonstrating that you will be able to navigate the corporation’s network effectively to add future value. Also, always send thank-you’s to people that took the time to speak or meet with you. Regarding the job search, “it’s all about networking”. That can sound intimidating, but if you know a business or industry in which you want to work, the best way to acquire a job (especially in today’s job climate) is to find contacts in those organizations.
Samson: When I first started I was surprised of the level of passion that I saw from employees. When talking about projects, you can see that individuals really want the absolute best for their department and for Nutrilite/Amway. If you care about the level of work and show pride, then working here becomes much more enjoyable and you see the best come out of you. Also, try and take advantage of all you can. The people within your department have 15-20 years experience and their knowledge is unmatched.
There you have it! Inside knowledge and advice from former Amway interns who are now full-time employees.