Software & Technology Sales

Elliot Bakker
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Elliot Bakker sharpened his communication and interpersonal skills as an intern at AMD.

How did you get your internship? 

My apprenticeship with AMD was secured through a multi-step process that began with a LinkedIn search. After researching AMD's initiatives and culture, I adjusted my resume to meet their specifications. I reached out to key personnel and attached my resume, expressing my interest. This proactive networking strategy resulted in an initial phone screening in which I discussed my experiences and motivation. The subsequent phase consisted of a technical interview in which I addressed real-world challenges pertinent to the position. Subsequently, I participated in a series of on-site or virtual interviews with various team members to assess my compatibility with the organization. After a thorough evaluation, I received an offer letter that reflected my commitment to the internship and demonstrated my compatibility with AMD's aims and values. 

Why did you choose this internship? 

I chose the internship in sales at AMD for a number of compelling factors. I've always been intrigued by cutting-edge technology and AMD's position in the semiconductor industry. I was thrilled by the opportunity to work for a company that is stretching the boundaries of innovation. In addition, I recognize the importance of sales to the success of any technology company. Attractive to me was the opportunity to learn firsthand the strategies and tactics involved in selling complex technological solutions. In addition, AMD's reputation for nurturing a collaborative and dynamic work environment appealed to my preference for teamwork and ongoing education. I was impressed by the company's dedication to employee growth and development, which aligns with my personal and professional goals. Lastly, I believe an apprenticeship in sales at AMD would provide me with a unique perspective on the intersection of technology, business, and customer relationships, which is invaluable in today's tech-driven environment. This apprenticeship was ideal for me because of AMD's technological prowess, emphasis on personal development, and opportunity to contribute to its sales efforts. 

What skills did you develop in your internship? 

During my sales internship at AMD, I honed my communication and interpersonal skills through interactions with clients and coworkers while gaining a comprehensive comprehension of their products and technology. Enhancing my negotiation and problem-solving skills, I learned to effectively communicate complex information and address customer concerns. As I devised sales strategies and collaborated with cross-functional teams, the experience enhanced my strategic thinking and market analysis skills. These skills, along with my knowledge of technology sales, are highly transferable and will serve me well in future positions and industries. Overall, the apprenticeship added a valuable combination of technical knowledge and adaptable skills to my professional toolkit. 

What did you find challenging about your internship?

The most difficult aspect of my apprenticeship at AMD was navigating the complexities of managing and aligning client expectations with the capabilities of our products. It required a delicate balance between highlighting the benefits of our solutions and being honest about their limitations. This obstacle taught me the significance of candor and openness in client relationships. This experience taught me that establishing trust is crucial in sales. It may be alluring to overpromise or oversell a product, but it is essential to set reasonable expectations. Clients value honesty, which ultimately paves the way for trust-based, long-term partnerships. This difficulty also emphasized the importance of effective communication. I was required to acquire the art of conveying technical information to clients in a manner that resonated with them without overwhelming them. This skill enhanced not only my sales presentation but also my overall communication skills. Essentially, this challenging aspect of my internship taught me the significance of integrity, transparent communication, and audience-specific information delivery. This is a lesson that I will retain with me throughout my career in order to develop strong and enduring professional relationships. 

What is the impact of your internship experience? 

My apprenticeship at AMD had a substantial impact on both my personal and professional development. It has equipped me professionally with a thorough comprehension of technology sales, a skill set that is in high demand in today's competitive job market. I have gained practical experience in client interaction, negotiation, and strategic planning, all of which are essential in sales and beyond. In addition, exposure to AMD's innovative products and their practical implementations has broadened my understanding of the semiconductor industry. This knowledge goes beyond sales and provides a broader context for comprehending the entire technology landscape. 

On a personal level, the apprenticeship has increased my confidence in my ability to handle challenging situations and communicate complex ideas effectively. The role's collaborative nature has enhanced my collaboration and adaptability, making me a more well-rounded professional. In addition, the lessons I've learned about integrity, transparent communication, and the significance of client relationships have had an enduring effect on my work ethic. Overall, my apprenticeship at AMD was a transformative experience that significantly influenced my career trajectory and personal growth. 

How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

My internship at AMD has had a significant impact on my future goals and aspirations. It solidified my interest in the intersection of technology and business, especially in terms of sales and consumer relations. The exposure to cutting-edge products and the dynamic nature of the tech environment demonstrated the potential for significant contributions to this discipline. In addition to clarifying my career objectives, this experience inspired me to pursue a path that involves leveraging technology to fuel business growth. It emphasized the importance of continuous learning and remaining abreast of industry trends in order to remain competitive and relevant. In addition, the collaborative nature of the internship has increased my appreciation for teamwork and motivated me to pursue roles involving cross-functional collaboration and problem-solving. 

What advice do you have for other students as they search for and begin their internship? 

My recommendation for students seeking an internship is to conduct extensive research to identify companies and positions that align with their career goals. Personalizing your applications, such as your resume and cover letter, to emphasize your relevant skills and experiences can significantly increase your chances of standing out. Platforms such as LinkedIn enable you to communicate with professionals in your desired field, which can lead to insightful conversations and even referrals. Preparation is essential when it comes to interviews. Conduct extensive research on the company, familiarize yourself with their services or products, and practice answering common interview queries. During interviews, demonstrate genuine interest in both the position and the organization. Passion can leave a lasting impression on interviewers, so let it radiate. 

Remember that your internship is a valuable learning opportunity once you obtain it. Each day should be approached with an open mind and a willingness to accept new challenges. Seek out opportunities to learn and develop, whether by asking inquiries, volunteering for tasks, or requesting performance feedback. Developing relationships within the organization can also enhance your experience; connect with coworkers from various departments to obtain a broader understanding of the business. Make time for reflection as your internship advances. Consider the knowledge, abilities, and experiences you have gained. This reflection will not only help you articulate the impact of your internship in future interviews, but it will also enhance your understanding of your personal and professional development. Remember that internships offer a unique opportunity to learn, develop skills, create relationships, and discover your own strengths in addition to enhancing your resume. If you approach this voyage with a willingness to learn and adapt, you will discover that it is a crucial stepping stone to your future career success.