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How Senior Daniel Herr Landed an Internship with the Northwest’s Leading Outdoor Retail Co-op

BY ALYSON VANCLEAVE, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION INTERN

As a senior Business major with a concentration in Marketing, Daniel Herr is very aware of how imperative it is to have some real-world work experience under his belt before graduating this spring and competing with thousands of other qualified business graduates from around the country for top marketing positions.

Herr decided to chat with his academic advisor, Mark Mulder, last spring for  help in searching for internship opportunities for the summer going into Herr’s senior year.

“[Professor Mulder] really knows me,” Herr said. “He has helped foster my passion for Business and Marketing over the last four years, and he is aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I knew he would be a big help in the process of finding an internship.”

As it turned out, Mulder had a contact at Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) and was able to help Herr set up an informational meeting. Herr had coffee with the contact, who helped him put together a resumé.

“Five weeks later, I found out I had the job,” Herr said.

Over the next three months, Herr worked full-time at the REI headquarters  in Kent, Washington, as part of the Internet marketing team. On an average day, Herr monitored affiliate marketing requests, performed Search Engine Optimization using Google Analytics and updated REI banners on the company’s website.

On a few not-so-average days, Herr spent time away from the office. He attended a three-day camping trip and a day trip to Lake Sammamish, where he went paddleboarding with his coworkers.

“[REI] demonstrated a really cool work/life balance,” Herr said. “I am extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to work in that kind of atmosphere.”

When asked about what insights he gained from his internship, Herr emphasized the importance of having real-world experience.

“Experience is critical for employers,” Herr said. “When I interviewed for my internship, they never once asked about my GPA. What they cared about was how I could take the concepts that I learned in the classroom and apply them to help their company succeed.”

Lake Sammamish, where Daniel and coworkers took a day trip to go paddleboarding and kayaking.

For that reason, Herr applauded his advisor and former professor for the project experience provided in Mulder’s class.

“We were asked to help with a social-media ad campaign with Living Water,” Herr said. “It was helpful in the interview process to be able to list that as something I had been a part of.”

In regards to students who are currently seeking out internships, Herr offered some advice:

“Be willing to ask questions, be interested in people, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

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Be willing to ask questions, be interested in people, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. 

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