Aerospace Engineering Internship Story: Altria

 man with computer

Dremere Woods
Aerospace Engineering

This summer I had the opportunity to intern here in our very own Auburn, Alabama area for Altria who are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia! I was able to find and apply for this position virtually using my favorite platform Handshake! The application process was very similar to other opportunities where you would fill out information about yourself online. If they move forward with your application, then you will undergo a series of interviews online to ensure you are a good fit for the position, followed by an in-person interview where you answer scenario-based sales questions. My internship experiences this summer was vastly different from roles in the past because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and gather more business-related skills instead of undergoing the typical engineering roles in my previous 4 internship/CO-OP opportunities. I was able to work as a Sales Manager overseeing 30+ accounts and fill in the assortment gaps for our discount MST products by first selling products to our retailers. Once this was accomplished, I devised an action plan through various data points and collaborated with said retailers to improve our visibility, inventory, and pricing of our products within the stores to deliver a better experience for the customers and boost sales. This large business assignment really expanded my horizons and was the core of my 10-week summer rotation. I was able to use my intellect, creativity, and personality to not only complete sales, but beyond the scope of the project to think of ways to grow the business while establishing relationships with everyone across the organization! This internship assisted me with my career after Auburn because I am now equipped with the skill set of being an engineer coupled with my sales experience to really help me become a more well-rounded candidate for future employment. My previous internship experiences assisted me because I was given a different perspective, and this allowed me to understand the full process of a product’s lifecycle. To clarify, in my previous engineering roles, I was able to see the front-end process where the products were created, assembled, and shipped to our customers. During my experience this summer, I was finally able to witness the back end of the process where we implement selling and marketing strategies to ensure that our products are sold to our customers. Utilizing my technical background to support this new knowledge was astounding and not only allowed me to deliver the best experience to our retailers, but it also provided a link between engineering and sales for me to truly understand the entire product lifecycle. This point I believe was the biggest takeaway from my entire internship experience and none of this would have been possible without the soft skills I developed through my previous internships alongside my excellent instructors at Auburn teaching me how to use various applications such as Microsoft Excel and PowerBI. For anyone who may be searching for opportunities like mine, my advice would be to be eager to learn as much as you can and don’t be afraid of failure! Before I received this internship, I submitted 70+ applications on Handshake alone. So just because one corporation says no or may not have been a good fit, does not mean there is not a different opportunity out there for you!