A Summer In Promotional Products: My Top 2 Takeaways

For many years when people asked me what my mom did for a living, I would simply reply “she sells pens” because I honestly didn’t quite understand what she actually did. All I knew is that we had enough Image Builders pens, pencils, and highlighters in our household to supply an entire college campus.

As I got older I started to understand promotional products better, but I still didn’t fully understand a day in the life until I started working as an intern this summer for Image Builders. Having never worked in a business environment before, I have learned a lot in my short time here. I couldn’t possibly fit all of my experiences into one blog post, but I am going to sum it up by providing my two most important takeaways.

Promotional Products Are Underrated

In my entry level business classes, we learned all about the most common ways to market a product or business. It very much surprised me how little my classes discussed promotional products. How could something so cost friendly yet so effective be overlooked? Radio and TV ads effectively reach a mass audience, but when they only last 30-60 seconds, are we going to remember the ads we saw or heard? Is it really worth the money spent? Just one promotional bag makes about 5,938 impressions. Imagine having 1,000 branded bags. That’s a lot of impressions with no risk of creating something as cringeworthy as this.

The Classroom Is Not A Substitute For Real Life

There are so many different moving parts that I learned about and witnessed this summer that school cannot prepare you for. Some skills and responsibilities just can’t be learned in a classroom, whether it’s learning how to use different e-commerce programs or communicating with customers effectively. When mistakes are made you don’t just get docked a few points, it has a direct effect on customers, co-workers, and yourself. For many tasks and responsibilities, there are no “participation grades” or “late turn-ins”. If you don’t communicate with someone about something or check over your work correctly, you’ll probably just look like an idiot.
Overall, I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to work at Image Builders this summer, and will carry all of the valuable lessons I learned into my future exploits.

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