Intern’s spirited networking approach uncaps opportunity
Deanna Cohen learned many valuable lessons in Dublin last summer while interning in event planning and sales. But no experience may have been more important than the time she spent off the clock at a whiskey distillery.
It was a thank you email she sent to owners of a family whiskey business that started a relationship, which led to her helping promote their business in the U.S. nearly a year later.
Deanna, a senior international management major in Clemson’s College of Business, worked for Croke Park Stadium in the Ireland’s capital city, through an internship coordinated by the College of Business Office of Student Enrichment.
As part of their Dublin experience, Deanna and eight other Clemson interns heard guest lecturers from the Irish business community.
“One of those was Stephen Teeling, whose family has distilled Teeling Whiskey in Dublin for generations. He talked about the family’s long history in distilling whiskey and how they wanted to create brand awareness with millennials in the U.S.,” Deanna said. “And, he invited us all to take a tour of the distillery, which we did.”
In an email response to Deanna who thanked him for the tour, Teeling said to contact him if she came upon any opportunities to promote the Teeling brand in the U.S.
“My mother is an event planner in New York and I suggested she might want to organize a tasting event in Manhattan, which she did. I was connected with Teeling’s contact in New York and my mother set up an event that was attended by about 50 people.”
Since then, Deanna has been working with Teeling to organize another event for customers of a large Manhattan bank.
“One thing I did a lot of with the internship at Croke Park Stadium was bring people together, and staying in touch with people I met so that I could leverage those relationships in the future,” Deanna said. “Networking was really important in that job and it carried over to me being connected to the Teeling family.”
Deanna said one of the biggest takeaways from her Dublin experience was connecting the dots on all of her networking contacts.
“I made so many connections with people in multi-national companies and got very organized in how I did it. I created an Excel spreadsheet with all of the people I talked to, what we discussed and their contact information. For someone wanting to pursue an international business career, that information may come in handy someday.”
Deanna views the experience of promoting Teeling Whiskey as an opportunity that is helping a family business and one that could pay future dividends for her.
“The Teelings have a great company and I’ve enjoyed helping move their family’s legacy forward. Down the road, the connections I’ve made through this experience may lead me to another relationship. One of my biggest takeaways from my time in Dublin was to take the initiative to connect with people.”
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