My Internship Experience
Author: Ian Bennett - Sales Engineer Intern
“Good chemistry, applied consistently, with diligent monitoring, is far better than great chemistry that doesn’t go in”. – Pat Smith
You learn a lot about a company, and an industry, working in a year long internship. The above quote was told to me by Klenzoid’s Technical Director soon after I started. While he was talking about water treatment chemistry, it applies pretty well to how Klenzoid thinks about a lot of its business.
I first met the General Manager of Klenzoid, Patrick Racine, in February 2016 at a McGill Chemical Engineering networking event when I was a student in my second year. After showing up to the same event again the following year and reconnecting, I was recommended for an interview with Klenzoid’s corporate recruiter, Kayla Brar. That led to me being hired and I started at Klenzoid as their Sales Engineer Intern in May 2017 and worked there for 14 months.
What to Expect
The Klenzoid internship is divided into two parts.
The first, as the title suggests, is doing sales work, including lead generation and general prospecting. This involves learning the selling points of Klenzoid’s business model and general water and energy management knowledge well enough to pitch to potential customers. It also involves developing your own sales style. If you managed to make it through the recruitment phases, this is not going to be a challenge for you. The culture at Klenzoid is reliant on bringing in hard working, enthusiastic, and outgoing engineers – and you’re likely no exception.
The second part of the internship is performing field engineering work alongside Klenzoid’s field representatives. From my second day through until the end of the internship, I spent two or three days each week entering a large variety of facilities in order to perform the various duties of the water treatment trade. This involves performing chemical tests on the water systems, helping to install new pre-treatment equipment, diagnosing and repairing equipment on-site, drawing plant diagrams to understand the flow and use of water throughout the systems, and learning to recognize problems and improvement opportunities that come up within the regular operation of steam and cooling systems.
The Stuff I didn't Expect!
Klenzoid is a company that firmly believes in listening to the voices of its employees, challenging them to think about the scope of work they do, and constantly looking for new ways to be a market leader in the water treatment sector; as the intern you’re no exception. In November each year, every employee of the company flies or drives to Kingston, Ontario, for a massive 3-day brainstorming session called the Blankboard Event. Each employee comes with 5-6 new ideas or improvements for the company, and the best ideas for the year emerge by the end of the conference. Groups of 2-6 people pick their favourite idea to work on for the next two months to build a case study of how the implementation of their choice would drive the most benefit for the company. After a round of presentations, several projects are selected to be accomplished that year.
Klenzoid also believes in supporting the Health & Wellness of their employees through monthly team activities. The company won the 2017 Good Life Fitness Heath & Wellness Leadership Award for their efforts and commitment to their employees.
Events like the Blankboard and the monthly Health & Wellness activities (some of which are pictured above) are some of my favorite memories of being at Klenzoid.
I greatly enjoyed the many days I spent in the field, learning and building relationships with our representatives, as well as my time working with all my colleagues in the office. I wish success to the future interns here, and to Klenzoid as it grows to become the North American industrial water treatment market leader.
Ian Bennett will receive his degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in May 2019. Ian was a Sales Engineer Intern at Klenzoid from May 2017 to July 2018. After his university graduation, he is pursuing his Juris Doctor in law school and looks forward to a fruitful career related to environmental and energy law practice. Ian enjoys baking his own bread in his spare time and has a family banana bread recipe which he will share if you ask him nicely.
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