Northwood University graduate and Richard Devos Graduate School of Management student Elisse Richardson completed the first part of a rigorous internship – 12 weeks this summer with one massive week in Las Vegas to follow this fall with the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. Elisse spent the summer in San Antonio, TX working in the Sales and Marketing Department at Alliance Headquarters. The paid internship also included a travel stipend, as well as accommodations in an extended stay hotel near the office to ease her commute. As part of an accelerated degree program, Richardson just completed her Bachelors of Business Administration in Automotive Aftermarket Management.
As part of her internship, Richardson helped with projects including ongoing promotions and sweepstakes and various marketing responsibilities. She was immediately put to work upon arriving in San Antonio.
In May, she led the Alliance sales team by managing a booth at the Christian Brothers Automotive Annual Convention in San Antonio. She learned the dynamics of partnering with a National Service Retail chain and the demands of their independent franchisee owners.
During the Alliance’s Summer Shareholder Meeting in June, Elisse was not only assisting off camera, but was featured on camera during John R. Washbish’s “Thank You Notes” segment where she accompanied him by playing her cello as he thanked viewers, channel partners and industry friends for tuning into the three nights of primetime live broadcasts.
As part of the meeting, Elisse was also featured during a segment highlighting Northwood University Alumna. The segment included the Alliance’s own Field Sales Representative Kendall Schaus and the Director of Communications and Engagement, Nikki Paschall as fellow Northwood graduates. Washbish, an alumni himself, interviewed the ladies about their roles in the aftermarket and the high caliber of employee that Northwood produces.
While Richardson’s internship was located in San Antonio, much of her duties required extensive travel during her short summer tenure.
Later in June, Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper hosted 100 grand-prize winners in Orlando, FL, during the Bringing Back the Magic Sweepstakes Trip. Richardson was onsite to assist in the coordination of the weeklong event ensuring guests had the experience of a lifetime.
In July, Elisse travelled to Dearborn, MI, to help host the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Technician of the Year Finalist program. The program, sponsored by DRiV and Garage Gurus, gave Elisse an opportunity to interact with 11 of America’s top technicians as well as members of DRiV’s marketing team and managers of the Garage Gurus program.
Richardson’s summer experience will prove crucial when the second phase of her internship begins in November, the Alliance says. She has been tasked with managing over 20 students from Northwood University during the Alliance’s upcoming Aftermarket Jackpot Convention in Las Vegas. Along with her cadre of Northwood Interns, Richardson will be tasked with the onsite registration of over 3,000 aftermarket professionals for the Jackpot Convention and AAPEX show.
“Elisse was a valuable addition to our sales and marketing team over the summer,” says Kendall Schaus, field sales representative for the Alliance and Elisse’s manager for the summer. “Internships offer a wonderful opportunity to experience situational leadership and hands-on problem solving. Elisse was able to participate in a variety of events this summer – all leading up to our Jackpot Convention this fall! We’re excited to welcome Elisse back in November with additional Northwood University student interns to assist us during Convention.”
“There’s nothing I love more than applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations,” adds Elisse. “Northwood does a great job of preparing us for the workplace, but being able to complete summer internships and see my education working firsthand is important. Thank you to the Alliance for the best summer ever. Thank you for investing in tomorrow’s leaders and providing such an incredible opportunity, I learned so much.”
Elisse will begin her Masters of Business Administration at Northwood University in the fall of 2022. For more information on Northwood University, visit www.northwood.edu.