The Internship Show

Echo Global Logistics

October 20, 2020 Scholars, Inc.
The Internship Show
Echo Global Logistics
Chapters
The Internship Show
Echo Global Logistics
Oct 20, 2020
Scholars, Inc.

On this episode of The Internship Show, we speak with Stephanie Wezelman from Echo Global Logistics. Stephanie is the University Recruiting Manager at Echo Global Logistics, where she works to recruit and retain top talent in the early career and internship space. If she is not traveling nationwide to college campuses to meet with students and career centers, you will find her creating innovative programming and leading Echo's successful summer Internship Program, which spans across 9 departments and 5 office locations. Company culture is the most important thing to Stephanie, and she loves being able to share Echo's incredible culture with students and bring them on board to start their careers.

She gave us the structure of their internship program, how a student can differentiate themselves when applying to their jobs and the overall goal of their program.

This episode was brought to you by Scholars. Scholars amplifies top employer brands to an audience of diverse students from across the country through curated podcasts, blogs, newsletters and more. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify
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Listen to past episodes here!

Want to be a guest on the show? Click here to contact Parker about why you should be featured on The Internship Show!

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of The Internship Show, we speak with Stephanie Wezelman from Echo Global Logistics. Stephanie is the University Recruiting Manager at Echo Global Logistics, where she works to recruit and retain top talent in the early career and internship space. If she is not traveling nationwide to college campuses to meet with students and career centers, you will find her creating innovative programming and leading Echo's successful summer Internship Program, which spans across 9 departments and 5 office locations. Company culture is the most important thing to Stephanie, and she loves being able to share Echo's incredible culture with students and bring them on board to start their careers.

She gave us the structure of their internship program, how a student can differentiate themselves when applying to their jobs and the overall goal of their program.

This episode was brought to you by Scholars. Scholars amplifies top employer brands to an audience of diverse students from across the country through curated podcasts, blogs, newsletters and more. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify
Subscribe on Google Podcasts
Listen to past episodes here!

Want to be a guest on the show? Click here to contact Parker about why you should be featured on The Internship Show!

Parker Pell:

Welcome to The Internship Show where each week we explore the ins and outs of early talent programs at companies of all sizes across the globe. Early talent fuels businesses from startups to the Fortune 500. We’re here to provide the information you need to stay informed on all of the amazing opportunities that exist. I’m Parker Pell, and this week I spoke with Stephanie Wezelman from Echo Global Logistics.

Parker Pell:

Stephanie is the university recruiting manager at Echo Global Logistics, where she works to recruit and retain top talent in the early career and internship space. If she’s not traveling nationwide to college campuses to meet with students in career centers, you will find her creating innovative programming and leading Echo’s successful summer internship program, which spans across nine departments and five office locations.

Parker Pell:

Company culture is the most important thing to Stephanie, and she loves being able to share Echo’s incredible culture with students and bring them on board to start their careers. Stephanie, thanks so much for joining the show today.

Stephanie Wezelman:

Happy to be here.

Parker Pell:

You’re here to represent Echo Global Logistics. But first, I really want to dive into your background and what is your journey into early talent and university recruiting really been like?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah, so I had kind of an interesting path. I started off actually within advertising. I was doing social media strategy and content creation for the second largest ad agency in Chicago, and we ended up having an internship program. And one of the interns reported to me for the summer and it was something where I saw how the program was run and I saw what the experience was like for these students. And it made me consider changing career paths and going into recruiting.

Stephanie Wezelman:

I have been at Echo for almost three years now, and it’s been very rewarding.

Parker Pell:

That’s so great to hear that you saw the success of the program and mentorship that you were giving and it turned into a passion of yours exactly. It’s really what individuals need to be able to really thrive in early talent is, as I would say, and obviously the landscape is ever changing. And now we’re in an environment where recruitment is predominantly, if not all, virtual. And students are sitting at their rooms, their dorm rooms, and their houses back home.

Parker Pell:

Maybe they’re fortunate enough to be on campus and saying, “All right, what is my game plan as to how I navigate virtual recruitment all together?” Stephanie, I’d love just for your opinions and thoughts from an employer side, from a student side as to what is virtual recruitment going to look like? Is it going to be as successful, and really just kind of open it up to you?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah. This is definitely new to everyone, both on the student side and the recruiter side. But I think that there is a lot of opportunity, and it’s a virtual space, I’d say from a student perspective, it really allows students to get a feel of different companies that might be in a different area or region of the country or another industry other than what they were originally targeting before. It allows them to be more open-minded.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And then from a recruiter and company perspective, I think it really allows a great opportunity to expand recruiting paths, what we normally do. Because traveling’s not involved, we can speak with students literally coast to coast from all across the country and tap into potential markets we might not have been able to do before.

Parker Pell:

Without question, the playing field I don’t think has ever been more level. And now, regardless of where you go to school as a student or who you know, you have the ability to RSVP for events, whether they’re hosted through your university or through any other platform that students, are utilizing to stay engaged obviously with companies.

Parker Pell:

What would you say would be something that a student in a virtual setting can do to really stand out to your team maybe when they’re talking in a first conversation through an event you’re hosting or an interview?

Stephanie Wezelman:

I know it’s so cliche, but I would say be yourself most definitely. You’ll want to be able to verbally showcase your talents and why you want the job or internship you’re applying for. You just will have to get creative in ways to reach out to companies and recruiters. Definitely make sure you’re taking advantage of any virtual opportunity that a company has to offer, whether that’s info sessions or career fairs or office hours. Really anything. It may be kind of awkward on video, but it’s part of the process.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And keep in mind, recruiters have to do it too, right? We’re attending these fairs from our houses, from our rooms. We definitely understand that it’s kind of a new process for everyone. Just be yourself. And if you are a visual person like me, for example, and you’re worried about not being able to see in office in person or meeting the team in person, do research. Google is your best friend. For example, there is a website that’s unrelated to Echo that…

Stephanie Wezelman:

It’s a separate site that showcased our office transformation and shows pictures of our downtown Chicago office. When I’m at a career fair in general, I’ll usually send that link to candidates to be able to see kind of what our office looks like since it’s so cool.

Parker Pell:

That’s so great, and I love your advice as well of using Google. That can be when a student is in an internship and they have a question. Always Google it first. You never know what’s going to pop up.

Stephanie Wezelman:

Absolutely.

Parker Pell:

That will set you apart from other individuals I believe that just ask the first question that pops into their mind without trying to do any research. And then I think you hit the nail on the head as well of students are obviously curious as to when this virtual environment is said and done. I’ve decided on an opportunity. What does the workplace culture and setting really look like? And it’s great to be able to see that they can do research as well, as well as I don’t think there’s an issue with students asking.

Parker Pell:

Like, “Hey, what does it look like when people are actually in the office? I know we’re in a virtual setting, but what is your opinion on like what the office is like and the best parts about it,” for them to at least kind of get a taste from an employee like yourself, Stephanie, as well.

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah. Company culture is everything to Echo and to me. It’s part of the reason why I was so attracted to working at Echo in the first place. But I’d have to say, number one thing that I tell all students is it’s definitely the people. I know that a lot of companies will say that. But time and time again, it’s so true. It’s my favorite part of our company culture. I feel like anyone at any level can come in and feel comfortable going to a manager or a director or a VP or someone in our C-suite.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And someone’s always willing to help answer questions, and it’s an open door policy across the board though. We very much are a work hard, play hard, work hard and hustle culture. We have set values that we follow. They’re literally up on our walls across our office. I like describing that to students when I’m on campus or virtually just to kind of give them a feel of… Definitely it’s not just you go into work and you’ll leave. You come out with friendships and relationships.

Stephanie Wezelman:

You get to go to happy hours. We have summer sports leagues. We have different events to get people engaged. We have a payday volunteering. It’s just a very inclusive culture.

Parker Pell:

That’s so great to hear, and you’re obviously here to represent Echo Global Logistics. Could you give an overview of who is Echo Global Logistics?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah, sure. We are a third-party logistics company. We essentially work as the middleman to help to connect clients with carriers to help move their freight. We don’t own any trucks. We don’t really plan to own any trucks at any point really, but we simply work as the middleman to help connect the two opportunities together. We don’t own any inventory, but we actually for the fourth time in a row, for the fourth year in a row, we are actually ranked the number one third party logistics company nationwide, which we’re very proud of.

Parker Pell:

That’s so great to hear. What does that structure of your internship program at Echo Global Logistics look like?

Stephanie Wezelman:

We have internships in a variety of different departments. Our largest program is within sales. As I mentioned before, we have the client sales side, which is working with our clients, and then we have the carrier sales side, which is working with our transportation providers to help connect them through our proprietary technology, to our client opportunities. Really both sides of the business are different sales, but both have insight into sales and what it takes to be successful there.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And then we also offer account management, marketing, supply chain, software engineering, finance, accounting, data analytics, et cetera. We have a lot of really great opportunities for students across all different departments, all different majors. The program itself is nine or 10 weeks long, depending on your location, and we have interns located in our Chicago headquarters, as well as a bunch of our branch offices.

Stephanie Wezelman:

So that includes Dallas, Detroit, Sacramento, Scottsdale, Nashville, Kansas City, and Atlanta, just to name a few. And process flow wise, it’s two weeks of classroom style training. We have an amazing sales training team that really gets you on the ground and going. And then once you’re done with those two weeks, you are on the floor sitting with your team. It’s completely open space. In a normal non-COVID world, you are actually sitting with the team.

Stephanie Wezelman:

It’s all open space, as I mentioned, and you have your mentors and other interns sitting right next to you. We do have a mentor program. It’s usually a one-to-one ratio or one-to-two ratio where you get to work with people that are absolute rock stars at Echo that are the best and brightest to be learning from about how to do your role. And then you’re getting real on the job experience. You’re actually helping to grow the business.

Stephanie Wezelman:

From the sales side, you’re actually locking in deals and building a book of business from the ground up. From our other departments, you’re working on a summer long project that you get to present to senior leadership at the end.

Stephanie Wezelman:

It’s really giving you insight into our leadership team and to what decisions are being made as well. And then on the fun end of things, we do lunch and learns. We do field trips. We have different outings. Last year, we did a farmer’s market outing. The group as a whole got to go and do a spin class. We did a picnic in the park. We got to go to a Cubs game here in Chicago, as well as a volunteer day. Lots of things that are just outside of the normal day-to-day of your role as well.

Stephanie Wezelman:

We also have a shadow program. It allows you to come in and shadow others in different departments across Echo, which we feel like sets you up to be a more well-rounded individual if you’re able to know how different departments work. And then you also will have check-ins with me, both from an HR perspective throughout the summer, and then also one-on-one weekly meetings with your mentors so you always know where you stand.

Parker Pell:

Such a structure to your overall program. I can only imagine how many students, especially that are looking to go into sales and get sales experience, are obviously reaching out to your team and applying and sitting here listening and thinking about, “Man, how do I really kind of differentiate myself?” Would you have any tips or advice as to how a student can differentiate themself when applying to your open positions?

Stephanie Wezelman:

For sure. We actually don’t require much past experience. Obviously, if you have interest or you have past experience, it’s a plus, but really we just require interest in the department and willingness to learn and grow during your time at Echo. If you don’t have past experience, we look for involvement opportunities within campus or at home over the summer, for example.

Stephanie Wezelman:

Whether that’s sports teams or if you’re involved with a sorority or fraternity or a job on campus or a job at home or different student orgs, all of those express to us that you are involved in leadership opportunities and opportunities to work with others in different capacities, which is really important at Echo. And I also think it’s really important, I like to use the term politely pushy. I think it’s completely okay to differentiate yourself and stand out from the rest of your peers.

Stephanie Wezelman:

So that means reaching out to the recruiter of the job posting on LinkedIn, do your research on the company, express interest. I would say nine times out of 10, if I have a student reach out to me on LinkedIn or another platform, or they took the time to find my email and do that research and express their interest, I will set up an interview with them, because it just shows that you are a go-getter and willing to work for what you want. I would say that’s probably what you can do to differentiate yourself from other students.

Parker Pell:

Definitely. And at the end of the day, in my opinion, people like yourself and recruiters at companies and hiring managers, they are in fact people, and people want to help people that are reaching out and being proactive and having kind of a purpose obviously for the reach out and understanding as well. There’s so much that students can do and behind the scenes even in their internship or job new grad search process to set themselves up for success down the line.

Parker Pell:

And we’re sitting here and with such a structured program, Stephanie, are there certain things that you and your team are really hoping that a student takes away from your internship program at the end of those nine or 10 weeks and after they’ve completed their summer project?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah. I would say above everything else, it’s being able to come in and build relationships, both at the intern level and mentor level, as well as department level. I really want you to come in and be able to build your network from the ground up. If this is your first internship or your seventh internship, it doesn’t matter. You’re building relationships and that’s really, really the most important thing I think in the business world that you can do.

Stephanie Wezelman:

The second thing I would say is we want you to come out with real-world experience. We’ve had students complete our program and they say that they’ve learned more in the amount of time they spent at Echo than they did in their classrooms with the professors teaching them. Definitely we want you to get a feel of what it’s like to work for a company and be able to get a feel of what it’s like working at a third party logistics company, especially from our end. And besides that, we just want you to have fun.

Parker Pell:

Definitely. And you spoke about how students are going to gain that real-world experience and be able to be mentored by some rock star sales who are going to show them the ropes. Could you speak about and go a little bit more into kind of how mentorship is really a part of your internship program?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah. As I mentioned before, it’s a one-to-one or a one-to-two mentorship. And what we mean by that is you will always have at least one mentor and one manager link to you, and then sometimes it’s more. You’d have your main contact and then you’ll have others within your pod, we like to call it, which is your team who are there to help you throughout the summer. And these people are absolutely the rock stars. They are making a lot of money for the company and for themselves.

Stephanie Wezelman:

It’s kind of crazy how much these people can make some times. They’re able to really share their experiences and their tips and tricks of what makes them successful with our interns, as well as allow them to shadow call blocks and really be able to give you that real-world experience as far as how you can grow. But then they also are another relationship that you can add to your network, as I mentioned, and they help kind of make you prepared for a full-time position if that is the path that is presented at the end.

Parker Pell:

Again and again, we learned and individuals who listened to this show learned that it’s not enough to just get an internship and check a box on your resume that you’ve got one. It’s how you apply that internship and accepting an internship is the first step. The second step is what you learned, and then the third step is what you learned and take away to be able to apply obviously to your career and goals and growth post-internship.

Parker Pell:

So that once you graduate, you’re in a position to take those skills that you’ve learned and really apply them and show employers that they are in fact an asset to the company and is one of the reasons why that student should be hired by a company full-time. And Stephanie, as you’ve run this program and structured it, do you have success stories or anything special about the program that you’ve loved that you would really want to share?

Stephanie Wezelman:

Yeah. I would say this whole summer of 2020, I would say is an overall success story in the sense that Echo, as I’m sure a lot of other companies, had to evaluate our program and really see if we were able to do it within our virtual setting due to COVID. And we were able to take our 10 week in-person 40 hour a week program and reduce it to a six week program. Some interns were there for a full 10 weeks based on their department, but majority were either five or six weeks, and everyone killed it.

Stephanie Wezelman:

To be completely honest, I was so impressed with every single intern that came through our doors this summer, even virtually. They became so close even virtually. They built relationships. They came in ready to work in the hustle, which I think definitely stood out with our leadership team.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And something that really was cool about our program from a sales capacity this summer is we kind of were figuring out, okay, so we can’t have our interns sitting in person with their mentors and their teams to get that mentorship experience and be able to grow a book of business, but what can we do on our end? So we’ll give them that sales experience. I worked with our sales leadership team and our training team and came up with a project for them, but they ended up presenting at the end of the summer.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And what that was is they were able to take a list. We have a list of clients that we had to reactivate for different reasons, one reason or another, and they weren’t using our proprietary software that we call Echo Ship. Our interns were tasked with getting a call list and part of their project was calling on these clients at random to try and reactivate them.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And if they were able to reactivate them in a timely manner, within one to two business days of their call, they actually received a commission on top of their salary for the summer. So that was really cool because they came in ready to make these calls. They weren’t necessarily saying they were interns. They were representatives of Echo. And one intern actually was able to reactivate 13 clients that our sales reps had been trying to reactivate for months.

Stephanie Wezelman:

And that was just a success story to be able to have that recognition as interns in the program, to be able to have that kind of impact on the company as a whole. It really went in volume. Definitely I think that you, as an intern, can come in and make such a difference. And even in a virtual setting, there’s ways to do that.

Parker Pell:

That’s so true and so great to hear that interns and students that are coming in and working at Echo Global Logistics are going to be able to get trained, put into the process and say go and be able to learn on their feet, which, as you mentioned, can be to some students more than they’ve ever learned in a classroom. Stephanie, it’s been so great speaking with you today and so great to hear all the awesome information that you shared about Echo Global Logistics and the company all together.

Parker Pell:

Is there anything, closing remarks that you would want to hit home about Echo Global Logistics as a company or your program?

Stephanie Wezelman:

For anyone who’s interested in our internship program or full-time positions, our jobs will be posted this week actually both on our website career page and on Handshake, and any interested students can reach out directly to me. And we are all in agreement here at Echo that summer 2021 is going to be a great program, and we’re so excited.

Parker Pell:

Stephanie, thanks so much for taking the time today.

Stephanie Wezelman:

Awesome. Thanks, Parker. I appreciate it.

Parker Pell:

It was great speaking with Stephanie from Echo Global Logistics who gave us the structure of their internship program, how a student can differentiate themselves when applying for their open roles, and the overall goal of their internships. To listen to all of our shows and get updates on future ones, check out our website, theinternshipshow.com. If you’re listening to this on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, we’d love for you to leave a rating or review about the show.

Parker Pell:

This episode is brought to you by Scholars. Scholars amplifies top employer brands to audience of diverse students from across the country through curated podcasts, blogs, newsletters, and more. Make sure to tune in next time to The Internship Show and have a great day.