We’re excited to introduce ALKU’s Durham Training Center Managers – Sales Manager Caree Pitts and Recruiting Manager Zerinee Depina! We asked them a few questions about their experience with ALKU, what they love most about their jobs, and all about the Durham Training Center. Check it out below!
When did you start your ALKU career?
Caree: June 6th, 2018
Zerinee: July 12th, 2021
What was your first full-time role at ALKU?
Caree: Recruiter for Peoplesoft, Oracle Cloud, Kronos
Zerinee: Medical Device Regulatory & Scientific Recruiter
What drove you to your current position?
Caree: We had a drafted Intern in our group one summer, and being able to work with him and other new additions made me realize I really liked helping others understand our process and learning what I wish I knew when I started sales. Being a first-generation student myself, I loved the idea of being able to mentor college kids into a different career path that you don’t typically learn about in University.
Zerinee: I really wanted a role where I could show my passion for recruiting while also working with college students, in hopes of developing them into young professionals. The Training Center felt like the perfect place for me. I love the opportunity to be a leader, and I also love ensuring that the Interns enjoy coming to work every day.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Caree: 100% the kids. Seeing them grow skills and confidence within the job so quickly is very rewarding. So often during a one-on-one, an Intern will ask, “What else can I do to deserve a full-time offer?” and hearing them advocate for themselves and know that ALKU is their future is such a great feeling!
Zerinee: Even though we are on our own little island, I love the family vibe that we have up here. My favorite thing about this job is seeing how much the Interns have grown from their first day to now. I love teaching them and getting to know them, and we are always having fun no matter what we are doing up here.
What is the atmosphere like at the Training Center?
Caree: B-U-Z-Z-I-N-G! We like to keep the Training Centers just as energetic as the Andover office to give Interns a real full-time experience. We are always playing music, running mini-contests, celebrating wins, etc. We have a constant flow of full-time ALKU employees who come and visit to give Interns exposure to other employee stories. Our favorite days are Pizza Fridays!
Zerinee: We certainly embody the Have Fun Working Hard® culture! The Interns truly enjoy coming to work every day, and they make it known they love being here. The atmosphere is full of young adults who want to be successful, and I love seeing them learn from each other while they transform into young Recruiters and Account Managers.
How does ALKU’s Have Fun Working Hard® culture display throughout the Training Center?
Caree: My favorite thing to hear from an Intern after their first week is how much they love the environment and culture here at the Training Center. We try to display the same culture as the main offices by keeping the Interns motivated through goal-setting, mini-contests, and cross-training center competitions! We also have tools that they love to use to keep each other motivated and see who the best in the Training Center for the week can be. The Interns really form close connections with one another through helping each other and hanging out in the office… when they aren’t on the phones, of course!
Zerinee: When the Interns are not on the phone, they’re laughing and getting to know each other. A lot of new friendships form here in the Training Center, and students always find themselves in friendly competitions to make the most commission. The Interns understand there is a job to get done, but they always make sure we smile along the way.
What can an ALKU Intern expect to learn and experience throughout their internship?
Caree: An ALKU Intern can expect to learn a lot about sales and staffing, but also a lot of great interpersonal business skills. A lot of Interns will tell us how much more confident the internship has made them in not only themselves but also in business classes or presentations.
Zerinee: An Intern can learn how to run a book of business. This internship is special because we give Interns a lot of responsibility and trust to do the job the same way a full-time employee does. They can expect to learn more about technology, sales, and communication, and they will become experts in handling objections. They will experience a true cold-calling job and gain strength on the phones.
What is one piece of advice you would give an individual looking to pursue an internship at ALKU?
Caree: For every potential Intern candidate I interview, I tell them that the best candidates for this job are the ones who are comfortable being uncomfortable. We don’t expect Interns to have sales experience coming in. It’s a lot to learn, and it’s a grind, but if you trust our process and your mentor, you’re golden. Understandably, every Intern comes in wanting to be the best on day one, and it’s the ones who push themselves outside their comfort to try new things and get better at the job every day that stand out.
Zerinee: I would tell the Intern to be a sponge and not be afraid to fail. In this job, Interns are constantly learning new things, and sometimes those things may not make sense at first. It’s important to absorb what you learn from Training Center Managers and other ALKU employees and apply it in your day-to-day. I constantly remind Interns that I have been in their shoes, and I know it is not always easy. On the other hand, I constantly tell Interns not to be afraid to fail. In this job, people will not always give you what you need the first time, but by asking for help and applying it, you will be amazed at how successful you can be.
Interested in starting your career at ALKU through our Internship Program? Browse our available internships and submit your application today!