From passion to a profession, senior Zach Levy landed his dream internship and mixed his love for cycling and maple syrup with his career goals. As a Business major with a concentration in marketing, Zach started to look for internships his junior year, and he soon learned that sometimes all you have to do is ask to get the opportunities you want.
After co-founding the JSC Cycling Club, Zach established a relationship with one of the club’s sponsors, Untapped, a small business based in Richmond, Vermont, that produces maple syrup as a natural fuel to energize athletes. With a quick email to the owner, a professional cyclist, Zach found himself at a lunch interview discussing the needs of Untapped and his skill set. From there, Zach started working as a paid marketing intern and gained real-world experiences in the office and on the road. “I’m able to do a lot of real work, which is a huge value of this internship. Untapped is such a small business, and at times things are very busy, so I’m able to fill in the gaps to really get things done,” said Zach.
His main duties include building the Untapped brand online by creating content such as blog posts about events and athlete profiles. Zach also travels to many cycling races, where he masters the art of a sales pitch to potential buyers and partners. “You just refine a pitch naturally, you take bits from what other people say and add that to your own and eventually come up with something,” said Zach. As part of his internship, Zach had the opportunity to fly to Monterey, California, for the Sea Otter Classic, the largest bike industry expo in the United States. “Everyone from the industry was there,” said Zach.
At the expo, Zach ran the Untapped booth and interacted with customers and shop owners. “I was giving people free maple syrup packets and getting people excited about the product and the brand. It was a lot of outreach with the hope that people would then go buy our product,” said Zach. Back in the office and creating content to promote Untapped, Zach learned to use modern tools that are key in the current marketing industry. He was exposed to Google Analytics, search engine optimization and other web marketing tools.
These concepts are also reappearing in his education at JSC in his web design class. At JSC, Zach has excelled in his business classes including market research, advertising and principals of sales. “My classes with Rich March were so useful going into this internship. He’s still working actively in business, and he does a lot of market research, plus he brings his current experience into the classroom,” said Zach.
Zach’s internship, which initially was going to last one semester but has almost lasted a year, has led him to discover what he wants to do after graduation. “I’d like to do marketing and PR in some way with outdoors products like cycling and hiking. The guys I worked with really exposed me to the industry,” said Zach.
Attracted to JSC in large part because of the stunning view of Sterling Ridge from campus and the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in the area, Zach’s passion for the outdoors continues to grow. “I want to work in this industry because it’s something I really enjoy, and Johnson gave me a strong baseline in business that I needed to break into this internship and industry,” said Zach.