MBS Students Win Internship Prize

Anna Toman and Zachary Beaton, seniors in the Maine Business School, took their summer internship by storm. The Management and Sales Interns at Sherwin-Williams took home first prize during the company’s summer intern presentation competition. The annual event was held at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Six groups of summer interns across the Eastern Division of Sherwin-Williams were tasked with completing a case study project. These topics cover an issue that the company is currently facing. Each team works to find solutions to these problems and present their findings near the end of their internship. 

“Our presentation focused on Sherwin-Williams recruitment strategy, focusing on hybrid recruiting methods,” Zachary says. “Our amazing district manager, Leif Kerkela, chose this topic. This issue directly affects our district. Many Maine Sherwin-Williams stores are short-staffed.”

Zachary and Anna researched their topic by meeting with district managers and division recruiters. They conducted surveys for managers throughout Maine. “We researched Sherwin-Williams and its competitors to determine the best way to help the company effectively and efficiently hire employers,” Anna says. 

Zachary and Anna found that hybrid recruiting, a mix of virtual and in-person recruiting, is on the rise. “Sherwin-Williams has quite the recruitment process,” Zachary says. “We were able to dive into each step of the process, determining key strengths, weaknesses, and windows of opportunity for improvement.” They found that many store managers weren’t prepared to conduct personable, connection-based interviews. They also thought the company career page was outdated. 

The student interns proposed new manager interview training to ensure managers on all levels felt prepared to interview and hire employees. They also suggested creating an improved, updated, user-friendly career site. They put their findings into a presentation format to share with members of Sherwin-Williams and their fellow interns from New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. 

Each intern team’s presentations were graded on various criteria, including content, presentation format, quality of presentation, etc. The panel of judges decides one winner. Zachary and Anna came in first place, and each received $1,000.

“Being able to use the business skills I learned in the Maine Business School to put this presentation together was incredible,” Anna says. “It was an honor to meet and present to company leaders. With that being said, it was also intimidating yet extremely rewarding. I gained much more confidence in my public speaking abilities and myself as a woman in business.” 

“The presentation experience was so exciting,” Zachary says. “This internship has allowed me to incorporate many of my studies and skills into a true business setting. And it has expanded my network extensively. The presentation competition was an excellent way to practice public speaking in a business setting. It allowed Anna and I to practice presenting solutions to a real business problem that companies worldwide are experiencing.”