Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Lacrosse Player Cooper Leonard
By Tiffany Jacobs, Florida Tech News Bureau // August 24, 2023
leonard is also an intern for Techtronic Industries
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Florida Tech men’s lacrosse player, Cooper Leonard. This summer, the Cary, N.C. native is gaining meaningful experience at an internship in his desired field. We caught up with Leonard to learn more about the incredible opportunity.
■ What company are you interning for this summer? What was your title and role with the company?
I am interning for Techtronic Industries (TTI), which is the parent corporation for Milwaukee tools, Ryobi tools, and Ridgid tools.
I am a field sales and marketing intern, and my role is to drive product sales, provide product demonstrations to customers, and establish strong merchandising opportunities for the brands.
■ What drew you to this internship?
This internship was recommended to me by my positional coach Ryan Land. Upon doing some further research on the opportunity, I was very intrigued by the overall brand.
Growing up I constantly worked odd jobs with a local contractor, and I grew very fond of power tools through him. My interest in power tools mixed with my interests in sales and marketing made this internship a perfect fit.
■ What are some exciting tasks that you have been able to be a part of?
During my internship I not only had to sell products, I also was tasked with weekly projects. Some of these projects included coming up with my own product idea for Milwaukee Tools, convincing different Home Depot store locations to implement new product merchandising techniques, leading product demonstrations, as well as participating in weekly calls/workshops with the Ryobi and Milwaukee corporate offices.
When coming up with my own product, I came up with the idea for an 18-volt battery-operated shop vacuum complete with Bluetooth stop-and-start features. The Bluetooth compatibility would not only be with the user’s phone and smart watch, but also with other tools.
For example, if I am operating a sander, I could start the shop vacuum at the same time in order to minimize debris and cleanup time. For this idea, I had to perform a presentation for TTI corporate members. The presentation included the products, different potential product promotions, signage, and product marketing opportunities.
■ How is your internship preparing you for a career you would like to do after graduation?
It was very beneficial to be out of my initial comfort zone and sell with a different client base than I had before. Working primarily with 2 drastically different target markets in contractors and DIY homeowners, prepared me for differentiating a product market.
■ What is your major at Florida Tech? Why did you choose this direction for your education and is this something you always wanted to pursue?
I am a Marketing major at the Bisk College of Business. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated with commercial advertising, as well as brand marketing techniques. In fact, I used to be able to quote commercials line for line.
I am interested in marketing because I love sharing products I like and spreading brand awareness by recommendation. I would love to do that at a mass corporate level in any way that I can.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for the work you are currently doing? What traits did you take away from the playing field that are helping you throughout your internship?
The role that this internship was preparing me for is very fast-paced. I had to juggle many different tasks at once on an individual level, on a sales team level, and at a corporate level at the same time, so time management was crucial. Interpersonal skills are also pivotal in becoming successful in this role.
Being a team player has taught me how to communicate efficiently when working within a sales team, as well as given me the interpersonal skills to communicate efficiently with customers and store managers.
Lastly, my strong work ethic helped immensely in ensuring that I was continuing to grow within the role and constantly striving to rise within the company.
■ What skills did you acquire at the internship that you plan to bring back to help lead the men’s lacrosse team?
I plan on using the communication skills that I gained from this internship to become an effective leader on the team. As an upperclassman, it is important that I am able to display strong communication within the team in order to help the underclassmen find their voice.
■ What advice would you give another athlete/prospective athlete who is looking to pursue the path you’ve taken?
The advice that I would give other prospective athletes looking to pursue this path is to get comfortable learning how to effectively communicate products.
Techtronic Industries is constantly introducing new products, and over the course of my internship, it was important to learn the new product in an efficient manner in order to be able to communicate it to a potential customer.
In the business world and the world of sports, communication is the number one priority, so in order to grow as an athlete and businessman, interpersonal skills are mandatory.
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