Name: Micah Didion
Title: Business Development and Sales Intern
University: African School of Economics
What inspired you to pursue an internship with Didion?
I wanted to work with an effective team in an industry that I have interest in. But the biggest inspiration would probably be the hard work and sacrifice that my family members have put in to contribute to the success of the Didion team. That inspired me a lot. So, I wanted to be a part of that, to be a part of a culture that values consistency, perseverance, and a go-getter attitude. Putting in work and staying humble. That speaks volumes to me and I know that the Didion team operated in this manner. It’s a professional team, and I’m grateful to be a member.
What is your main focus as a Business Development and Sales Intern?
My main focus is to essentially develop business in the alcohol department. It’s about helping Didion Milling put itself in a position to win. It’s about finding the right long-term partners to work with, develop strategies that will help us continue to grow in the industry and establish a strong foundation.
How does your experience compliment your studies?
Originally, my thesis focused on comparative investment analyses of different countries around the world, based upon the food processing market. Now, I will likely be changing this to focus on the alcohol industry and conducting market research to identify which subindustries would be the best to invest in. I attribute the change to seeing how Didion is entering a new industry and the potential within it. I have held few different internships and even though I learned a lot from all of these places, it is Didion where I have had the best experience. It is here where I have learned the most, and likely gained the most influence on my career goals.
What have you enjoyed the most about your internship with Didion?
I would say three things: The ability of the Didion team to adapt to the tough conditions that surround us, whether that is on-going pandemic, the new markets we have entered, the political discord, our team just keeps it moving and I love that. It shows the character of the people, to continue showing up to work every day and giving an honest effort while simultaneously dealing with all dysfunction of 2020.
Second, the independence. My team leaders trust me to get the job done, and have been gradually giving me more tools to develop this market for us.
Thirdly, and this somewhat echoes my first point, but just the change from fuel ethanol to industrial alcohol. And that’s big props to our Operations team. I witnessed a business make this switch in a very short amount of time, and have GREAT success doing so. I might never see something like this again in my life.
What new trainings/skills have you acquired through your experience?
I developed a lot of new skills, including effective communication and how to solve problems a customer might have. I was also involved in each step of the hand sanitizer production and distribution process at Didion, which was fascinating. Currently, I am working on “turning over rocks” in the alcohol industry. From sales to pricing to the legal regulations in place – I could go on. That’s why Didion internships are so valuable. Interns really are a part of something. A lot of other places, they just give interns some mundane and meticulous task, of which after one week, you really aren’t learning anything new. Here, I find myself doing something new every week. Frankly, that’s going to help me in the development of my career the most, in being exposed to acquiring new skills and trainings. It feels good to be here, I believe in myself more after this experience.
Looking ahead to the future, what are your career goals?
My career goals are to be in international sales/business development. Whether this means leading a new business unit overseas, or just about acquiring new clients in different areas of the world so that a business can diversify its sources of revenues. A career goal isn’t always about finding the perfect profession or performing the business activities you would like to do the most. A career goal can also be simply, just finding the right company for you. A culture that fits you, an industry that you have interest in, a team of good coworkers, or a product line that you believe in.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to play in the NBA. Pretty typical, but I think I figured out by the time I was 7 or 8 that that wasn’t going to happen. It’s all good though, I love watching the game. I still play quite a bit these days. It keeps me in shape and is a nice sanctuary for me.