Through an EPIC funded marketing internship in her hometown of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Maite Turlings ’19 says she learned the importance of taking a step back.
“I did something entirely different than what I expected,” she says. “I thought I would be doing advertising or branding, which was how I was viewing marketing. Instead I spent the summer doing a customer satisfaction survey. I learned that customer satisfaction should come first before those other things. Customer satisfaction needs to be understood to help us understand how we should advertise.
“It’s like taking a step back before stepping forward.”
The internship was with EPCOR, a company that services and overhauls components for airlines around the world. EPCOR had never completed a customer satisfaction survey, so Turlings, who has majors in Global Management and Psychology, was able to design and carry out her own project.
“One of the tools I used in my study during the summer was Qualtrics, which I’ve used a lot in my psychology courses,” she says. “EPCOR purchased it, and I established a protocol.”
The survey included questions about support, both engineering and overall support, questions about individual parts and products, and questions about communication. Survey takers were asked to explain any response that received a six or less.
“I created a scorecard for all customers detailing how satisfied they were,” she says. The scorecards were compiled into a booklet, which is still being used at the company.
“My employers were enthusiastic about my project, and I had a high response rate,” she says. “I’m happy to see that they are still using the research I did.”
While her marketing internship has help her think about her future and what comes next in her life, she’s also grateful for her experience, now coming to an end, as a student athlete while at Earlham.
A four-year starter on Earlham’s field hockey team, Turlings remembers her surprise at the amount of support and encouragement she found on campus.
“It’s different here,” she says. “My friends love to make signs and come watch me and cheer for me. Back home it was not normal for friends to come watch. There’s recognition from the faculty as well as professors email me after a win.”
Turlings has played field hockey since she was six.
“It’s part of who I am,” she says. “I’m an all-out player. I don’t do anything half-way, and you can tell that I am passionate about the game.”
It’s not a perspective limited to field hockey either.
Turlings is also co-president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, an organization made up of athletes from all sports. SAAC plans educational events for Division III Week and other opportunities including the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, and it works toward increasing attendance at games.
“We want to break the stereotype around student athletes,” she says. “It’s a lot of work, but it is fun.”