By Dylan, Account Manager
As a former intern who joined Hilti full-time after graduation, I’m sharing my perspective on the internship program, my transition into a full-time position, and my career progression so far.
Tell us about your internship experience.
I was a Field Sales Intern in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. At the time, we were rolling out what we called the “Flex 5" Cordless tool combo and I visited smaller customers to share it with them. I brought along a flyer that detailed locations of Hilti stores in the metroplex so I could drive that customer base’s foot traffic to the stores. It was an overall very raw experience of being in the field at Hilti. There were times where I’d see ten to twelve customers every day and they'd all have different reactions. I never saw the same thing twice. I was taken out of my comfort zone and placed into an industry I wasn’t familiar with and had to find ways to make my presentation to those offices or workshops relevant. I learned a lot about how Hilti goes to the market, how the customers we work with operate, and how the extended Hilti team or “machine” works to allow them to accomplish their mission.
What was the turning point where you knew you ‘had to have the job’ at Hilti?
One day I was in the Carrollton store talking to Everett Neal, Senior Team Lead for Central West Hilti Stores, about Hilti overall. At this point in time I didn’t have a frame of reference as to how much Everett has done for Hilti, but when I found out that he had been with the company for over 35 years that lit up a lightbulb. Over the course of the summer, I had met many other people who had spent multiple decades at Hilti (some of whom had been with the company since they graduated from college). Everett spoke so proudly of his time at Hilti, the things he saw, and the changes he was a part of through the years. I came to the realization that Hilti not only has loyal employees, but is also a loyal organization. That spoke volumes to me about the organization and culture I wanted to go into.
I knew from that day on that Hilti was the right place for me.
What has surprised you the most about working at Hilti?
The amount of personal and professional growth I’ve experienced.
I think back to when I was a college kid showing up to Hilti's Tulsa Operations center for intern orientation in 2018 vs. the full-time Account Manager I am today. I think of how much I’ve changed, which is in part due to Hilti’s support through so many different challenges. I’ve had difficult customer experiences and my team helped me understand how to handle those situations better. We’ve had a pandemic ripple through our world and business and Hilti stayed their course in developing me both personally and professionally. It’s truly incredible as to what I know now versus what I did in 2018, and I’m excited to see what the following years will look like and how much I'll have grown when I look back to this moment in time.
If I had to choose one word to describe my time at Hilti, it would undoubtedly be 'growth.'
What is your favorite part of your role?
Being able to create relationships with so many different people. Yes, I am in sales and the goal is to seek out a forecast or a plan, but it’s awfully hard to get to plan without making the strong relationships with customers. What I love most about my role is that I wake up and get to meet new people every day and solve problems for those same people, and in turn I help them reach their goals too. Whether it’s a small phase or a large part of a project, it’s incredibly rewarding to know that I had a small part in the development of the final product.
Additionally, it’s developing and fostering relationships within the Hilti team. As an account manager, I am the entry point to the Hilti world for many of my customers. We have so many departments and people with different experiences, and there is an incredible amount of knowledge that exists. Bringing all the talent together to solve problems for the customers we serve is perhaps one of the most exciting parts of this role. There’s always that feeling of cheer when I solve a complex request or problem and I’m on the phone with someone else who had been right there with me embracing the same challenge. I think that’s also what makes Hilti so unique.
What’s a myth about your job that you’d like to bust? Or about working at Hilti?
The biggest myth about working at Hilti is needing to have construction knowledge to apply. My father is an architect, so I had some knowledge of construction terms and how some things work, but not nearly enough on day one. I studied aviation management in college and was looking to do something in the aviation industry. When one prospective job fell through during my junior year of college, I happened to see that Hilti was hiring sales interns. I applied not fully knowing what the company does. All I knew was that they were in construction, were based in my hometown of Plano, TX and my dad had mentioned them once in a firestop comment. I honestly was even more intrigued when I searched Hilti on Google and one of the first images I saw was a man on a metal deck with our DX-9 gun. I thought it was super cool, even though I had no idea what he was doing.
Fast forward to today, and I’m working with customers every day who use that same DX-9 gun that I saw. It’s incredible how many resources, development opportunities, and learning experiences Hilti offers. You can come from any educational background or work experience and be successful at Hilti. Everything you would want to know is out there for you. You just have to have the curiosity and persistence to go and grab it!
Any tips for someone who is considering a role at Hilti or advice for someone interested in a career like yours?
Learn, reach, and aspire. Always be hungry to learn. At Hilti, you learn something new every day. There are so many positions and roles at this company, so learn more about them and how to develop yourself to one day be in those roles. Reach out and develop relationships across the organization. Use your resources, team, and Hilti machine. Learning and reaching are not complete without aspiring. You are in control of your own path – take ownership and let the journey unfold.
About The Author
Dylan is an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma and started his career with Hilti in 2018 as a Field Sales Intern in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
He joined full-time in 2019 as a Hilti Store Account Manager before moving to his current role as a Steel & Metal Account Manager in Dallas, TX.