This week we’re excited to introduce you to our 2019 summer Marketing & CRM (Customer Relationship Management) intern, University of Maryland Honors student Alexandra (Lexi) Paidas. Pursuing a dual degree in Marketing and Information Systems from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at UMD, Alexandra’s academic career has been nothing short of amazing. Some of her honors include being inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, being a current member of the Business, Society and Economy Scholars Program.
Outside of the classroom, Alexandra has expanded her knowledge of business by traveling domestically and abroad. To broaden her horizons and further her exposure to different aspects of business and culture, Alexandra has spent time in Southeast Asia and has traveled to Japan and ridden the Shinkansen (Japan’s famous “bullet train”). Her goal is to one day work abroad so that she can further her knowledge of cultures around the world.
One of her biggest accomplishments was using her diverse skill set to work as a consultant with Shepard’s Mills, a rice parboiling company in Tamale, Ghana. Parboiling is a major form of income for Ghanaian women, it involves partially boiling rice grains over an open fire. This laborious technique is a traditional Ghanaian practice that strengthens the rice grains and enhances the vitamin and mineral content, before it is entered into the milling process. During the milling process, the rice is prepared for distribution to local markets.
Alexandra’s consulting work with Shepard’s Mills, providing her expertise and knowledge of communications and marketing, helped the company in setting and accomplishing business goals. During her time working with a foreign company, she was able to see the importance of collaboration in a business setting. “I learned how to collaborate with other professional organizations,” she states. “Part of our solution was to facilitate a relationship between the Shepard’s Mills and an organization that had a lot of experience helping parboiling companies in different parts of Africa.” Her consulting assisted Shepard’s Mills in gaining the resources needed to grow and expand throughout Ghana.
Aside from standing out academically among her peers, Alexandra stands out as a distinguished leader on the UMD campus as well. Serving as Captain for one of the university’s peer mentorship programs, she facilitates and coordinates events for incoming university students. Alexandra is also a part of the Greek Heritage Society on campus, where she can express her love for Greek culture by celebrating Greek Independence Day, attending Greek community social events and participating in other volunteer opportunities.
When Alexandra is not busy consulting with foreign companies or coordinating university wide events, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up something tasty for her friends and family. Her favorite dish, stuffed mushrooms, gets rave reviews and is one she enjoys making. “I love stuffed mushrooms. The best way I’ve ever made them was with spinach and cheese, but you also can’t go wrong stuffing mushrooms any of the other ways I’ve cooked them.” She is also well known across campus for her chocolate truffles made with Greek yogurt that never last long among her roommates.
Aside from cooking, Alexandra enjoys dancing, whether classically or on her schools Pom squad. “I’m trained classically, but I loved being on pom in high school,” she continues, “that style of dance is all about precision of movement, and the music usually has a fast tempo which is fun to dance to”. Alexandra is a member of the university’s UnBound Dance Team where she has performed at UMD basketball games and UnBound Recitals. Lexi’s favorite part about dancing is being able to express herself through movement. “I love being able to throw myself into the movement and being able to easily see my progression, while learning and incorporating it into my repertoire.”
Alexandra believes her parents are to thank when it comes to her current success in life, as they instilled in her at a young age the value of education and handwork. “Education is important,” she states, “my parents taught me how to be hardworking and successful.” Following her parent’s motto, this future marketing manager doesn’t plan on stopping her education after her four years at UMD. Alexandra plans to further her education after graduation by pursuing a master’s degree in Marketing.
Alexandra’s interest for interning with Northeast Maglev came after her involvement working on another transportation-related project. Alexandra was responsible for using technology theories to research and develop parking lot models that were more efficient and environmentally friendly. It was here that she realized the role technology can have in enhancing transportation and changing the way we live our everyday lives. “I realized that although transportation is often thought of as something super mundane, because people are usually more focused on where they are going instead of how they get there, changes in the technology and systems that drive transportation modes can have incredible impacts on the way people live their lives”.
As the CRM and Marketing Intern for Northeast Maglev, Alexandra is using her expertise and knowledge of communications and marketing to develop marketing tactics that will be implemented to assist in driving awareness and maintaining new and current relationships with project supporters.
While coordinating marketing plans, establishing comprehensive reports, creating and monitoring deadlines and developing new communications ideas, Alexandra is enjoying her time while interning for Northeast Maglev. “The internship has been great so far. I love being able to work independently on different projects that allow me to use my strengths as a marketing major. The work environment is incredibly friendly, and it’s been fun getting to know the other interns.”
Alexandra’s advice for anyone seeking an internship is to be “prepared and confident.” She continues, “the interview for the internship and the first few days on the job can be a little intimidating, but if you have done your research on the company and project confidence, you will be able to easily display your passion for the organization and your readiness as well as your capacity to work and be successful.”
Alexandra is looking forward to her internship with Northeast Maglev and being a part of history in the making. She states “The SCMAGLEV train is going to make history as the first train of its kind in the US, but more importantly, it’s going to make people’s lives easier and totally transform the Baltimore landscape.”