An Interns Guide to SMT
(SMT Interns on Site)
As I reflect on my 8 weeks at SMT, I realized that not only did this time go by extremely quickly, but it was also the most learning I have ever done in two months. It was comparable to that of an entire University Semester. Now, this may not be the case for everyone, but I joined SMT Research with no prior knowledge about what the company did besides scanning their website before my interview. However, during my time at SMT I have learned an immense amount about the construction and leak detection industry.
On my first day at SMT, I realized just how massive and multi-dimensional the construction industry is. It is connected to so many other industries and is truly the backbone of every city. With SMT being just a small cog in the giant construction wheel, I needed to understand both what SMT did as well as a general sense of the entire industry. Particularly, I found it crucial for my job to learn the process of constructing a commercial or multi-unit residential building. Once I could understand this process, I was able to better comprehend where SMT’s solutions fit in and showed value.
An aspect that I knew little about before joining SMT was leak detection and its solutions. The first and most important part of leak detection is understanding what makes up a roofing system. In particular, the waterproof membrane being the most important component of the roof in keeping water out. However, these membranes are often damaged or improperly installed during the construction process. This is where I learned the value of SMT’s DigiScan 360. It is essentially a quality assurance check before the rest of the roofing system is installed above the membrane.
In addition to this, the other side of leak detection I learned about was long-term automated monitoring. SMT has two systems that monitor long term, FutureCast (passive) and BuildingIntelli (active). These two systems are installed on a waterproof membrane where they monitor and gather data about the building. This allows the building owner to make proactive decisions about repairing their roofing system before it causes more damage. Learning how these systems worked was vital for my outreach project because I was able to communicate the value of our systems with educators.
Besides the steep learning curve, there were two significant behavioural adjustments that I made when I joined SMT. The first one was consistently working 8 hour days, 5 days a week. The first week was hard and I found myself mentally exhausted after every shift. Not due to a lack of interest in my position; but because of the immense amount of information that was given to me within such a short time. The other adjustment was working during a global pandemic. One thing I learned immediately about the construction industry is that it is extremely traditional and face-to-face meetings were always the norm. However, with COVID-19 not allowing this to happen, I got to work at SMT in the most unique timeframe possible. During this time, company meetings were conducted over zoom and on any given day, half of the office could be working remotely.
During my 8 weeks at SMT Research, I was able to gain valuable experience in the industry of B2B sales and marketing. I previously had experience with marketing in a B2C setting and learned quickly that B2B marketing would be very different. While both forms of marketing involve communicating the value of your product, the person who is paying you is quite different. When the end-user is a business, it is more about convincing them why your product is valuable to their business and will help them either reduce costs or increase profits. This differs from B2C marketing where often the value communicated is why your product is better than competitors. Understanding this crucial difference contributed to my success with content writing at SMT. First and foremost, I was able to write content marketing pieces that were informative. Yet, I was also able to incorporate the value of SMT Research’s services in a subtle but impactful way.
Now that my time at SMT Research has come to an end, it is nice to reflect on all of the information, insights, and business skills that I have picked up while working here. This opportunity and all that I have learned has given me valuable knowledge which I can put to use in furthering my career. SMT Research is an amazing, forward-thinking company that I would recommend to anyone without hesitation.