By Ana, Hilti Store Representative
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.
When I first applied, I didn’t know much about Hilti besides hearing they are the "Apple" of the construction industry. I did some research that got me excited about the company before my first interview, and after learning more during the interview process about the internship role and opportunities offered, I was extremely excited about interning at Hilti. Intern training was interesting and fun. We got to know other interns from all over North America and learned so much about the history of Hilti and what they really are all about. I made friends during orientation that I am still in touch with almost two years later. During my internship, I relied on my Regional Manager and two mentors for any questions or guidance. I learned about operational and day-to-day tasks someone in my role would normally perform while also working on two projects, which I presented to the leadership team in the Canadian HQ office at the end of my internship.
What has surprised you the most about working at Hilti?
It’s not only about tools. Hilti is a multifaceted company. Hilti is about people, safety, sustainability, quality, and teamwork. I was surprised because I would not have normally expected this from a 'power tool company.' Before Hilti, I thought the construction industry was bland and not very exciting. My mindset has changed since I joined.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I love the amount of exposure Hilti offers. Every day I learn something new… about the industry, about my job, about different stakeholders and opportunities within the company. I think it makes a difference when you know your work is taking you somewhere. With Hilti, you learn pretty quickly what different opportunities there are and, if you are curious enough, you learn how to get to them.
What's a favorite or impactful moment from your time at Hilti so far?
When I had my intern final presentation, I had the chance to meet the executive team at the time. With English not being my first language, I felt somewhat intimidated as it was one of the first professional presentations I had ever given outside of a classroom.
I introduced myself and started my presentation by acknowledging that English was my second language and that, if at any point something was unclear, they could ask for clarification. To my surprise, our CEO Martina McIsaac — who was Director of Hilti Canada at the time— jumped in and, in Spanish, told me not to worry and that my English was perfect. I hold this moment close to my heart because it gave me the confidence to be more transparent during my presentation. I was not expecting to have such a warm response from our leader, and it really made me feel like I belong; I felt proud to be part of this company.
What 3 words would you use to describe Hilti to someone?
Innovative, Leader, People-oriented
Any tips for someone who is considering a role at Hilti or advice for someone interested in a career like yours?
Be curious! If you hear about a term you don’t know, an opportunity, or have any questions about your role or someone else’s, just ask! You will be surprised how friendly and open everyone is. Anyone will be happy to have a coffee chat/phone call with you and talk about their role.
Be flexible & kind to yourself; this industry is constantly changing and there are one thousand things to learn. It’s okay if you don’t know everything. The important thing is having the drive to learn and the ability to go with the flow.
About the Author
Ana is an alumnus of Langara College and started her career with Hilti in 2019 as a Sales Intern in Vancouver, BC.
She joined full-time in 2020 as a Hilti Store Representative in the Vancouver area.