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I grew up around The HON Company. I have two uncles who work for HNI, my mother works in Customer Support, and my grandmother retired from Allsteel, our sister company, after 21 years. If you would have told me 5 years ago I would have followed in their footsteps and joined the world of office furniture, I would have laughed. I graduated from St. Ambrose University with a Sport Management degree, with a dream of working in the field of professional sports, set in a big city for an iconic team like the New York Yankees. That is, until I saw a LinkedIn post for a Sales and Marketing Specialist at the HON Company.

After the arduous interview process one warm day in late August, I was drinking the HON Kool-Aid. The people were cool, the atmosphere was cooler, and how about those soda machines? It wasn’t a major-league baseball team, but it seemed like the next best thing. I learned that we would be participating in a three-month training program to learn everything there was to know about HON: their products, their program, their culture. I thought to myself, “Does it really take three months to learn office furniture?” Boy, was I wrong.

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As I came to the end of the training program, I was asked what area of the country I would enjoy traveling to for my new role, Solutions Account Associate (SAA for short). Being the traveler I am, my response was anywhere outside the immediate three-hour radius. The next couple days were spent casually walking by Dave Brunk’s office four (or 40) times a day wondering if they had placed me yet. After what seemed like weeks, I was finally given a selling territory: New York City and New Jersey.

I was so excited; New York and New Jersey was such a big area with so much potential. The next couple days I spent soaking up as much information as I could about my new territory. I quickly learned that these areas, although some of the densest in the country, had the biggest opportunities for improvement. At one point, NYC itself had 5 dedicated Business Development Managers. Over the last twelve months or so, we’ve been reintroducing HON to dealers old and new.

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Typically, my position as a SAA is a very inside sales focused role. For me, that’s not the case. While New York and New Jersey are some of the densest areas in the United States, that can also be said for HON dealers. A typical SAA helps cover anywhere from 20-30 dealerships. For me, it was near 70. Wow!

At first glance, it seems overwhelming. However, as the days went by, I saw the potential. With the large volume of dealerships, it was a chance for me to shine and partner with the area’s Business Development Managers. In this, I was able to take the reins and be that main point of contact for a number of dealerships in both territories. As the days, weeks, and months flew by, I learned an incredible amount. I have been exposed to many things that a SAA in other territory may not see. While days may be harder than others, at the end of the day, I tell myself that everything is a learning experience.

Let’s fast forward to today, as I book my 5th (or maybe 6th) trip to The Big Apple. I have developed great relationships with not only my Business Development Mangers, but with Dealer Sales Representatives, Dealer Principles, and designers. More importantly, I have developed trust. Without a doubt, the biggest thing I have taken away from this position is trust. Once you build a relationship and gain someone’s trust, the sale comes naturally. In my eleven months with this company so far, I have learned (and keep learning) new things every single day. I am excited for my future and the opportunities within The HON Company. It may not be an MLB team, but I hit a “home run” with HON.

 

Written by Jadelyn Agent, Solutions Account Associate

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Muscatine is known as the “Pearl of the Mississippi”. Why, you may ask? In 1887, a German immigrant named John Boepple started a thriving pearl button industry here on the banks of the Mississippi. In turn, Muscatine became the world’s largest pearl button manufacturer.

Before coming to work in Muscatine, I had no idea what to expect. After living here for a summer during my internship at The HON Company, I can confidently say that I have accomplished a lot throughout the summer, grown professionally, and learned about the town and its culture. And, of course, I’ve eaten a lot of great food along the way.

Brothers in law C. Maxwell Stanley and Clement T. Hanson partnered with former colleague H. Wood Miller to found the company in 1944. Their goal was to create jobs for those returning from World War II.  Then known as Home-O-Nize, they started out making kitchen cabinets and recipe boxes. Later, leaders made the decision to change the name to The HON Company. This official name change came in 1967 as we changed our focus to office products. Upon realizing that HON needed a bigger space to accommodate the growing company, we moved into our current location which, coincidentally, was the old U.S. button factory.

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HON has done a great job incorporating many different aspects into my 10-week internship program. Building professionalism, networking, and connecting with leaders within the company has been a great learning experience for me. By attending a variety of Lunch and Learns hosted by the company, I’ve gained a broader prospective about the corporation as a whole. Networking at these events in particular has given me a leg up within the business and new insight into possibilities for the future.

Connecting with other interns and learning about the areas and focuses that they work in is a great way to learn more and gain insight into the business. The interns all have a variety of different perspectives about the business and it is exciting to hear about their experience and projects they worked on.

Outside of work, I’ve been able to explore and enjoy the beautiful city. Being from the suburbs in Minnesota, I was not exactly sure what to expect. My roommates and I had the opportunity to explore the city and dine at many unique restaurants. From eating tasty Italian at Mamma Mia with the view of the Mississippi, to frequent walks around Weed Park, or sliding into the pool at the Muscatine Aquatic Center, it has been a pleasurable experience over all.

Muscatine has a small town feel coupled with a rich history and something for everyone. Overall, my internship at The HON Company has been a great experience. Not only did they work to build me professionally, but they were able to teach me skills and give me lasting knowledge for the future.

 

Written by Brenna Johnson, HON Intern

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Starting an internship can be exciting, but a little nerve racking. You’re not the only one who was once in this place; I’ve recently completed my Internship with the HON Company. By following these five tips, you’ll be able to find success in your internship and will advance above and beyond everyone’s expectations.

Ask Questions

By asking questions and wanting to learn more, you’ll be able to gain more insight. Learn more about the company that you are working for and know more about the work that you’re tasked with. Asking questions is never a bad thing, in fact, it’s the opposite. Asking questions lets people know that you’re interested and engaged in the information and you want to understand it better.

Express Your Interests

If you enjoy a certain type of work or have an interest in a specific field or industry, speak up! Learning and gaining experience in different fields that you’re interested in is only going to make you a well-rounded individual with a variety of different skills and knowledge. Speaking up to express your interests will only broaden your horizons. Your manager will be appreciative that you have those interests and, many times, would like to explore them to gain new insights.

Be Personable

This is an extremely important tip to become successful in your internship. When starting your new internship at a company, you may occasionally feel overwhelmed. Interns can sometimes be the only new ones in the office. Often, that can mean mixed emotions. By being personable and wanting to get to know your manager and the people you work with, you’ll be able to build those relationships and learn more about your coworkers on a personal level. After those connections are made, conversations will flow more smoothly and you’ll feel more comfortable in the office.

Manage Your Time

Learning how to manage your time is essential to being successful in any field. If you are able to take on a variety of different projects, attend meetings, and manage a work-life balance, you have it figured out. Don’t be afraid to voice if you feel overwhelmed in projects, or feel that you will not be able to accomplish them all properly due to limited time. Being able to effectively communicate your needs will earn you respect from your superiors.

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Ask for Resume Help

As your time at your internship comes to an end, make sure to update your resume. This means taking the time to list your current position and writing a quality, accurate description of your role. Many interns may mistake their projects as tedious, busy work, and not know exactly what to write as their description. In sitting down with your manager, you can create a strong overview of your role by gaining knowledge of the bigger picture. Enhance your resume by understanding how your projects throughout the summer benefitted the company.

By taking these 5 tips into consideration, you’ll be able to succeed in your internship and grow professionally. Tell us your tips below!

 

Written by Brenna Johnson, HON Intern

Have you ever thought about ways to spruce up your work space? We often find ourselves to be in a dark, bland space, with little to no excitement. By adding some color to your workstation and your office’s common areas, you can brighten up your day in a few easy ways! Here are some ways to add color to your office:

 

Greenery

Creating green space in your personal workspace can result in a happier, healthier, and more productive workday. According to studies, being surrounded by greenery can create a shift in the way you think, resulting in increased productivity and creativity. Not only do plants give you a sense of being out in nature, but the color itself is known for reinforcing a relaxed state of mind.

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Not into decorating your personal workspace? Adding color to your workstation can be fun and easy with the latest expansion to the Solve collection. With thousands of options for fabric, three different frames, mesh and ReActiv backs, and seven different colors of lumbar, outfit your chair as a reflection of your personal style. The Solve chair makes it easy to add a pop of color to your office.

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Common Areas

Looking to liven up the common area ambiance? Retreat and relax in common areas that are outfitted with splashes of color. Flock, a collaborative seating solution, is a great way to add color with the hundreds of fabric options offered. Between ottomans, lounge chairs, and wedge chairs, you can mix and match to fulfill the unique style and needs of your organization.

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No matter where you are in the office, there’s always a way to add color to brighten up the day! Whether it be in your personal workspace or common areas around the building, HON products that can easily revamp your workspace. How will you add color to your work area?

Written by Michelle Mathis, HON Intern

new-website

Have you checked out the new look and feel of hon.com? With a new year and a new website, we wanted to share a few key parts of our story that inspired these changes:

We surround ourselves with smart people
HON’s award-winning designers and forward-thinking engineers never stop tinkering. That curiosity creates furniture that’s easier to use. And more importantly, furniture that makes you more comfortable. Our updated product spotlight pages on hon.com will give you information on some of the smart people with whom we have the privilege to partner, so be sure to check out their bios!

We obsess over little things.
We study the science of ridiculously small details to design you better tables, desks and chairs and make sure that every HON product is designed, engineered, tested, delivered and displayed with pride. We test, push, pull and stretch our products over 10,000 times a day in our lab to make sure your furniture works great and lasts a long time. With our enhanced zoom features on the new hon.com, it’s now easier than ever to get a close up view of these fine details. Test it out on the Solve® spotlight page to see for yourself!

We’re always there. Always HON Ready.
With a national HON dealer network and our manufacturing headquarters right here in the heartland of the United States, we are always close. Not just from a distance perspective, but from a relationship perspective. As far as we’re concerned, you’re the only reason why we’re here, and the new hon.com makes it even easier for us to give you what you’re looking for. Want to find your local HON dealer? Check out the Dealer Locator tool. Looking for some inspiration or want to see our products in action? Visit a HON showroom. Have a question for our Customer Support team? Fill out this short form. No matter your need, HON has a solution.

We do what’s right. Every time.
We care about what it means to be a company born in America, a company that considers the wellbeing of our members and the people we serve, and a company that takes pride in its products to help you win every workday. You can feel just how much we care in our warranty – a straightforward, binding promise to you that, in the rare event something isn’t perfect, HON will fix it or replace it.

We also care about our planet and will remain committed to sustainable business practices. You see, green is much more than just our favorite color! HON works hard to reduce its environmental footprint by maximizing raw materials, decreasing waste in the production process and minimizing indoor air emissions. In fact, our company was started by creating products out of scrap metal – read our environmental responsibility story on hon.com to learn more!

Surrounding ourselves with smart people, obsessing over little things, staying continuously focused on being there for you and doing what’s right have always been a part of who we are at HON – we’re just working on taking it to the next level this year.

What are some of your workplace goals for 2017?

We’ve all heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder”, and with advancements in technology and mobile applications over the past few years, this is now easier than ever. I think every professional should have the following are 4 useful (and free!) apps:

1. Genius Scan—This little gem is one of the most used apps on my work phone. Genius Scan allows me to take a photo of a receipt, furniture plan or contract, and convert it to a PDF file. Once you’ve created a PDF, you can email or print the document, or send it to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive or other storage tools with just a few clicks! Learn more about Genius Scan now.

2. Uber—Although this service is not just for business use, Uber makes it a breeze to get around for meetings with clients and to make it on time to appointments that span multiple metropolitan areas. TIP: save your company money by using the Uber promo codes and getting free trips! Learn more about Uber now. 

3. Seamless—Have you ever traveled to a new city or area for work and had to find a meal for yourself? Apps like Seamless and Grubhub are a couple of my favorites because they will help you discover all the local eats. You can easily order in or go out and explore new surroundings. TIP: the app saves credit cards and can use your location so you don’t have to call the front desk of the hotel to find out the address! Learn more about Seamless now.

4. LinkedIn—I meet several people a week and it can be difficult to recall specific details about a particular individual after that first interaction. Adding people to LinkedIn gives me the opportunity to revisit their credentials at a later date so I can bring up their information when we next meet. TIP: note the groups and articles the user likes to have conversation starters if there is a break during meetings. Learn more about LinkedIn now.

What must-have apps do you recommend for professional use?

 

{NEW to HON!} Turn around, sit sideways, lean back, & stay comfortable for longer periods of time. Available in a variety of styles, sizes, & colors, it’s a smart choice for any age and any type of learning environment. Meet SmartLink seating here.

Whether you’re choosing school colors, stimulating colors for learning, or matching  your current interior design, SmartLink comes in a full spectrum of colors, including vibrant shades that keep students energized & focused. Have a favorite?

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