From an internship to international expansion, Clarkston automation technologies company AtomTech is finding success thanks to MEDC’s International Trade and Development Internship program
AtomTech, an industrial automation company founded in 2019, has a proven track record of new technologies and solutions for an array of businesses. When the Clarkston-based company found that they needed an extra hand during the pandemic, they turned to the MEDC’s International Trade and Development Internship program. The program is designed to pair highly motivated students with small- to medium-sized Michigan companies seeking to develop their export sales.
Admitted into the 2021 Internship Program cohort, AtomTech selected a student intern pre-screened and determined to be a strong candidate by the MEDC, based on the company’s need for a student with marketing and business development experience to assist in the foreign markets of Mexico and Canada. The MEDC program reimbursed AtomTech 50-percent of the take-home pay the company paid over the course of the internship. The pairing between AtomTech and their student intern, Pedro Chitero, was a turning point for the company.
As an intern, Chitero exceeded all company expectations. He prepared comprehensive expansion plans for the company to Poland, Canada and Mexico, with expected expansion timelines of Sept. 2021, Jan. 2022 and July 2022, respectively. Chitero also assisted the company in their migration to an enterprise resource planning system, allowing the company to scale up to meet additional manpower requests moving forward.
"We couldn’t be happier with Pedro, and we are utilizing him for our international expansion as the [internship] program intended," said Shawn Gutierrez, president of AtomTech.
Following the internship, Chitero was hired on as a full-time employee dedicated to global sales. The former intern is now leading the company's international expansion efforts by participating in the MEDC- and U.S. Commercial Service-hosted ExporTech program, where he'll take part in intensive export training exercises to develop a strategic export plan for AtomTech to enter or expand in a new international market.
"My experience at AtomTech has been extremely rewarding,” said Chitero. “I started in an industry I knew virtually nothing about six months ago, and I feel much more confident in how I can contribute to the company’s success going forward. The only reason I’ve learned so much is that Shawn and the whole team at AtomTech have always allowed me to find my own way of doing things, while providing an excellent support system and a comfortable work environment. The internship program exceeded my expectations in many ways.”
Looking ahead to the future, AtomTech hopes to hire additional talent to meet the demand of the international job requests they've received in connection to Chitero's work.
The successful pairing between AtomTech and Pedro Chitero represents the foundational principles of the International Trade and Development Internship Program, from increasing post-graduate talent retention and equipping students with international business skills to improving Michigan’s economy through export growth.
Finding time to develop new export markets is a challenge for many small businesses. Let the MEDC be your matchmaker. The International Trade and Development Internship Program is designed to help companies overcome this challenge by connecting them to highly motivated student interns. Learn more about the program at michiganbusiness.org/services/international-trade/internship.