Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
What philosophies are inherent in a big corporation such as Apple Inc.? I had the opportunity to obtain that answer firsthand. My time with Apple in the corporate sector from October 2012 to December 2013 was nothing far from remarkable. It was both enjoyable and eye-opening and personally, I thought that there would be no obstacles and surprises at the start of my employment. Not only had I been a customer of Apple since the fifth grade, I also considered myself generally tech savvy. Only later would I learn that my preconceived notions were very wrong.
My role with Apple was in the corporate sector in the educational sales department, as I served as Georgetown’s corporate representative. My reach extended to faculty, staff and students of not only our school, but to our neighboring ones as well. My duties entailed selling computers to the school as a whole and catering to faculty, staff and students. The purpose? To increase the use and presence of Apple products ranging from the iPod to the iMac, a job that was made easier due to the already salient presence of Apple on campus. It still was not a cakewalk, however, as I was trained not just to sell a product, but to sell a lifestyle.
At the beginning of my employment, Apple flew me out to Cupertino, Caifornia (fittingly, my home state) for employee training. I wasn’t excited for the training; I was excited to get an extra vacation back in California and to visit what is frequently called, “The Mothership,” also known as Apple’s headquarters, for the first time.
I would humbly learn that Steve Job’s presence, even in death, was overshadowing. On the first of the three-day training session, we were asked why we chose Apple. Answers varied from, it was easy to use, it’s been present throughout our lives, all our friends use it and it’s just cool. The coordinators were not impressed; they then advanced to proceed by telling us, “We will tell you why you chose Apple.” So, why did I choose Apple? Why did you choose Apple? Why do others continue to stay faithful and convert to Apple? The answer is simple: It is the philosophy Steve Jobs based the company on that makes Apple is so unique and successful. Apple products are not merely goods, they are an extension of a life discovered by Steve Jobs. From day one, we were taught Steve’s philosophy that these products have to become an integral part of our lives, akin to eating and breathing.
The product needs to be capable of having a symbiotic relationship with the user; it’ll take care of us so as long we take care of it. Whether you’re on the run, at home, at school or at the office, an extension of yourself will always be connected to the world.
Now I am not a businessman. I’m in the School of Foreign Service studying international politics, but I learned an invaluable business lesson from Steve Jobs. Not every business needs to follow Steve’s formula to be successful; every business has its own identity. But when it comes to marketing, make that product an extension of yours and others’ lives. Make it into something that people can’t live without. Make it into something that connects you to and is accessible to the whole world, at your privacy. Turn it into your friend, make it essential to life. This is why I chose Apple.