More than a business: Small town entrepreneur helps Guelph-Humber students get a taste of the real world
Bryan Steinberg, the founder and CEO of Luxe Shield based in Stratford, Ont., launched his company in 2016 to sell his one-of-a-kind premium license plate covers to businesses and automotive enthusiasts. Looking to further expand his business, he decided to hire a dedicated group of student interns to help handle the company’s rapid success into the North American market.
“I decided to give students a shot because they’re hard workers. They possess the skills needed for today’s workplace, but most don’t have professional experience to get them where they want to go,” said Steinberg.
While some student interns generally assume that smaller businesses offer fewer resources to work with compared to larger companies, Steinberg said experience gained working with Luxe Shield can similarly provide students with marketing knowledge and leadership abilities that are widely sought after in competitive job markets.
“I wanted to change that narrative, to prove that small, family-run businesses like mine, can really provide students with meaningful business and life experience to help them grow,” said Steinberg.
Riyad Khan, a former marketing intern from January to April in 2020, said that his field and technical training with Luxe Shield helped him gain valuable knowledge about different business-to-business transactions.
“My time with Luxe Shield was special. Not only did I get to experience travelling going to cool events like the Car Show in Toronto or to trucking companies in Kitchener, I really got to witness the business side of marketing and got to see how an entrepreneur works,” said Khan.
Khan said while his experience was at first ‘overwhelming’, it ultimately helped him to move out of his ‘comfort zone’ and pushed him to become more of a ‘vocal’ leader.
“I got to communicate, work and be part of a talented team of people. The greatest thing I’ve taken away was the ability for me to be able to speak and be heard by my peers and most importantly the CEO, which you don’t get at other (internship) places. In other words, you truly feel like you’re part of something,” added Khan.
After graduating, Khan entered the workforce as a digital marketing coordinator at Communitech. Despite only working at Luxe Shield for four months, he credits the variety of marketing skills learned under Steinberg as his main takeaway after leaving his company.
"You can only learn so much in the classroom, but working with an entrepreneur and handling these kinds of responsibilities, really helps you strengthen your skills when applying to different positions,” said Khan.
Amrinder Tatla, who also worked at Luxe Shield as a marketing intern, said his time working with an entrepreneur furthermore helped him to grow out of his quiet, introverted shell.
“On top of the technical skills I learned, I got much more confident with my words and talking to people—which was something I always struggled with. I’m much more open now and it’s helped me out in a lot of different ways,” said Tatla.
With the confidence Tatla gained at Luxe Shield, he was able to create an amateur motorcycle enthusiast group on social media after he graduated in 2019.
Although each intern brought diverse backgrounds and skills to Luxe Shield, not being a car enthusiast had no effect on their ability to gain valuable work experience.
“I admittingly don’t know too much about cars, but I was able to get along with the program fairly quickly,” said former digital media intern Sydney Kotzer.
Kotzer, the first digital media intern for Luxe Shield in 2020, said in addition to her learning more about a field she was unfamiliar with, she was content to lend her digital media experience to a business that was unique to marketing students.
“It was really exciting to become the first media student. It really shows that Bryan is expanding and keeping up with the times,” said Kotzer.
Now in his fifth consecutive year of recruiting interns, Steinberg has added four new interns in 2021, and will continue to welcome talented students who aspire to obtain valuable workplace experience at Luxe Shield in the future
“I invite those who want an opportunity to work directly with a founder of a company in a positive, diverse work environment where you have a chance to try different and unique things. I would love to continue working with students that are ambitious and can bring good vibes and energy to a fun, professional working environment,” said Steinberg.
ABOUT LUXE SHIELD: Luxe Shield is a Canadian-owned company based in Stratford, Ont. that offers premium customizable license plate covers. For more information on Luxe Shield or to purchase your own license plate covers, please visit our website www.luxeshield.com or our Amazon storefront www.amazon.ca/luxeshield. You can follow us (@luxeshield) on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin!