Strategic Innovation – so what ​exactly do you do?

This past summer, I was one of the Strategic Innovation Interns at Alliance Data Retail. Their office is over by Easton Mall, so a fairly easy commute from my apartment.

For those of you not familiar, Alliance Data is a company with three subsidiaries – LoyaltyOne, Epsilon and Alliance Data Retail. Looking specifically at Alliance Data Retail, they provide marketing and credit services that include private label, co-brand and more. They have approximately 110 clients across the United States.

Still a little confused? Think about a Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn, HSN or Express credit card – Alliance Data uses data to understand how customers shop to grow business for their clients through marketing and loyalty solutions .

It was a fantastic summer and I had an absolute blast! I learned so much and really grew as a business professional.

Ok, so now that we understand Alliance Data, let’s move on to Strategic Innovation. These are some pretty strong words with lots of  ambiguity.

As an Innovation Intern, I supported the team and helped move initiatives through the innovation pipeline. This included writing business plans to help “sell” initiatives to internal partners, holding ideation session to address customer needs and activated prototypes for specific clients.

Bottom line, my team uses data to help you shop better, and with  greater ease.

The best parts of my internship was feeling challenged by my projects, learning about ins & outs of an amazing company and meeting so many new people – but also feeling prepared. I loved that what we had discussed in class, was coming true right in front of my eyes. Business school teaches you how to think and a different way to approach problems. I reached out to my fellow students, along with Fisher‘s faculty, when I felt like I was struggling with my projects, and received such incredible support and guidance.

Really, where else can you find this? And my internship title? Pretty cool addition!