Five days and some 2,250 miles later, I’ve arrived in Los Angeles to begin the first of my nine weeks with Ross Stores, Inc. My drive was anything but boring: my brother and I left Columbus in search of some of America’s greatest landmarks, like the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, before finally stopping in San Diego to see some family over the weekend. The real fun is just beginning, though!
As an undergrad pursuing my BSBA in Finance in Fisher, it’s a little unorthodox for me to say I’m starting work in a buying office for a major retail corporation, let alone the stigma associated with being an Ohioan in a major fashion capital worldwide. Though I’m a little unsure of what my expectations are as an intern, I could fathom a few guesses:
- I probably won’t be looking at pictures of shoes all day long. Although a sense of creativity and personal style is highly encouraged in this side of the business world, most of what I’ll be exposed to is probably numbers, numbers, and more numbers. Time to put my Fisher “analytical skills” to the test, right?
- I’m going to need to have a better knack for remembering names. I’m one of those people who claims to be notoriously awful with names and faces. With almost 20 buying interns in total, each assigned to a head buyer of a different department (shoes, apparel, accessories; each likely separated into age categories), not including contacts at different vendors we’ll be visiting on the job, chances are I’m going to be meeting a lot of people in the upcoming weeks.
- Keep your intern friends close… I’ve heard we as a group have a few fun activities planned, like a visit to an LA Dodgers game and scavenger hunt in Hollywood. I’m so excited to meet my fellow interns, and hopefully experience my first celebrity sighting!
- …but those who work well with Excel closer. I haven’t met anyone with intern experience yet – inside or outside of Fisher – who has claimed not to have touched Microsoft Excel in any type of office setting. Hopefully a throwback to the days of CSE 200 on the quarter system won’t let me down, especially with how much sales data I’m told is of use.
In the end, though, I’m going in with an open mind. I couldn’t be more excited to see what this opportunity has to offer during my first week, and more importantly, find out if this is a line of work I’m set on pursuing on a long-term career basis. But I guess I’ll have to make it through downtown LA morning traffic first… Wish me luck!