Written by: Rebecca Stubler
My journey with Giant Eagle began at Embarkation week in Pittsburgh, PA. I had expected our orientation sessions to be in-depth training on how to do our jobs, ex. how to write an order. However, I was very wrong.
We embarked on a benchmarking project, where we compared Giant Eagle’s banners (Market District, Giant Eagle Signature stores, GetGo and Good Cents, which is Giant Eagle’s version of Aldi) to their competitors. The four groups drove all around Pittsburgh to perform SWAT analysis for these banners. For example, my group went to GetGo and Sheetz.
We also toured a warehouse that services all the Pennsylvania Giant Eagles. There is a similar warehouse in Cleveland that services Ohio. I was surprised how fascinating the tour was. The process of receiving fresh produce and turning it around to go out to the store takes less than 24 hours. So when Giant Eagle promotes their freshness, they really mean it. We learned that bananas are the most persnickety fruit of all, where they have banana rooms to speed up the ripening process so that they are in their best condition not only when you purchase it from the store, but when you eat it the next day.
Lastly, we had a retail rotation where we went from a Good Cents to a Giant Eagle Signature store and then to a Market District. It was interesting to see how different they all are, even though they are owned by the same company. Giant Eagle looks to cater to all types of customers, which makes them such a strong competitor. It was also great to see how the different banners operated because I will be working in a Signature store (just a normal Giant Eagle store) all summer, whereas some of the other Retail Operations interns are at a Market District location. Both of those experiences are going to be completely different.
If I learned anything from my Embarkation week it was to absorb everything. If you talk to me in person I could go on-and-on about Giant Eagle for hours. Most importantly, many companies view their interns as the future of their company. So as much fun as I had in Pittsburgh, I still have to keep in the back of my mind that this is just the beginning of a 10 week long job interview.
Wow, that only covers the first week. In my next post I’ll write about what life in the store is like. If you have any comments or questions leave them in the comment box below and I will make sure to respond.
Until next time,