My 10 week internship at Jo-Ann has just ended and I am still in shock of how quickly time has flown. My overall experience was eye-opening and exciting.
In my initial post I listed four major goals I had for the summer, all of which I feel have been fulfilled.
I wanted to learn about the various functional departments at Jo-Ann. Through daily meetings it was almost impossible to not have cross-functional interaction. In addition to this, shadowing was a great way to gain exposure to other areas such as Logistics and Marketing (both of which I was able to shadow).
My second goal was to grow professionally and network. I am fortunate to not only have had a great intern class, but also an incredible manager. These were the strongest relationships I built in my time at Jo-Ann and I know I would not have had remotely the same experience without them. I also gained professional experience in public speaking by presenting my final project to my department and company executives!
Third, I wanted to learn more about corporate retail. To be honest, meetings seemed like they were in a different language during my first couple weeks. Even remembering simple abbreviations like NPI (newspaper inserts) was a struggle combined with learning retail math. However, everyone was SO helpful and responsive to all of my questions.
Lastly, I wanted to become crafty. The two craftiest activities I did over the summer were decorating cupcakes and making a bulletin board. Before I left Jo-Ann I took advantage of my employee discount and bought home décor to make my apartment a little snazzier!
I am SO grateful for the opportunity to have interned at such a successful and welcoming company. I highly recommend taking advantage of all experiences that an internship has to offer, like meeting new people and exploring different areas because it truly is an irreplaceable experience.
Only one week left of my internship here at Jo-Ann. 10 weeks sounds like a long time when you initially sign on for an internship, but it goes by so quickly when you’re immersed in work and putting in 40 hours a week.
In the last week I’ve been busy perfecting my presentation and getting involved with some of the great opportunities that Jo-Ann offers like an interviewing/resume class, a women in leadership event and a volunteer day at the Boys and Girls Club in Akron.
The interviewing and resume course gave all of the interns a chance to refine our resumes and interview answers. We worked a lot on responding to behavioral based questions in groups and critiquing answers. One of the college recruiters at Jo-Ann also went over LinkedIn and how important it is not only because it allows you to find jobs, but also because companies utilize it to find talent.
Last week we also had a Women in Leadership event where hundreds of Jo-Ann employees (men and women) attended and learned about the barriers women face in the workforce. The workshop concentrated on the importance of embracing the power of women’s leadership development to benefit Jo-Ann, as well as how it can provide value to men and women.
Lastly, the interns were involved in another volunteer day at the Boys & Girls Club of the Western Reserve LeBron James Clubhouse at the City of Akron’s Joy Park (yes, the name is actually that long). There, we painted the playground and benches at the children’s park with some other community members. The kids were really excited and it was a very rewarding experience!
I’ll update you after I give my final presentation!
Right now I’m 7 weeks into my 10 week long internship. The time had flown by MUCH quicker than I was expecting. In the last few weeks I’ve been busy working on my project and learning about other positions within the company.
With my project, I’ve gained experience with different database management systems such as Microsoft Access and Google Analytics. I was even able to take a Microsoft Access class offered by Jo-Ann to freshen up on what I learned in CSE. I’ve also been working on trying to keep my presentation clean and simple as a PowerPoint (which is difficult for someone as detail-obsessed as me).
Another experience I’ve been able to take advantage of at Jo-Ann is shadowing people in other departments. There’s a lot of cross-functionality here so our department is constantly meeting with others, but shadowing is a great way to gain a more in-depth look into what they actually do. I was able to shadow a girl from the marketing department who works with e-mail promotions and some of the creativeness behind them which was SO cool. If you have the opportunity with your internship or job, I highly recommend shadowing regardless of what you think your interest level in the position is.
I’m currently tying together the loose ends of my final project and starting to practice presenting in front of my co-workers. In my final week of the internship, I have to present my summer project and provide a brief overview of my internship experience in front of my manager, co-workers and the company’s management executives (even including the CEO).
I’ll keep you updated as my internship starts to wrap up!
Lindsay This is my beautiful cube! Please notice my movie star sunglasses (above my computer) and my blue squishy toy (in front of the love sign).
I can’t believe I’m already 2 and a half weeks into my internship, it feels like I just started yesterday! In the last couple weeks I’ve gotten acclimated with the people I work with and the overall atmosphere of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.
The first two days were orientation where we got an overview of the corporate culture, the departments, and had a panel discussion with various department representatives. With this, the interns had a chance to learn about different employees’ backgrounds and how they contribute to Jo-Anns.
Following the panel discussion, all of the interns took a CUPCAKE DECORATING CLASS.
It was led by an instructor from Wilton and we each received our own cupcake decorating kit to take home after we finished the class. Jo-Ann’s mission is “To spark the creativity that lives in every person” and this has been a prominent theme even in the short time that I’ve been here. I’m feeling craftier every minute!
After the first two orientation days, I was placed with my manager and he has been teaching me the ins and outs of analytics at Jo-Anns. My days are filled with meetings and LOTS of excel. Remember those v-lookups from CSE? Yeah those are important. My big project for my summer involves developing strategies to personalize the Jo-Ann website.
Aside from working, the other interns and I had a volunteer day where we made no-sew blankets (those tie blankets that 96% of you probably own) and delivered them to the Ronald McDonald House in Akron. We then received a tour of the house which was a great experience! If you aren’t familiar with the charity, the Ronald McDonald House provides a home for families who have children getting treated for serious illnesses and is within walking distance of Akron Children’s Hospital. It’s an incredible cause and I feel very fortunate to have been part of the volunteer event!
The biggest surprise I’ve had so far is how genuinely nice the people are. Corporate culture often has a reputation for being intimidating; however, everyone I’ve met has been extremely friendly and willing to help me learn as much as possible.
I’ll keep you updated as my internship progresses!
My name is Lindsay Bodenhoff and I just finished up my junior year as a Marketing and Logistics major. I’m originally from Olmsted Falls, Ohio and I’m excited to head back to the Cleveland area for summer. I am thrilled to begin my summer internship with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Inc. as a Business Intelligence and Analysis intern in Hudson, Ohio (Akron area).
I decided to pursue an internship with Jo-Ann Fabrics because it offers the opportunity to work in an exciting and creative environment. Furthermore, it is the nation’s largest specialty retailer of fabrics and one the largest specialty retailers of crafts. Lastly, their internship program was voted the best large company internship program in Northeast Ohio. Needless to say, my decision was made as soon as I was extended an offer in December!
I want to get as much learning and professional experience as I can from this internship, but my major goals for the summer includes:
Learn about the different functional areas of business. I want to gain exposure to the different areas like HR and Finance.
Grow professionally and network with the people around me!
Learn more about corporate retail and see if this is a potential future career path.
Become craftier! I had five interviews with Jo-Ann before my offer and in every one they asked about my experience with crafting and their products. I’m really hoping to move past the finger painting point in my life and into more advanced crafts.
I am excited to find out what this internship has in store! They have already sent me calendar of events for June-August, so I’ll have a lot to post about after my June 2nd start date!