Frito-Lay Intern Events

If there’s one thing I can say about Frito-Lay, it’s that they are HUGE on providing their interns with the best summer experience and that their culture is unmatched. This summer has been full of after work hours events that have allowed us to see Dallas, explore the city and experience traditions that Texans love!

Cooking Competition – The summer interns really got to channel our inner Chopped stars for this one. We were given 1 hour and a professional kitchen full of ingredients and tools to create the perfect meal. Our food and presentation (it wouldn’t be true marketing without a presentation!) were even judged by real professional chefs. This was such a great team building event because we had to prioritize and communicate amongst each other to make sure we could beat the clock.

Dallas Scavenger Hunt – For this event, we were told to meet in a parking garage (sounds sketchy I know) and we’d get further instructions there. We were met by several of the full time marketing employees who drove us around the city of Dallas for a competitive scavenger hunt! We got to try the city’s famous Steel City Pops and taste Cactus Fritters.

Surprise Concert – At the end of the scavenger hunt, we met at House of Blues for dinner. We thought that was the end of the event, but then we were informed that we were going to a Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias concert on the company! We got our own private box filled with snacks. Such an amazing experience.

Texas Rangers Game – Working at Frito-Lay, you start to notice the company’s products everywhere. The Globe Life Park in Arlington where the Texas Rangers baseball team plays is no exception! We got to tour the stadium and see how Frito’s products came to life with menu items such as Cheetos’ popcorn, Frito Pies and Dorito’s nachos. After the tour, we got personalized team T-shirts and a meal in our own private box (again!) where we got to enjoy the game.

These are just some of the cool things Frito-Lay has exposed us to during our internship! We’ve also got to visit TopGolf, had dinner with the top executives of the company and gone on a Dallas living tour, where we explored all of the places we could live if we were to return back full time.



A Day in the Life at Frito-Lay

Working in product management, you have to find the perfect balance of collaboration and independent work in order to have productive days. With proper planning, it’s very possible. Here’s what a typical day at Frito-Lay for me looks like:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive at my desk and get into work mode. I use this time to respond to emails, go over what meetings I have and make my general to-do list of what I’d like to get done for the day.

9:30 – 11am – Working on my big project. My major task for the summer is working on a new budgeting method for one of the company’s largest marketing departments, encompassing the Super Bowl and holidays like 4th of July and Christmas. Because this is what my final presentation will be centered around, it takes up the most of my time.

11am – 12:00pm – Cross functional meetings. Although I’m interning with the Marketing Department, my project requires a LOT of input from other departments such as finance, sales and insights. It’s always helpful to get different perspectives on my ideas.

12 -1pm – Lunch Break. Every day, I’ll get lunch with the fellow interns or some of my mentors. We always try to make it a point to not talk about work and relax!

1 -3pm – More Project Work. I work best right after lunch, so most of the nitty, gritty calculations get done during this time.

3pm – Break. Around now is when the after lunch need for a nap will kick in. I use this time to walk around the company trail or just step outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and have a snack.

3:30 – 4:30pm – Manager Check in. I schedule frequent meetings with my manager to make sure I’m on the right track with my project. The worst thing you can do at an internship is not get consistent feedback from those who matter most!

4:30 – 5pm – As the day wraps up, I’ll reflect on everything I’ve learned and gotten feedback on for the day and also write down what action steps need to be taken moving forward throughout the rest of the week. After that, I pack up and head home for the day!


General Motors Intern Events!

One of the perks of being an intern at a company with a large, well-developed internship program is the various events that are organized for you. Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy a few activities outside of your daily work in the office. Below is a sample of the events that I have been able to participate in during my summer with General Motors.

  • Grand Prix: Every year GM hosts a Grand Prix event in downtown Detroit. This event showcases several automotive companies in a series of races over the course of an entire weekend. At this event I witnessed pick-up trucks hurtling over jumps and got the chance to sit in a Corvette Racing car. One of our more glamorous events to say the least!
  • Plant Visits: Being a company that manufactures both parts and vehicles, GM has multiple plants across the globe. I have been able to visit an offsite warehouse location as well as the assembly, stamping, and body shop plants for seven different vehicle platforms. The technology at these locations was amazing and seeing the entire production process really helped me visualize how the different parts of our supply chain come into play on a daily basis.
  • Recess in Detroit: This event was by far my favorite event of the whole summer. My entire intern class was given a tour of Detroit to give us some perspective on the city in which our company is headquartered.  We were then placed on teams to compete in a scavenger hunt throughout the city. While my team did not win, I learned more about Detroit in one day than I had in the previous 20 years I’ve lived near the city.
Aside from our more formal events, interns were also invited to attend Tigers games, race in a go-cart competition, and visit the GM heritage center to learn more about the roots of the company. These events have been very fun, and a great occasional break from work, but they have also helped to shed a lot of light into the work culture here. I think that anyone looking at a company as a potential full-time employer should look at a few factors beyond just the work they will be assigned, I know that’s what I have been doing. You can’t spend your entire time at a company at your desk, after all!

Cisco’s Intern Events

One of the perks of being an intern includes company provided events. Cisco has not disappointed me with their fun incentives. On our last day of training, we were rewarded with two hours of laser tag at Hard Knocks and concluded with dinner. Interns and those in the finance rotational program were invited as a way to form friendships outside the office and take a load off the office pressures. I did not get home that night until almost ten, but it was worth it because I got to know the people I worked with while doing something fun.

A week after, all finance employees were able to attend a Durham Bull’s baseball game. The game was at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday, so we all left after lunch to head to the game. After about an hour of watching the baseball, we moved to seek shade, because the sun was bearing down on us in ninety degree heat. I ended up talking to the first year employees and managers in the finance rotational program. After another hour we all went home; I was quite relieved to get home early compared to when I work in the office.

Last week we had two events back to back. One afternoon we had a bowling event after lunch that included finance interns, employees in the finance rotational program, and our managers. This event included arcade games, bowling, food and raffles. Sadly I did not win any prizes, but I did get to network with managers of the rotational program that I could potentially work for full time. This event allowed me to be on a team with a VP of Finance, who is the finance leader at the RTP location. I emailed him a few days after the event, saying it was nice to meet him and that I would like to hear more about his position in Treasury. We have a meeting this week to talk more!

The next morning we had a volunteer event at a day care and spent time with special needs and typical peer children. After playing with the kids for a few hours, the interns and some of the people in the finance rotational program went to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Then we headed back to work. That afternoon I attended another event in a large conference room with games, snacks and drinks, which included all of the finance department employees. I ended up winning a gift card for having the fastest time in one of the games.

Throughout the internship there are a lot of Speaker Series, along with Lunch and Learns. Some weeks there are as many as three events showcasing important speakers. Being in a technology company, many of these meetings are over WebEx, Cisco’s telepresence platform that is similar to Skype. These talks are usually with Vice Presidents, but sometimes they can be with people higher up. Last week, finance interns in my location had a meeting over WebEx with the CFO, Kelly Kramer. This week Chuck Robbins, the CEO, will speak to all interns and answer questions. These sessions are a great way to learn more about the company leaders and form connections with executives.

Cisco is open to suggestions, as well. I pitched an event to my program manager, and will soon be putting on an event of my own in three weeks!

Halfway Point

I have somehow already reached the halfway point of my internship as a Leasing Coordination Intern for L Brands. For anyone unfamiliar with the company, it is a fashion retailer whose brands consist of Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath and Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel. L Brands was started by a well- known Ohio State University Alumni, Les Wexner, and is headquartered right here in Columbus!

I am 1 of 150 other interns that work for L Brands, and I am the only Leasing Coordination Intern. More specifically my title is: “Leasing Analyst”. My position is within the Real Estate department of the company, and I work alongside about 30 other people in our group.

Most people don’t automatically realize that a fashion retailer would have a Real Estate Department, so I will explain what we do. Simply put, since our stores have thousands of physical brick and mortar locations within malls, strip centers, etc… We need a department to communicate with land lords and manage our stores. Our team negotiates lease payments with land lords, identifies new locations for our stores, organizes any store remodels and much more.

Our department is structured quite simply, so I will explain where I fall in to the group. Though we have stores internationally, I only work on our North American locations.

We have a President of Real Estate and a Senior Vice President of Real Estate, they make final decisions on any of our deals in North America.

Under them are two Vice presidents, one controls all stores on the eastern half of North America, and the other controls the western half. They are masterminds of their territories and have extensive knowledge regarding every shopping center in their geographical area. They approve all deals that eventually get pushed up to the Senior VP and President.

The Vice Presidents each have four Directors, or people that make deals, under them that control a specific portion of their territory. These deal makers have strong relationships with land-lords, and they identify specific locations within a shopping center where we might desire to be located. Once a location is agreed upon, they negotiate with the land-lord aspects of the lease such as annual lease payments, land-lord charges, construction allowances, and co-tenancy/kickout rights.

My job as a Leasing Analyst falls under the Directors. I work as a support function, organizing and providing Directors specific information that they use to make a deal. We have an extensive resource database that I continually update. This database is filled with information regarding shopping centers, developers, population and history of our store performance. This is all information that our Directors rely upon when making deals.

In my next post, I will give a more specific explanation as to what my daily tasks are!