Life at Macy’s – Week 1

Hello friends,

Wow, I can not believe I have finished a whole week at Macy’s already! This has been one of the most hectic weeks yet. Last week I was wrapping up my trip in Taiwan, which looked somewhat like this:

One of my favorite pictures that I took in Taiwan, a view of Taipei 101 from the top of a mountain.

One of my favorite pictures that I took in Taiwan, a view of Taipei 101 from the top of a mountain.

And this week, I am placed into a manager role at a Macy’s store through the internship program, going through the on boarding process and preparing for our biggest one day sale of the season. Talk about a change in lifestyle.

I am official!

I am official!

 

But overall, my first week has been great. I have been a sponge soaking in new information every single day. The first couple of days I got to meet and know my leadership team, who all gave me a warm welcome into the Macy’s family:

Learning from a group of individuals who all have a wealth of knowledge about Macy's and the retail industry.

Learning from a group of individuals who all have a wealth of knowledge about Macy’s and the retail industry.

Additionally, I went through the training process to prepare for my role at Macy’s. Macy’s prepares its employees well with valuable training through CBT (Computer Based Training) and on floor training to fully understand Macy’s and how their business operates. What I truly love about Macy’s is how goal oriented and results driven they are. Everything is about sales and numbers here, and Macy’s breaks it down into the finest and most important details. This is a big reason why I believe they are one of the largest and most successful retailers in the nation.

Now let’s talk about my specific role here at Macy’s. I am in a manager position where I get to manage a whole department floor alongside with my mentor. On the first day, my Store Manager informed me that I would be working in women’s ready to wear, sportswear, and petites for the next 8 weeks. You should of saw my face when I heard that. “Ohhh.. really? Awesome..!” I probably said something along those lines. Personally, I have no clue on anything related to women’s fashion, clothing, or anything in between. But I was ready to take on the challenge and learn as much as I can. Once I got all of that figured out, I began walking the floors with my mentor in our department over the next few days to understand how everything works and operates. I also got to meet my entire team of sales associates, who are all awesome and hardworking people! Additionally, we began rearranging merchandise on the floor to prepare for Macy’s One Day Sale event this weekend, which accounts for a huge percent of our sales for just this month! I guess I came in to the right place at the right time. So far, all of this accounts for Monday – Thursday. Friday began our One Day Sale event, which really is two days because it goes on until Saturday.

Friday, Macy’s One Day Sale Event!
I was informed on Thursday that I would be managing my department all by myself without my mentor from 8:00am – 1:30pm on one of our biggest sales events. I was more than excited for this challenge, because it finally gave me an opportunity to take all that I have learned into play. At the start of the day, I got in early to touch base with my entire team of sales associates to make sure they know our expectations for the day. I wanted to engage with them as much as possible before customers started rolling in. We went over goals, strategies, and expectations. The next 5 hours were so rewarding and I was able to learn so much. I interacted with customers, rotated around each station to make sure everything was running smoothly, and just assisted my team with anything needed. This experience allowed me to see how each individual on my team was different, which gave me an idea on utilizing talent to create the most value out of everyone. For me personally, it was about figuring how I can better assist them, motivate them, and create a positive environment for them. We had a manager meeting in the afternoon to look at numbers. I was so happy to hear that my department was driving results and meeting our goals. My mentor even wrote me a Macy’s MAGIC Maker card which rewards its employees on the hard work performed:

Hard work and good work should be rewarded, and that's what Macy's is all about.

Hard work and good work should be rewarded, and that’s what Macy’s is all about.

To sum it all up, Macy’s has been great to me and I love this company. I know these next 7 weeks are going to fly by, so I am ready to make the most of every opportunity I get!

Biggest Takeaway From Week 1:
Get to know your team first before anything else. Ask them how they are doing, how long they have been working here, etc. Be friends with them! It is important to build that trust and relationship first, then translate that into business and loyalty.

I hope this blog post gave everyone a better understanding on what Macy’s and retail is like. See you here next week for my second week updates at Macy’s! Enjoy and take care.

– Justin

Networking

Networking is probably one of the most frequently used business buzz words. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy to practice as it is to say. Ever since entering OSU and the Fisher College of Business, my professors, faculty, and even classmates have emphasized networking. I have to admit in the beginning I was very skeptical. Even now at my first internship all of my managers, mentors, and coworkers emphasize the power of networking.

Has anyone ever told you something along the lines of, “if you’re interested in something, let me know! I will try to get you connected with right people to make it happen”? Personally, I have always thought that those were just polite words put together in a sentence to sound good. Contrary to my original notion, Key is entirely sincere when offering to aid me in the pursuit of my passions. At the very beginning of my internship I expressed interest in Data Analytics. Data Analytics interests me because it is a fast growing industry. In addition, I have previous experience with Tableau software through my involvement with the Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club (BUCC) on campus. I mentioned this interest once or twice during a training session. A few days later my manager pitched me an opportunity to sit down with the manager for the Data Analytics team. In addition, a meeting was schedule with a rotational analyst on the team. Within three weeks of interning with Keybank, I am being offered an opportunity to see another function within the company. I strongly believe this extraordinary opportunity is all thanks to networking.

Before my internship, I figured I would arrive at work at 8:00am and work on projects until 5:00pm and then head back home. Once again, Key surprised me. Even though I will only be with Key for a 10-week internship, they are dedicated to integrating me into the culture and making me a full member of the team. A perfect example of this is the Key Young Professional Networking Group (KeYP). This group aims to connect young professionals in after hour philanthropy, education, and social events. I learned about the group while researching the company before my interview. During my first week, I expressed interest to one of my mentors who put me in contact with the current president. The next thing I know I am invited to the next philanthropy dinner. While at the dinner I ran into the head of Credit Risk Review. Later in the summer all of the interns have a speaker series scheduled with this individual, but that night I was able to have a one-on-one discussion with him. The opportunity was priceless.

Reflecting on all that has been accomplished in the first two or three weeks of my internship energizes me for the next eight. If you have interests in a group or a project that is outside of directly assigned duties, ask your manager! Chances are you can sit in on a meeting or better yet, pick up a section of the task to work on! Every day is an opportunity to improve, try new things, and grow! Don’t let a second get away.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.16.04 PM

RRG Interns

 

 

Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of KeyBank

Not Your Average Desk Job

I started my internship at North High Brewing the other week and it’s awesome. My desk is either sitting inside the brewery or at the bar in the taproom. I’m helping them out with their marketing and event planning side of the business and learning a lot, especially about beer. The craft beer industry is booming and acts as a community. I was told by several at the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s quarterly meeting I would never leave this thriving industry. So excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the summer, cheers!

FullSizeRender (2) IMG_2390

Key Orientation

At last the big day has arrived! Orientations signify a new chapter in life and I am delighted to begin this chapter with Key. Despite my excitement, I was also nervous. Thankfully Key did a wonderful job of familiarizing me to the work, office, and people.

Throughout the first day, we eased into our work responsibilities through learning about professionalism, branding, and also how performance is managed throughout the internship. The entire orientation felt so natural because I was surrounded by students who we’re also beginning their internships with Key.

To my surprise the entire intern class was issued laptops to use for work for the duration of our internship. I didn’t realize how much I would use a laptop until I realized how flexible it allows me to be between working at the Tiedeman Office and traveling to the Key Tower for internship events.

The second day of orientation was even better than the first. We spent time discussing Lean Six Sigma and Excel. For any OSU Freshman who gripes about CSE 2111 – make sure you learn the material! Throughout the entire Excel learning session I was surprised by how much I remembered. Even in my first few days of actual work I was very thankful for having the Excel knowledge that I received from CSE 2111!

My favorite part of orientation was when we were issued our badges. Even though it is just a piece of plastic with a picture on it; to me it symbolized my syndication into Key for the summer. Even though the summer has just begun, I am optimistic that this may be the best one yet!

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.11.57 PM

 

Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of KeyBank

Don’t Get Stuck in the “Intern” Mindset

As an intern, it’s no secret that we are definitely on the low end of the corporate totem pole at work. However, it can be easy to stay in the “I’m only an intern” mindset and have that affect your work. For example, I went on a site visit to a Target Optical store with my manager this past week, and when we were introducing ourselves to the store team member, I introduced myself as: “Hi, I’m Heather. I’m interning for Emily”. At which point Emily pushed off my comment saying, “No, you’re Heather from marketing at Target Optical”.

This really got me thinking. I told the team member I was an intern because:

  1. I am , and
  2. To establish the fact that I was new and not as experienced as the small group I was with.

The second reason is not necessarily a good one.

If you stay in the intern mindset, you might think of yourself as less knowledgeable and maybe even less capable than your co-workers in some instances which prevents you from voicing your opinions and ideas at work. You were hired by your company to express your ideas and to help the business grow; just because you are newer to the company doesn’t mean your thoughts on business strategy or on anything else are any less relevant.

Once I started thinking of myself as “Heather from marketing” instead of “Heather the intern” I took myself a lot more seriously at work and became a lot more strategic about my projects. Thinking of myself as an actual employee instead of an intern is helping me get so much more out of my experience at Luxottica.

#MyFisherInternship #LuxotticaIntern