My First Day – DSW

Everyone! My name is Courtney Russell and I am going into my junior year at Ohio State. I am in my second week interning at DSW and can’t wait to tell you all about it. Just a little background on the company, Designer Shoe Warehouse started in 1991 and has their headquarters right here in Columbus, Ohio. DSW operates in close to 500 stores as well as dsw.com.

I will be interning for twelve weeks as the Marketing/PR Intern. Since I’m in public relations I will be working with editors of magazines like Cosmo and Marie Claire and working directly with the great brands DSW carries such as Sketchers, Teva and Converse. I will be communicating with many bloggers including Amber Fillerup Clark and helping with event planning like the Sketchers event this past week. Here is a run down on my first day of work!

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My First Day:

  • Picture time!
    • I walked in on the first day and took my picture for my badge right away. Feeling super official, I walked over to a circle of the other interns. Everyone was awkwardly trying to make small talk and you could tell that everyone was extremely nervous.
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The sign at the home office entrance during our first week!

  • Orientation
    • All 29 interns had orientation together in the home office. A few people from HR gave us the run down about everything from how to call Tech Support for help to a tour of the fitness center and cafeteria.
  • First day of school
    • Feeling more comfortable and getting antsy to start, our names were called when our supervising managers came to pick us up. Feeling like I was in first grade at the bus stop waving goodbye to my mom, I said goodbye to my fellow interns and met my boss.
The wonderful stack of magazines that greeted me on my first day! (Check out June's Redbook, Marie Claire and Cosmo to see some amazing DSW shoes!)

The wonderful stack of magazines that greeted me on my first day! (Check out June’s Redbook, Marie Claire and Cosmo to see some amazing DSW shoes!)

Looking back almost two weeks later, I am so happy and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve already learned so much and gotten to do things that make me feel like Andy from The Devil Wears Prada. I can’t wait for what I am going to experience in the next ten weeks! Stay tuned to learn more about what I’m doing and learning!

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Greetings,

This is week 4 and I am officially half way done with the internship! This past week was a very exciting one for all of the Macy’s Store Management Interns in the North Central Region. We all had the opportunity to go out to Chicago for the Intern Summit. At this 2-day event, we get to meet the other interns, network with senior executives, understand different facets of the analytical side of Macy’s business, explore the city, and volunteer at a local food bank. Hopefully this post will give you all an idea of what we did!

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Let’s go!

Day 1:
Day one was packed with events and we were always on the go. We started the day off with a warm welcome from the CEO of Macy’s, Mr. Terry Lundgren, which was given through a podcast. Mr. Lundgren provided a lot of helpful insights and answered questions that the interns had for him. The biggest takeaway for me was him telling us to, “bloom where you are planted.” Focus where you are at the time and do your job well, and people will notice you. Additionally, be curious and keep asking questions. Let people know where you want to be and what your goals are. This message gave me a lot of inspiration and motivation to finish my last 8 weeks at Macy’s with a different mindset.

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Following the podcast, we had a quick lunch courteous of Macy’s to prepare us for our next event. The team invited a few Sales Managers up from the Macy’s State Street store to give us an overview of analyzing Macy’s business through an analytical side. Friends, in retail there are a lot of numbers to look at. Every family of business, department, vendors, etc. are all broken down into numbers by the detail, and it is our job to analyze those numbers and find a solution given what we have. My team and I were assigned to the luggage department in the State Street store. We took a trip over there to analyze the entire department to see if there are any recommendations we can give based off the knowledge we have. Walking through the 9-floor store was an eye opening experience to see the size and scale of this particular store. Coming from a small store based in Cincinnati with just 4 floors of departments, this store in Chicago was a sight to see. You can see the different brands that they offer through the My Macy’s initiative, the different products they carry, and how each floor is merchandised based on the customer. Overall, the assignment and time spent in this store was a tremendous learning opportunity for us!

Macy's State Street store in Chicago

Macy’s State Street store in Chicago

After we were done in the store, all of us got on a bus and we headed to the Chicago Cubs game to enjoy the night in Chicago. It was an eventful day with many exciting opportunities to learn. Many of us were drained as we had to get ready for day two very early the next morning!

Day 2: 

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Rise and shine, Chicago.

Day two was a quick one for us. We started off very early in the morning with some breakfast and a guest speaker, the DVP (District Vice President) of Chicago, Brad Poterack. He shared with us his role in Macy’s and how he got to this position. Overall, he was just a very intelligent guy with a wealth of knowledge to share with us. Thank you, Mr. Poterack!

Afterwards, we had a panel of full-time EDPs (Executive Development Program) come in to share their experiences with us at Macy’s. The EDP is the full-time position that the Store Management Interns could potentially get offered right after college. It is basically a fast-track program with a goal of getting us to the executive levels within the company. You can see all of the interns in the room switching gears and paying full attention at what the EDPs had to say. Given this opportunity, I wanted to ask the EDPs as many questions possible to learn from them, and to see if I can see myself in this position. To say the least, it was an insightful morning filled with information that directly impacts us to see if this is the right path for all of the interns!

We had a quick lunch afterwards, packed our bags, and headed to our last event of the summit. The entire team volunteered at one of Chicago’s largest food banks, the Greater Chicago Food Depository. One reason why I love working at Macy’s is their culture of always giving back to the community. At Macy’s, we strongly believe in the value of giving back to the communities of where we live and work. That is why in 2013, Macy’s Inc. giving exceeded $73 million and 134,000 volunteer hours of community service! That is incredible, and it goes to show that giving back is always in fashion at Macy’s.

At the food bank, our team was assigned to pack apples, carrots, and potatoes. Within 2 hours or so, our team packed a total of 12,488 lbs of apples, carrots, and potatoes. We worked hard, bonded with each other, and had fun while doing it. Definitely a great way to end the 2-day Intern Summit with Macy’s.

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The entire North Central Region Interns, Chicago 2015.

Hopefully this post provided some insights on what we did in Chicago! I will end with this quote that was brought up during one of our sessions:

“Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Until next time,
Justin

 

3 Characteristics of Small Businesses

Every internship experience is different. My experience so far this summer has been very unique. Working for a small, local business allows me to view many requirements it takes to start-up and run a business with not a lot of people.

1. You wear many hats.

Since there aren’t many employees, every day work can be a hodge-podge of “to-do’s” . As a marketing intern, I have helped pour, keg, and can beer. Canning beer is a long process and you feel like a factory worker, but you can drink during it so it’s not so bad. I’ve also taken out the trash and cleaned up a bit. Taking out the trash isn’t just the intern’s job though, I’ve seen the owners of the company empty the garbage. Everyone chips in.

2.You are still trying to figure it out.

There aren’t instructions on how everything is supposed to run because it hasn’t happened before. You aren’t sure on how an event will go, because it will be the first one. There  are a lot of trials and errors when putting on an event or making a new beer. My first event I planned at the brewery was everything but a success, but I learned a few tricks for the next event. You’re not going to know how the customer will react to a new product until they try it, so you just have to wait and find out.

3.Fun Atmosphere

One thing’s for sure, it’s a fun place to work. Everyone is working towards the same goal of trying to build up the company. There isn’t much competition to be promoted since everyone has their own specific role. You become very close with your co-workers because there are so few you. Work hard, play harder seems to be the motto of start-up businesses, despite the industry.

Week 2 – Fun Day and Project Time

Hello again,

They say the retail industry is fast-paced, and I can definitely attest to that because week one flew by fast. Two main things happened this week for me: A King’s Island fun day and getting assigned my project. 

  1. King’s Island Fun Day
    I cannot stress the importance of getting to know your leadership team and the people you work with.  This was one of my goals this week, and it came at the perfect time because my entire leadership team and I went to King’s Island for a fun day! It was a great opportunity to connect with people in a non-professional setting, and to learn more about each other on a personal level.
    kingsislandAsk a few simple questions and let the conversation take itself from there. Here are a few simple questions that I personally like asking:- How long have you been working at ______?
    – How did you get into the ______ industry?
    – What is your greatest piece of advice that you can give to someone new to this industry/company?

    And make sure to share about your passions and experiences as well! You will be surprised at how willingly people are towards listening to you. This has made for some great conversations for me, and it has allowed me to feel more a part of the family at Macy’s.

  2. Project Time
    This week I also got assigned my biggest project for the summer. I will be working on a benefit program that Macy’s offers and give a final presentation at the end of my internship to the district executives, my VPSM (Vice President Store Manager), and my mentor. The goal of this project is to establish an action plan that will drive participation towards the use of this program which then should translate into sales. In order to achieve this goal, I will have to get my team on board with the plan and mentor them through coaching strategies. My conversations with my team of sales associates is going to be crucial in driving this initiative.Macy’s is all about people working for people. And this idea is engrained through coaching and mentoring at Macy’s. You never coach through numbers, but instead, you coach through behaviors. One thing that I have learned is inspiration comes from example. Here are a few helpful tips that I have learned when placed in a position to lead and inspire people:
    – Have a clear goal and a reasonable approach to achieve it
    – Recognize contribution
    – Begin with what is working, then build on it
    – Focus on the strengths of each person instead of weaknesses
    – Clear hurdles that are in your team’s way
    – Roll up your sleeves, show your team that you can contribute
    – Recognize your team every week
    – Inspire your team by keeping your commitments to them
    – Show and communicate your progress towards your goal
    – MAKE IT FUN.

Hope this week’s post provided some good insights for you guys! I look forward to sharing more of my experiences for next week. I will end on this quote that I saw earlier this week which spoke to me:

“You gotta skate to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck is now.”

Until next week, enjoy and take care!

– Justin

 

How did I land this Super Awesome Internship?

Looking for an internship and applying can be overwhelming for college students, especially if they’ve never done it before. You don’t have to make it so difficult, just utilize the resources you have. A few ways are through FisherConnect, networking, family friends, or within Fisher directly. There are many ways and opportunities to gain experience while school is out of session.
As for me, school is still in session. I knew I needed a part-time internship because I am currently taking summer classes as well, because I’m trying to defy all odds and graduate in four years. One day I got an email from Fisher about some scholarship-based internships. All I had to do was send in my resume to Fisher, then they would relay it to the companies I was interested in.
I heard back from a software company, interviewed, and received an offer. It was that easy. My hesitation on accepting the offer was I wanted to intern at a different company that I hadn’t heard from yet, North High Brewing. So I called North High up and asked about their internship interviewing process. I told them I had 24 hours to take the offer from the software company but would love to work in the craft beer industry. North High told me to come and interview the next morning, only allowing a 10 minute window to decide if they wanted to hire me! As the story plays out, North High Brewing offered me the position, which I was thrilled about!
So if you are looking for an internship over the holidays or for next summer, don’t fear. The Fisher College of Business does a wonderful job to prepare you for interviews and the workplace environment. They also provide you with many resources such as FisherConnect, scholarships, career fairs, and bringing in recruiters. You can also exhaust your own resources and personal networks. If you want something, you can get it if you put in some work. Good luck on your own internship adventures! Hopefully mine is almost done, and the next step is a full-time position come May. Cheers!north high