Desk Must Haves, Tips & More!

I’m 20 years old, have no kids, and yet my roommates all call me “Mom.” Seriously, sometimes I answer better to Mom than my own name. One of those reasons is that I’m always the one to have a random Band-Aid or tissue in my purse. So why should my desk at work be any different? Check out my list below of the top 12 things to keep at your desk. Most of these can be found in mini versions in the travel section of Target or Meijer! And don’t forget to decorate your desk a little too, you may only be there for a few months but you won’t feel as temporary with a desk that feels like your own!

  1. Sweater: When the AC is on full blast the marketing department turns into the tundra. Bring a neutral color cardigan/sweater/jacket to work and always keep it at your desk for those extra chilly days!
  2. Cough drops & tissues: To avoid death glares from your coworkers when you are sick or have allergies, always have cough drops, tissues & hands sanitizer with you. Slide5
  3. Ibuprofen: This isn’t middle school anymore and you can’t go to the nurse’s office for your headache. You also probably shouldn’t go home unless you are actually sick. Keep some medicine in your desk just in case.

    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!

    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!

  4. Lotion: Lots of lotion. I’m obsessed with lotion. That’s all.
  5. Gum/Listerine strips/mints/toothbrush: You should have at least one of the mentioned in easy reach so when you decide to get the garlic potatoes for lunch everyone at your 1:00 meeting isn’t backing away from the conference table.

    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!

    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!

  6. Lint roller: If you have a pet or lint just seems to like you, make sure you keep a lint roller handy to keep you from looking like a mess. You can buy mini ones in the travel section of Target!
  7. Band-Aids: My shoe obsession has its consequences and besides eating my paycheck, sometimes it means blisters. Keep a few Band-Aids in your desk for the heels you know are a bad idea but look so cute with your outfit. Beauty over pain, right?
  8. Water bottle/travel mug: Don’t kill the environment with your 3 Styrofoam cups a day. Also, these have lids so you won’t spill. Or is it just me who still can’t be trusted with a cup without a lid?
  9. Plant: I don’t have a window near me and also am not great at keeping things alive so I opted for a bamboo stalk! Just pick something green to brighten up your desk!

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    Check out my bamboo stalk in the corner! I think its probably only grown about 1/2′ in the past 2 months. Am I doing something wrong?!

  10. Pictures: So you can remember that one of the reasons you are working is to afford fun things with all your friends and family.
  11. Deodorant: I won’t go into detail but a few weeks ago I unpacked 18 boxes of super heavy promotional items, so….
  12. Food: This last item shouldn’t need an explanation, but I’ll give it one anyway. I love food. Food passes time and is delicious. Food makes me happy. Good enough?

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    Not going to lie, this is one of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had.

 

Share in the comments section what other “must haves” are at your desk!

 

* Fact: No matter your position, there is no greater feeling than clearing a printer jam that no one else can figure out.

**Tip of the day: Introduce yourself! Even if you still don’t know the name of the person who sits at the desk next to you, it’s not too late! You never know when you will meet someone who is from your hometown, college or who is just plain awesome!

***Embarrassing (long) moment:

As I’ve said before, I mail out shoe samples to editors of magazines. The mail is normally picked up from our building at 3:30 and taken to our mailroom to be labeled and shipped out. However, I had a last minute shipment that needed to be overnighted and I missed the pick up. So I called the mailroom and they said I could still drop it off, I said I would be there in 5 minutes.

After standing in the empty mailroom for 10 minutes, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t actually in the mailroom. Sadly, most people had left work since it was pretty late on a Friday. I finally found someone who told me that the mailroom was in the Distribution Center (building next to mine).

This is the DC!

This is the DC!

So I walked into the DC aimlessly for a good 5 minutes until I found a security guard. He told me to go outside and click the buzzer to the mailroom doors. So naturally I walked around the corner of the building, looked for another 10 minutes for the buzzer and came back in to tell the security guard that no button existed. Long story short, the security guard then escorts me to the mailroom and there definitely is a buzzer. Apparently I’m just oblivious.

The man who works in the mailroom that I called, now 30 minutes ago, saw me coming and told me he figured I was lost! Whelp, at least I’ll never do that again

Midsummer Internship Check-in

I thought it would be a piece of cake to fit in plenty of these posts, but I’m in week 8/12 in my internship and this is just my second! I’m sure you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting, so don’t worry! Post 2 is here.

The internship experience here has been great here at Fidelity. Not much coding, mostly finding people(the right ones) to talk to so that I can create a useful final deliverable (a presentation for senior management on the project I’ve been working on). It’s been a ton of me finding out what I should be doing, the whole project has been directly in my hands really. This has been good and bad. Good because I have learned a ton and enjoyed the investigative process and freedom to choose my research resources myself, bad because it can be overwhelming at times when you hit a dead end. But I think that is similar to nearly all open ended internship projects where you either sink or swim entirely based on the effort you put in. I didn’t anticipate how much work my project would be at the start of the internship, which has lead me to playing some catch up currently, but that’s just one of the many lessons I have learned in this internship.

The biggest tips I can give are be ready for a large workload and stay focused (what I’ve struggled with the most) and use people as resources as much as possible (been a little better at this). I struggled to focus because let’s be real, it’s summer, and I’ve never spent a summer inside at a desk before. The first 6 weeks or so I didn’t do a good enough job seeking out work for myself, and coasted a lot of the time which put me in a bad spot now with four weeks to go. If I’d paced myself and asked my boss better questions in regard to how I could stay involved, I wouldn’t have to be working with a sense of urgency at this point in the summer. On the other hand, I’ve been very good at meeting people and going out of my way to ask questions and talk to higher level workers. I met with a SVP the other day and he gave me a lot of his time and advice that had helped him, mostly because I was the first intern to go out of the way to talk to him this summer. He saw that I am motivated and willing to learn, and gave me extremely helpful advice and face time. That’s really all it takes at the end of the day, not being afraid to meet someone new and asking as many questions as possible when you are with that person.

That’s all for now. If you want to contact me I put some contact info in the previous email. I’ll do one or two more posts this summer, feel free to give me feedback on how you think my writing was, and whether you enjoyed it or not. Until next time!

What TO Wear

Let me preface this blog post right away, this definitely isn’t what to wear to an interview and probably not even what to wear to your internship. DSW has a very casual environment, which I love. So here are a few of my favorite outfits I’ve worn to work!

Also, I’m not a fashion blogger or a model, this is just to show how DSW’s culture is reflected by what people wear to work!

  1. Yes, people at DSW wear jeans and not just on Friday! However, there is a difference between the jeans you’ve had for 4 years with fading and giant holes in them and jeans for the workplace. When in doubt, go for very dark denim!Slide2
  2. Dresses or skirt lengths should be longer than your fingertips. I pack and ship boxes a few times a day to various magazines and you don’t want any incidents when bending down to pick something up!IMG_8576
  3. When it’s extra hot outside, it’s extra cold inside. I keep a cardigan in my desk drawer for those over air-conditioned days! Pick something in a neutral color that can go with whatever outfit you have that day. Mine is grey!
  4. Some places have a strict closed toed shoe rule; luckily DSW is not one of them.Slide1
  5. DSW loves their athleisure shoes and so do I! A lot of places of work would probably frown upon you wearing your Converse, Keds or Vans to work but tons of people here do. It’s wonderful (especially since I have a standing desk), no stilettos for me please!

Remember that it is always best to overdress. It might be worth asking what employees typically wear before you start your internship, even a distinction from “business professional” to “business casual” can lead you in the right direction. Dress up for the first day and then take it from there! Each company has it’s own unique culture!

Fun Fact:

Each printer at DSW is named after a different shoe. I normally print to “Platform Pumps!”

Tip of the day:

Don’t sign an email “xoxo.” Apparently this has to be taught? I have indeed received this from a person who has been in the business world a lot longer than myself (don’t worry, they didn’t work at DSW). Seriously, I just met you through email and you sign your name with hugs and kisses?

Embarrassing moment:

I normally don’t listen to music at my desk but I had been working on a project in Excel for over an hour and needed to wake up. So, I plug my headphones in and click to Pandora (“90s, 2000s, Today’s Hits Radio” of course). The song goes on for about 10 seconds until I realize that I plugged my earphones into my computer and not my phone (see what Excel does to me?) and everyone heard me jamming to “Dirty Little Secret” by the All-American Rejects.

Lingo and Lexicon

From the first day of my internship I learned that I was going to have to ask a lot of questions if I was going to be successful. I know from my previous internship that each place of business has its own lingo and abbreviations (who would have guessed that NDI stands for Next Day Interviews and IV means Increased Visibility?). So here is a list of some of the things I have picked up so far! Hopefully if you are interning in retail or marketing they will be helpful!

Acronyms:

  • DC: Distribution center: A warehouse that is stocked with products to be redistributed to stores around the country
  • DM: District Manager: A person who manages a set of stores. For example, one person might oversee 10 stores in Ohio.
  • MOD: Manager on Duty: Most stores have a few managers. MOD is the one who is working at the store at that moment.
  • BOPIS: Buy Online, Pick up in Store: A great option that DSW has that allows you to buy a product online and pick it up at a location near you!
  • TB: Touch base: A quick meeting, usually with your supervisor to update them on what is going on.
  • EOD: End of Day: Example: “Have this report to me by EOD.”
  • CTA: Call to Action: a link or image that encourages a consumer to take action (example: visit website)
  • OOO: Out of Office: Example: “Her calendar says that she is OOO Monday through Wednesday on a trip to Boston.”
  • POS: Point of Sale: The time and place where a transaction takes place.

 

I’m sorry to let you know but the vocab words you learned in Marketing 3250 with Terry Paul actually come in handy! Here a just a few that I hear on a regular basis!

 

  • Omni-Channel Retailing: provide a customer with multiple ways to shop (example DSW stores, mobile site and computer site).
  • Pop-Up Shop: short term or flash retailing in a temporary location. Example: DSW partnered with Teva  at Coachella and Bonnaroo for a pop-up location where people could buy and decorate a pair of Tevas!
DIY Tevas!

DIY Tevas!

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  • Perceived Value: Customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of an offering relative to those of competing offers. For example, DSW offers a better added value for their shoes than competitors and even displays other prices on their website.

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  • Frequency marketing program: The more you buy, the more you save! DSW rewards members get 10 points for every $1 spent! At 1,500 points you get $10 off!
  • Market targeting: evaluating markets and selecting which one(s) to enter. DSW selected about 20 stores to test market kids shoes in the last year!

 

*Fun Fact: DSW offers free shipping to ALL Rewards Members (takes about 1 minute to sign up)! And to answer your question, yes, I’ve bought way too many shoes already!

**Tip of the day: Always keep a notepad with you whenever you go to a meeting or even to ask your manager a question. You never want to be caught off guard or forget something because you didn’t take notes. This is also a great place to keep a list of all the acronyms you learn!

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*** Embarrassing moment: Each conference room at DSW is named after a street in New York, so I spent a good 15 minutes looking at a map of the building to find where my next meeting was. I finally gave up and asked around. Apparently “CRD” stands for “Courtney Russell’s Desk”…well that was embarrassing. Lesson? Just ask

 

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!