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

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

Hello Again 5AM.

I am working in a Distribution Center at L Brands that runs on 2 shifts, which we call AM and PM. My shift begins at 6AM Monday-Friday, which means I leave my apartment at 5:30, 4 entire hours before my earliest class in the fall.

The first week was definitely the hardest one. My body wasn’t used to waking up before the sun was even starting to come up. I have since adjusted to my new schedule, but it has definitely required some changes to my routine.

  • I turn the light on as soon as my alarm goes off. If I lie back down in the dark, I’ll go back to sleep and that’s just bad news.
  • I make toast with peanut butter and a banana every morning. A lot of people skip breakfast in lieu of sleeping in longer, but eating makes the rest of the morning much more manageable. It also gives me something to look forward to.
  • Coffee is a must. That’s all.
  • Going to bed early is necessary. I am usually asleep by 10pm, and some times it’s still light out. This has been the hardest part, especially when the Cavs games don’t start until 9pm!

This definitely isn’t the favorite part of my job, but I figure if I can get up that early and still enjoy my job every day, then I’m at the right company.

Early morning fun fact: The lights on Summit Street aren’t even turned on at 5AM. They all blink yellow, which makes the commute even quicker than normal (There isn’t much traffic at that time either).

My Internship Assignment

Most internship programs, or at least the ones that I interviewed for, would place you on a particular team or project that you would spend your summer working with. Just as you would be offered a job with a specific focus or subject, you are put into a group focusing on just one element. In some scenarios you may know the exact details of the position you are accepting for full-time jobs but many companies have rotational programs for full-time hires in which you wouldn’t know exactly what your first roll would be. Most intern recruiters will not know or tell you the exact details of what you will be doing during recruiting. While you understand that you will be working in one area of the business such as Accounting or Finance, you don’t know much more. This was my experience with Dow Chemical recruitment.

I received an email from my to-be supervisor just a few weeks before the start of my internship containing details on my internship assignment. This email detailed that I would be working in the external reporting group and explained a handful of different projects that I would be working on over the course of the summer. You aren’t really ever told exactly how they made the decision to place you within a specific group.

While all of this may seem mysterious, it is not a processes to be frightened of. At the end of the day, every different internship experience that the organization organizes is one that will be a valuable experience. If you make sure through the recruitment process that the organization values their interns, you can be confident that they’ll find the right experience for you.

Going into the summer, I knew very little about what external reporting did. The extent of my knowledge on external reporting was what was emailed to me a couple weeks before my internship started. Within the first two weeks of my internship, I learned an incredible amount about the tasks that the external reporting group undertakes. The point with this is that no matter what focus you are assigned to, you’re going to rapidly learn about that one subject and before you know it, you’ll be up to speed on how you can impact the group.

The external reporting group is tasked with preparing and filing various annual and quarterly reports with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). While these reports are the main focus of the group, numerous other documents are filed with the SEC when necessary. These documents are the primary medium of reporting the results of the company to stakeholders. They include the consolidated financial statements of the company, the footnotes to the financial statements, and management, discussion, and analysis, among many other sections. The external reporting group acts as a medium to compile and consolidate financial data regarding the performance of the company and then organizes and presents the data to the public.

So far I have enjoyed working with the external reporting group. It is a group that is staffed by accountants with many years of experience. I have had the opportunity to work on a handful of different projects and assignments which has widened my range of experiences. I’ve also had the opportunity to interact with various groups across the company such as investor relations. I whole-heartedly believe that I am contributing and providing value to the organization. By having a dynamic experience in which you are a valued, contributing member of the organization, you can make the most out of your internship.

There is also a lot that you can do to make sure that you are creating a valuable internship experience for yourself. By taking the initiative to introduce yourself to people outside of your particular group and by involving yourself in various different projects, you’ll gain more value from your experience. Your internship is what you make of it. Take that extra step to diversify your experiences!

The moral of the story is that in the end, while you may not have much discretion in choosing exactly what you’ll be working on during an internship, there are numerous ways to make sure that you have a positive internship experience. By being diligent in the recruitment process, selecting a company that shows commitment to the development of its interns, and by taking the initiative to diversify your experiences, you can make sure that your internship is positively impacting the organization and your personal development.

The First Week

I am so excited to say I have completed my first week as an L Brands DC Operations Intern!

LBrands

After one day of Orientation with the other interns in Columbus, I began work in the building where I will be spending the rest of the summer. I met my supervisor and my manager, got a tour of the building, and attempted to learn just a small bit about what I will spend the next 12 weeks doing.

Here are some tips I picked up to make the most of a first week at a new internship.

  • Dress the part. Overdress the part. You can always dress down later once you have seen what everyone else wears every day.
  • Get there early. I did this on my first day, got lost, and then managed to make it there semi-on time. Take it from me, and leave earlier than you think you need to. Once you get your routine down, you can start to leave a little later.
  • Take notes. Write down everything. You are going to be inundated with information during the first few weeks. You probably won’t even know what you’re writing down sometimes; just do it.
  • Ask “Why.” This applies to your entire internship. It will help you realize why the company does what it does and helps you think of ways to contribute it during your internship.