As my internship winds down to its final stretch I am seeing a date on my calendar grow closer and closer. The date is July 28th, and it’s not only my sister’s birthday but the day I will be presenting the many hours of work and data I have compiled during the time I have been here to my supervisors.
When I sat down with manager during the first week of the summer and he began to describe the outline of what I was to complete, I was a bit overwhelmed. Now as the presentation nears completion I have a completely different emotion in mind; excitement! Don’t get me wrong, I am very nervous to present to a room of full of ladies and gentlemen who have been involved in the industry for years. I think something that I have battled with this summer is trying to make sure that the information I am accumulating to analyze is not only relevant and useful, but information that is obscure enough to be relatively new to those I present it to.
With that said, reinventing the wheel is not ideal either, so asking questions and always stopping to ask myself “why“ has really assisted me in staying on task and maintaining a steady path. With the level of ambiguity I have been able to experience this summer, I would be lying if I said the process hasn’t come with my fair share of minor setbacks. I’ve been able to turn all the setbacks into learning experiences, and take that knowledge into follow-on tasks that have fed into the project I will be presenting.
All of the challenges made the day I finally cracked the code and discovered the direction I wanted to take the project just that much sweeter. After I ran through a dry run with my manager today I feel very confident that I have the skills needed to realize success moving forward with a career in merchandising.
As I continue to fine tune my presentation I can’t help but sit and reflect on how far I have come this summer. Being able to take an obscure task, break it down into pieces, then put it back together in a manner that makes more sense (I hope) than the way it was originally constructed, has been an amazing experience. I am currently focusing on smoothing out my talking points and ensuring the flow of the presentation is in line with the standards I have been so privileged to learn while here at REI.
Thursday’s the big day. I will be heading in to culminate the work I have done. Like anything in life, all you can do is your best and I will be prepared to put my best foot forward. Next week will be my last blog of the summer. I will recap my experience and give any advice I have gathered so, stay tuned.
I am an eight year veteran of the United States Army. I served my country as a Forward Observer during two tours – in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am a senior at the University of Arizona and will be graduating December 2016 with a B.S. in Retailing and Consumer Sciences. This summer I’m working as a Merchandising/Buying intern at REI’s corporate headquarters in Kent, WA.