As I sat and unpacked in my new home for the next eight weeks, I realized that I felt a lot like I did my first night without my parents as a freshman at the University of Arizona.  I was unsure of what was in store for me as one of the interns at Macy’s.  I was nervous to be in a new city and also very excited to get things going.  I reminded myself of why I took this leap of faith.  Why I decided to move in with my best friend for eight weeks in a city I had only ever visited a few times.  I reminded myself of how much I loved Macy’s.  And, I also realized how lucky I felt to be chosen as one of their summer interns.  That night I didn’t sleep much, but I knew I had to be up early to start my next adventure. Continue reading

As my second week at REI concludes I have finally begun to get acclimated to my surroundings.  My week began with a meeting with my category merchandising manager (CMM).  The meeting laid out the project that will consume a good portion of my time throughout the summer.  As he started describing the objectives and expected results I found myself starting to clam up a bit.  I felt my comfort zone totally disappear.  The realization quickly sat in that this was going to be one of the most challenging mental endeavors I have had to undertake. Continue reading

After finishing my first 40-hour workweek as a full time Nike employed intern, it has been a whirl wind of ‘getting to know you’ opportunities. The past two weeks in Oregon have been filled to the brim with new introductions. These introductions have come in many different facets. Not only have I been meeting and making connections with my manager, co-workers and fellow interns, but I have also been introduced to the city, the culture of Oregon and all things Nike.

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Initially, I am timid to say that when the day came on Monday, May 30th to get on the plane and travel to Oregon for the start of this next grand adventure in my life, I had succumbed to overwhelming nerves.  At first I was very embarrassed.  In the past few months since I had received the exciting news that I had been selected to be a 2016 Merchandising Intern for Nike, I had been filled with overwhelming joy.  So why did I suddenly have a pit in my stomach?  Deep down in the week leading up to the internship, there was a single query that had popped into my head and rattled around in my thoughts.  Continue reading

Walking into the office for the first time brought to the surface an array of emotions that reminded me of the feeling I had as a freshman walking into high school or college for the first time.

Not knowing what the Seattle traffic was going to be like, I left my living quarters hours before I was due to arrive at work. This only added to my uneasiness, because I arrived at work over an hour early. Continue reading

When one is in college, summer is usually time to sit back, relax, go to beach, get a part-time job and fill up the tank for the next academic year.  That’s what I did except I headed to the mountains in Colorado instead of the beach.  But, for many students in the retailing and consumer sciences program, summer means heading off to a summer internship instead.  This summer, three of our students – Jason Knode, Savannah Whitehead, and Karlie Fisher – will be taking part in three such experiences.  And, for the first time this summer, these three amazing folks will be chronicling their journeys through our website – http://retail406.org/category/student-views/. Continue reading

Today marks the beginning of my next great adventure. I thought it would be appropriate to start this blog by providing a bit of background on my past and how I found myself riding life’s wave to REI’s corporate headquarters in Kent, Washington.

In 2005, when I started a career as a Forward Observer in the United States Army, I had a plan. I wanted to serve my country for four years, and then utilize the G.I. Bill to continue my education and achieve a Bachelor degree. Continue reading

We visited a local First Watch – a breakfast and lunch cafe/restaurant – for Mother’s Day.  Besides waiting in line for about 50 minutes, which was expected on such a day, the server added a nice little touch to the day.  They gave a small box of chocolates – from Russell Stovers – to my wife at the end of the meal.  It probably cost them relatively little per box for as many boxes that they must have bought but certainly a simple but wonderful little gesture to make. Continue reading

I love being a Dad.

Chatting with my daughter in the morning as we wait for her bus to arrive. Texting with her throughout the day about her drama at high school. Kissing her good night when she heads off to bed. Sending her a final “good night sweetie” text after she turns off her bedroom lights. Those are the things that I absolutely love doing. Honestly, I’m not sure if I do a very good job at being a Dad. I know I’ve made far more than my fair share of mistakes along the way. But I do love the moments we have together. In the end, I think she has had to forgive my many Dad faults than I have ever had to forgive her mistakes. Continue reading

Augustine wrote “fallor ergo sum”: I err, therefore, I am.

Last night, when I got home from campus, my daughter came downstairs all in a mood. And, let me write, that’s always a great way to start the evening! Anyhow, she is taking an AP English class this year in high school. One of the assessments she has every week or so is a “timed write.” Her teacher gives the class an article, assigns a specific style of writing and then gives the students the entire class period to write their submission based on the article. Tonight she recounted how she made a “stupid mistake” on her most recent attempt. Apparently, as she told it, she used an example from “fiction” – some television show or movie – which is a major no-no for these timed writes. “Only real examples from the real world, not fake ones” she is told by her teacher. Fair enough. Continue reading