Three years ago, I packed up my car and drove 98 miles to Tucson and enrolled at the University of Arizona. Last summer, I packed up my car and drove 372 miles to Los Angeles for a summer internship. One week ago, I packed up my car and drove 752 miles to San Francisco where I will be a Merchandising Intern at Walmart Global eCommerce. The feelings were similar when I pulled up to each final destination: anxiety and fear, but also excitement and hope.
I spent the weekend being a tourist in my new city by visiting Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. As my weekend wound down, I took some time to reflect on Sunday night. Much of my success thus far can be attributed to the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing. The center creates opportunities that allow me to achieve professional milestones and the magnitude of this summer finally dawned on me. I would be working for the Fortune One Company while living in the heart of San Francisco. My jitters began to settle and I went to bed that night knowing I was exactly where I wanted to be.
The next morning I woke up much too early and in desperate need of coffee before my commute. All the interns were greeted by smiling faces upon arrival. Shortly after, the University Relations team ushered us into a room for our Day One Welcome and Orientation. I learned more about the company history, their culture, and future developments. I also gained a better understanding of what my summer internship would entail. I will be interning with the furniture department this summer. Every member of my team extended warm welcomes and a willingness to help.
These past few days have been spent working on my summer project and educating myself on Walmart. The company is making strides in the retail industry and shaping the way consumers shop. I feel fortunate to be part of the company, especially the eCommerce division, during this time. I plan on making the most of my ten short weeks here before returning to the UA this fall. This summer signifies a turning point in my college career. It allows me to apply my classroom learning and expand that knowledge by gaining invaluable, hands-on experience.
I will leave you with a quote I am taking to heart as I navigate my internship: “If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you—like a fever.” Who better to set the tone than Sam Walton himself?
Thank you for reading and I hope you will continue to follow my journey this summer. Please note that all opinions I express in this blog are my own words and do not reflect that of my internship sponsor.
I am a senior at the University of Arizona pursuing a degree in Retailing and Consumer Sciences with an expected graduation date of December 2017. I also serve as Vice Chair on the Student Advisory Board for the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing. Follow me through my summer journey in San Francisco as a Merchandising Intern with Walmart eCommerce. I am excited to experience life in a new city that loves food as much as I do!