Leila Shevins is an MIS, Operations Management, and Retailing and Consumer Sciences junior who interned with Walmart Stores, Inc. in Arkansas this summer.
What was a typical day at your internship like?
There was no typical day in my internship. I was the only intern on my team, as opposed to other teams with over 30 interns in the same function. I was fortunate to have been assigned a mentor in a different department because I was able to work with my team in Innovations and then switch buildings to hear more about what the Marketing area was focused on. There were days where I would come into work, and I would have a few small assignments that needed to be completed within the first few hours. There were other days where I would solely focus on my project. Some days were spent entirely in our labs, some in Home Office, and others in the David Glass Technology Center. My team also held offsite meetings where we would spend a couple of hours bonding through a fun activity in Bentonville. My team kept us moving around to keep creativity flowing, which helped to make each day unique.
What was your favorite part of the internship?
I really enjoyed being given the creative freedom to build my own project. I was responsible for identifying the companies that I wanted to learn more about, contacting them, working with our lawyers to draw up NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), bringing technologies into our labs, and developing walk-throughs and presentations about the technologies. My manager and my team had a lot of faith in me from the start which provided me with the opportunity to show what I was capable of accomplishing without even being told what to do. My team was extremely supportive throughout the entire summer, and they were happy to help me whenever I did have questions. Above all else in my experience, I enjoyed the company of the people I worked with because they were the ones who made my internship at Walmart so great.
What advice do you have for other interns?
The biggest piece of advice is to network. Everything that you do involves your network. At one point in the summer, my manager was looking for more information on a product sold in stores. He was having difficulty finding the information, but I had remembered speaking to someone at a University of Arizona lunch who worked in the product’s department. I was able to utilize my growing network to locate the information for my manager, which, needless to say, impressed him. Another strong suggestion is to stay active wherever you are. Reach out to those near you to see if anyone needs help with their projects. This is another way to effectively grow your network. This extra bit of effort can go a long way in showcasing your skills and attitude in a professional environment.