Week 7- Macy’s

Week 7 at Macy’s means that my internship is coming to an end soon. This week I spent a lot of time with my manager preparing for my big presentation in front of District on Monday. I described how I was able to impact the Plenti Rewards Program during my time here. I also had to run my presentation by the Assistant Store Manager so I could get a second eye on the presentation. This week we also had a big move in Fine Jewelry. My manager made a new floor plan to see if certain brands would sell better if they were in a new spot. Since many of these products are very pricey we could not do the move while the store was open. A few of us came in at 6:45 in the morning to move the products around into new spots. We also had many of the representatives of the brands come in and set up their displays how they want them. It seems that it’s doing well so far because many of the fine watches we moved have been selling these past few days. I also was able to do a few more interviews as well so I am getting more comfortable with the process and know what exactly to look for. I always look for body language more than the words coming out of their mouth. How they act is a big indication if they will make a good sales associate. This week we are also prepping for inventory for the new fall season so we have to make sure everything is set. This weekend is a big weekend and we have to spend time when the store is closed to bring in the new inventory. I learn something everyday in retail. No day is ever the same in this industry.

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Past Week at CPS

This past week at CPS was a little different than a normal week for me.  On Monday morning I had to take the hour drive to another location to pick up some chemicals that we didn’t have.  After that we harvested our wheat plot at the plant.  I had to take moisture tests and yield test, and then I got to take the load to MAC.  One day I had to go look at a field and try to find what was wrong with the cucumbers because the grower didn’t know.  I got to go down to the Plant Tuff meeting/plot day and learn about their fertilizer.  Other than that I put up a few field signs, scouted some fields and took a few tissue samples on some soybeans and sugar beets.

Week 10: Coming to an end

Its weird to think that my time here is coming to an end. I have enjoyed the past eight months here with Monsanto and have learned and immense amount of information that will truly be helpful to me in the future! I could have asked for a better real world experience.

To conclude this week I focused on making sure all the teams were aware and informed about the supply map. I attended the team meetings and spoke about the map and how it should be used. I also worked on my final presentation that I have to give next week. This presentation will have the majority of the higher ups so I’m slightly nervous about presenting but I know that the work I will explain is my own so I know the information fairly well. I am also helping the planning division by producing customer surveys that will be going out at the beginning of our fiscal year. I also trained the new co-op on some of the other reports and tools that will help him with his own projects here. It was kind of a short week seeing as my term here is coming to an end.  I have two weeks left here and all I need to finish is my final presentation and an exit interview and then I am back to the mitten state to finish up my last year at school! I am very excited to be back but it truly is a bittersweet feeling to be leaving Monsanto.

The most stressful Week

This week is hands down the most stressful week that I have ever encountered working. There was so much happening this week. So many deadlines needed to be met.

We had part one of our final intern project presentation here at headquarters on Tuesday. All of the interns had to design a project board to showcase all of the work they have been doing since the internship started. All of the poster boards were showcased all around the building for three hours as all of the Kellogg employees are welcome to browse around and ask us questions about our work.

It was stressful for me because I didn’t manage my time effectively.  I was so busy trying to make sure that I had all of my projects completed before I designed my project board. It wasn’t too long ago where I met with my manager to go over my project and it was all wrong. So I was trying to recreate exactly what he was asking for. I also had to finish up the storyboard for the design question each IT intern was given. I just got placed in charge of creating the flyer for the Oak Brook final presentation that has to be created and designed for approval this week. Some other projects included finishing up my speech I have to present on August 10, as well as rehearsing my portion of the Sustainability  presentation  of the Kellogg 2025 project. To top it all off, we had to be to work super early this week; like at 7:30 am. That was hard because I live an hour away.

More than half of these projects had to be completed by Tuesday, the day of the showcase presentation. I remember me coming in at 6:00 am one morning. This was just a very stressful week.

Next week consists of traveling to the Oak Brook location to practice our final presentation with the Oak Brook interns. The whole time we are in Illinois we all will be practicing our speeches so we are ready to speak in front of the CEO of the company on August 10.

Wish us luck.

Gro Alliance week 11

This week at Gro Alliance I have been doing much of the same as what I did last week. Watching crews and following them to make sure they are doing an adequate job. In my specific area we now have all of our fields that have been picked at least once, so my busy days are becoming shorter and shorter.  We also have some fields that are being closed out, which means they have 99.75% or more female tassels removed and have plenty of female silk and male shedding tassels. Right now during detasseling there really isn’t much else going on for me besides checking fields for silk progress and following crews to make sure that they are on task and not missing tassels.

Week Nine: Target

This week was a another great week as an intern. We had a business review in which Vice Presidents and business partners visited our store. We gave them a presentation of our successes and opportunities that we need to work on as a store. Overall we were a great store. We had great logistics system, which the VP’s were very impressed with. We then discussed our 30% increase in retaining team members. Our YTD sales were up 1 percent, which was looking good going into the fourth quarter. We needed to work on our shortage departments, which were cosmetics healthcare. Overall the VP’s were very impressed and said our store would set the example across the entire region.

This week I also had a few more Leader on Duty shifts. I am becoming a better and more efficient leader with every passing shift. I can now just about run that store with little support from my mentor. Next week is the last week and I look forward to finishing strong and learning as much as I can before it is over.

Six Sigma Project

During the course of this summer myself and six other interns were involved in a six sigma project in which our goal was to maximize the efficiency of the potato line. I am not going to lie, I struggled grasping the concept of what the project was supposed to deal with prior to my week in potatoes, but after I was in the department I was able to pick up on inefficiencies without them being pointed out to me. Overall, I feel like the project was extremely worthwhile considering all the work and concentration of the machines we put into it and I would recommend a six sigma project to any other company, whether they are in the food industry or not. Not only is it a great learning experience for myself and my fellow interns, but it also increases the productivity of the potato department and increases the profits of the company because it gets rid of the waste product.

Looking back during my internship, I see the six sigma project as one of the best experiences because of the fact that I got to incorporate everything I learned in the classroom with everything that I learned this summer. Talking to the other interns at R.S. Hanline and about the classes they are taking, I feel as if myself, Chris Pamula and Justin Reading are the most prepared for a career in the food industry based on the classes we have taken during our four years at Michigan State University. I know I am a little biased when I say that but taking classes based on the industry we want to get a career in helps not only when it comes to applying to jobs, but most importantly, when we get hired and start the job and hopefully, our careers.

Morning Star Farms

This week at work all the interns from around the country were flown in for a wrap up event for the internship program. During the event (which was 2 days) we reflected on how we felt about the internship at Kellogg’s and ways to improve it for the future. On the first day we also volunteered in Battle Creek at a sprout farm to give back as a service event. It was great PR for the company as well as a great way to get reacclimated with the other interns before our outing that evening. For the evening event, we went to a local baseball game with everyone!

The next day we had our presentations. This was an intern showcase for the company to show everyone what we have been working on this entire summer. I did my presentation on the new package changes and innovation items coming for Morningstar Farms brand, which is a brand specializing in frozen vegetarian meals. As part of my presentation I was able to show off the new virtual software that Kellogg’s just gained exclusive rights to as part of our strategic retail sales process.

My presentation board

My presentation board

Also, in light of the new products coming out for frozen veggie, Morningstar Farms held an event this week in which employees and the people of Battle Creek could come try the new products out of our food trucks!

Food Truck

Food Truck

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Morning Star Farms Diner

Morning Star Farms Diner

Week 10 at Michigan Farm Bureau

Week 10 at Michigan Farm Bureau has been pretty hectic. With a lot of deadlines being due and the golf scramble registration coming to an end I have been very busy. The golf outing I have been in charge of for the past 3 months is finally approaching us in less than two weeks. It is exciting and crazy all at the same time. Many meetings, conference calls, and deadlines have been met so now it is just time to enjoy the day I have worked so hard for. Along with golf outing stuff being worked on this week I also had several other meetings, a couple smaller projects to accomplish, and other tedious tasks asked of me around the office. This internship has definitely kept me busy but at the same time I would not change that for the opposition. I would rather stay busy and productive rather than sit around and be bored for 8 hours a day – 40 hours a week. When I stay busy the days seem to fly by rather than drag on when I am not so busy. The people I have been working with and for have been great to me all internship long. They treat me like an employee not an intern. Fortunately enough, they have offered me again to stay on throughout the school year to work part time (15-20 hours a week). I have accepted this role as I need to and want to stay working and enhance my skills. I have enjoyed my time here and want to stay as long as they will keep me. I have made some good connections with other colleagues and I want to continue to build on those and others so that when I graduate from Michigan State I have as many options as possible for full time work. I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone looking for one related to agriculture because the people here are great, the opportunities are endless, and the skills and learning experience gained is something you and I will take on forever.

Week 11 at Syngenta

It’s really hard to believe that I’m coming to the end of my 11th week working for Syngenta. The summer has flown by while I have been working for them. This week was a pretty typical week for me. I spent part of the week working on my project presentation for our end of the year meeting in Greensboro, NC. I also attended R4 training. R4 stands for “the right message, in the right way, at the right time, to the right person”. I learned so much about handling concerns and questioning through the group role plays we did. I also learned really good ways to explain features, advantages, and benefits to customers, regardless if they are retail or grower customers. I spent the majority of today working on High Yield Club things since the deadline for entries is Monday. Tomorrow I get to tour a vegetable farm in the Grand Rapids area in the morning and then go on an apple tour in the afternoon. I’m pretty excited since I don’t know a lot about fruits and vegetables.

I still have two more weeks with Syngenta after this week. Next week will be filled with completing High Yield Club things on Monday and then working on my project for the following week. I hope to ride with the reps and agronomists a few more times to see even more while I still have the chance. I will also be involved in helping prepare the Grow More Site events that are coming up within the next month. The final week at Syngenta, I will be traveling to Greensboro, NC to deliver my presentation and share my experiences with my fellow interns and members of corporate. My last day with the company will be August 14th and it is really bittersweet to be leaving.