Ball Hort – Week 4

My internship is at a global company, yet it often feels like a large, extended family. There is an openness here that I wasn’t expecting. You might be wondering what I mean by openness. For example, I am able to freely knock on the door of a top executive’s office and know that, if they have the time, they will gladly speak to me for a few minutes and answer questions. Last week, I reached out to the president of Ball Horticultural and asked her if it was possible for us to meet. Thankfully, I had already met her in the café when I was less than 5 minutes into the official start of my internship. Anna Ball was more than happy to meet with me, but it didn’t go quite as I had expected.

I was actually prepared for our meeting with several questions. I wanted to ask her how she prepared to become president of her family company, what challenges she has dealt with that she wasn’t expecting, and even the impact she hoped to leave on the industry. We actually never touched on any of those questions! While our conversation was limited to thirty minutes, we discussed many things such as my studies at MSU, my plans for the future, and the recent purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon.

The purchase of Whole Foods led into a really intensive discussion. We discussed how Amazon is testing their cashier-less stores and how the acquisition of Whole Foods could lead into a totally new enterprise of online food shopping and quick and easy shopping. The world online has led many of today’s generation to become accustomed with rapid delivery, and Anna brought up the idea that Ball Horticultural’s current next-day delivery policy may one day become too slow. She and her board are already considering ways to deliver plants to consumers in a matter of hours!

Even though my meeting with Anna Ball didn’t result in any of my prepared questions being answered, I love that I was able to have a relaxed, normal conversation such an influential woman in my chosen industry.

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