My title at The Buckle was sales and management intern. This meant that I would be doing hands on work learning about sales while also learning what it's like to manage my own department store. At the beginning of the internship, I was given the opportunity to pick my own department to run for the summer and I chose women's shoes. Throughout the internship I made changes in my department to raise sales and educate my teammates about shoe brands carried in the store to boost our rankings. It really showed me how much of an impact you can make on a department by making small changes in protocol and taking charge of a team. Throughout my time there I participated in conference calls with other interns at other Buckle locations to talk about my project and what things were working for me and weren't. Alongside this I was expected to work as a sales associate throughout the week to really understand customer buying habits and get more hands-on sales experience. I did several other smaller projects throughout the internship that included educating teammates and being segment leader in the store to make sure we surpassed our sales for the day. There were also many opportunities to partake in other creative projects like doing brand displays and creating outfits for promotions. Overall, it was a great experience with many responsibilities and teaching moments.
I think that my greatest accomplishment this summer at The Buckle was beating last year’s sales in my department. My goal for June and July was to sell more shoes than when did last year in those months. I beat those goals and made some changes in the department that I am proud of. I educated my teammates about how we were going to surpass last year’s sales and encouraged them daily on the job. It was a trial-and-error experience, but I feel like I learned so much through it. It taught me a lot about being a leader and about consumer buying habits and sales.
I think the greatest lessons I learned at The Buckle this summer were time management, flexibility, and that every moment can be a teaching moment if you're willing to take the lesson. I have always considered myself to be good at time management, but when I started my internship, I was proven wrong. I had to completely reevaluate how I thought about time and how much I was giving to each activity. I learned that time needs to be reevaluated several times a day as more important tasks come along, and I found that to be important. Flexibility is something that I found came hand-in-hand with time management. The more flexible I became with time and tasks the more I could get done throughout the day, as long as I stayed motivated.
What advice would you give?
My biggest piece of advice for future students would be to work hard and be willing to learn from every moment. I can't express how important it is to work hard and prove yourself as a worker early on in your internship. Staying on top of your work and constantly being available to help shows how dedicated and loyal you are to the job. What I mean when I say be willing to learn from every moment is that you should always give yourself room to improve. Listen to your leaders and learn from what they have to say. Take every moment on the job as a teaching moment and if mistakes happen think about how they happened and how you are going to change it for next time.