I have worked for Hy-Vee as a part-time floral designer for 5 years. With this internship, I gained a lot more responsibility due to the fact that I moved from part-time to full-time for the summer. My daily responsibilities include: filling orders, processing flowers, ordering weekly products and supplies through wholesalers, posting invoices, tracking daily and weekly sales, display designs, training new staff, and pushing ad items. I am also responsible for leading wedding and funeral consultations, working with our catering department on events held at Hy-Vee, Prairie Meadows, Hoyt Sherman Place etc. and all event set-ups and tear-downs. I think I have gained a lot of experience on the vendor side of this industry because we also work with event planners when they are planning the décor of their events in the Des Moines and surrounding areas.
My greatest accomplishments this summer was executing weddings from the initial consultation, to follow-up communication, designing the ceremony and reception bouquets, and set-ups the day of. Since I have been a floral designer for a few years, I have always been excited to do my own weddings instead of just helping someone else. It is not an easy job to do all on your own, so I am glad I was comfortable enough to reach out to my supervisor whenever I had questions. One of our biggest weddings this summer was about $8,000 total. I lead several consultations leading up to their day, as well as many email exchanges. I ordered all the products and supplies through our wholesaler and designed everything. The day of I was responsible for loading everything into our van and delivering it. I even had to design on site because of the hot weather we had that day. They had two greenery backdrops, 25 centerpieces, 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as many family corsages and loose fresh flowers to decorate with. The end result was so beautiful and the bride and groom loved everything I did for them. It was so rewarding seeing their reactions of everything!
What advice would you give?
Think of your internship as a real full-time job, whether it is paid or not. It is important to learn as much as you can and to make connections within the company. These are the things you will take with you, can put on your resume, and can help you build references. I would also encourage going above and beyond in any task you are assigned to. Showing your supervisor a good attitude and that you are hardworking will give them a really good impression of you, leading to more opportunities.