Internship Narrative My planned internship will be with Delaware North Company in their (Milwaukee) Sportservice division at Miller Park in the Majestic Team Store. I will be working under the direction of _______, who is the Retail Assistant Manager. This internship will fit well into my professional career objectives, is appropriate for my education, and will expand my knowledge in business operations. My career goal is to become a general manager in some area in hospitality. I have always been interested in a career that is mainly interpersonal and social, not sitting in a cubicle crunching numbers all day.
Rather being out on the floor talking and meeting people. This position will give some insight to management in the service industry. My position at Miller Park will be overseeing the terrace level store’s operations and supervising the retail associates in that store. It is a great way for me to test my skills at management. Going from a fellow employee to one of their supervisors will be difficult. I was a retail store attendant and now am a store supervisor. My old duties as a cashier were limited, I could only do sales. As a manager or supervisor I can now do a return, sell a gift certificate, or give a discount.
I have more responsibilities as well outside cashiering. Now I am in charge of coming in on non-game days to restock and check in inventory, clean up and change out the displays, and any filler jobs that my supervisor might have. It will be quite a change from my previous position because of the amount of work and responsibility added to the new position. When I was a cashier, I could only come in two hours before gates open, leave about an hour after games, and could only work games. Now I have the opportunity to come in on non-game days, which leads to more hours but also much more responsibility.
During these new hours before games I will be checking and ordering inventory up from warehouse, getting change for the cash registers, and any other miscellaneous jobs left to complete before the store attendants arrive. As a cashier I was only in charge of checking my register area, whereas now I am in charge of the whole store in making sure it is running smoothly during the game. This is completely different than my old position’s duties. It will be more challenging but will help prepare me for my career goal in management which is makes it worth doing.
This internship is appropriate for my education because I can apply many skills and techniques I’ve learned in the classroom. The top classes I plan to incorporate into my internship are * Interpersonal Communication * Leadership and Management * Organizational Behavior In interpersonal communication we discussed the different patterns for group communication. I found this very helpful because it reminded me of how most leaders will run a meeting or discussion. The first figure (Figure 1) is from our chapter on communicating in the workplace from my interpersonal communication textbook.
It shows the three common patterns of group communication. While trying to get us involved in his lecture, our speech professor would incorporate the different patterns of group communication. Pattern A is how most teachers or managers will typically run a discussion, where it is them talking to all individuals at once. Most lectures are this way, and it made us realize how little communication or involvement there was from the rest of the class. When we used pattern B, it left out the shy and quiet students and didn’t get their opinions across. When we used pattern C, we were able to get everyone involved in the discussion.
We were able to do this by having a tally marked next to our name every time we spoke or had a comment to add. By the end of the discussion, everyone had spoken at least once to get a tally. I plan on using the pattern we all agreed in class would be more effective which was pattern C. It represents the total group and each member being heard, the best for reliable conclusions. A is too rigid and is a leader-dominated group. It tends to lead to poor discussion. This internship will be a great way for me to test and experiment with pattern C and see how effective it can be.
At the beginning of each shift we have a team meeting in each store. I plan on having each person contribute something in these meetings that might need more attention or could be changed. In leadership and management, we would mainly discuss what leadership styles there were, referring to the behavioral patterns that a person portrays when that person is trying to lead. The two main portrayals were task-oriented leaders and person-oriented leaders. Most effective leaders would have both skills. I want to become one of those leaders.
One who determines what has to be done and how to go about doing tasks effectively as a task-oriented leader. As well as one who will also suggest ways of accomplishing the task at hand, but also will encourage others to determine how. We also discussed how to prepare for such leadership in the six steps suggested and researched by Fred Fiedler (1967): “be knowledgeable about the particular tasks, develop mental models for managing meaning, work harder than anyone else, be personally committed to group goals and needs, be willing to be decisive, and develop people skills as well as task skills. In order to be an effective supervisor, I will need to work hard at becoming more knowledgeable about the store and its surroundings, the RetailPro program we use, and how to open and close down a store. I will need to be able to anticipate what if scenarios such as what if the program shuts down while quick-pulling and we need to switch all registers over to the hand held card readers. I am a hard worker, but will need to work even harder as a manager because I need to set a good example for all the employees to follow.
I will also need to keep the group motivated in reaching the goals set for the store, perhaps exceed well over the minimum for sales for most of the home stands. There will be times when I will have to make a decision and get resented, such as writing someone up for being on their phone, but I will need to be decisive and follow through with the discipline. Finally, I will have to work hard at finding that balance of people and task skills. Seeing to it that everyone has had their chance to contribute, handle conflicts in ways that end in better terms, and support their opinions and follow through on them if they are appropriate.
Organizational behavior covered a comprehensive view of organizational theory and behavior by studying individual and group behaviors and how these interrelate with the organization’s structure, systems, and goals. Early on we discussed three basic managerial roles: interpersonal, informational, and decision-making. Right now I consider the internship to be under mainly an interpersonal role, which covers skills used to communicate with, understand, and motivate individuals and groups; a critical skill for first-line managers, according to our textbook by Griffin and Moorhead, as you can see from Figure 2.
This figure was taken from our powerpoint on the overview of organizational behavior chapter. From the figure, you can see that technical and interpersonal skills are the most important. However still need to have some conceptual and diagnostic skills. This way of laying out these skills based on their contemporary Organizational Behavior approach is very clever in showing the level of each skill set to each level of management. I will be entering this industry as a first line manager while working under the direction of a middle manager and hope to someday become a top manager in the service industry.
One way to implement the interpersonal skill will be by motivation. A main part of motivation process is need deficiency. I have to be able to motivate the employees to maintain some professionalism while still having a bit of fun. Make it a little competitive to make them do their best with a reward system, resembling a goal-directed behavior. In this case, it follows the traditional approach by Fredrick Taylor where it assumes that employees are motivated solely by money. This is true for the entry level position of retail store attendants.
This internship will expand my knowledge in business operations. Two skills I plan to take away from other workers at this position is * An increase in my confidence * Communication skills I am a very outgoing person, however when I am in a position of making the decisions and directing individuals to work I become quite timid and shy. I want to change this and increase my level of confidence with this position. All the other current supervisors excel with getting employees to follow their directions without sounding too upfront or direct. I hope to do the same and learn from them.
As many know, the ability to communicate in an effective and professional manner can make all the difference in business. I will need to learn how to communicate better with other professionals rather than just the customers. I will have to constantly communicate with my manager and assist her with the buyers and player’s families that come into the stores from time to time. Since usually only the supervisors will be in touch with them while they shop or browse the store’s layout. I plan on watching how the other managers communicate with them and find out the do’s and don’ts when dealing with the buyers or player families.
As I work there I hope to expand my knowledge of business in two ways * How to manage a small group of employees who are part of a larger group * How to multitask with large projects I believe I will have what it takes to make sure they do their jobs and understand when they disagree with my method. As I mentioned before, I am great with the one on one, but will adapt to talking in front of a larger group. I hope by midsummer I will know how to effectively manage a small group that follows the standards, policies, and procedures of a larger organization.
Every year there are many different projects going on at once within the retail department. Within the last two years we’ve had two major projects alongside the seasonal and home-stand projects. Managers were dealing with training new supervisors with the opening of a club level store and last year redesigning the main store. While these were going on, they were juggling the projects and reaching the goals they had set for that season with sales and introducing new products. Time management is key, and learning how these managers in such a fast-paced job focus on reaching all goals set for that season and in the long term is outstanding.
I would like to learn from them on how to better manage my time and juggle projects to make sure each gets the attention it needs to be attained. It is one thing to sit there in the classroom and learn the different styles and techniques managers use but I am very interested in how I will implement what I’ve learned into the internship and my future career. This internship will give me the chance to test some of the theories and styles to see what works best for me; whether I can be both a task-oriented and person-oriented leader.
No matter what area of business I study, the most important aspect is to be able to relate to my employees. I want to learn how to effectively motivate employees. Being able to observe and hear how employees respond to different strategies will teach me methods I could never learn in a classroom. In class, we generally learn about the different business areas independently. I am interested in seeing first-hand how all the divisions of a business function together. Figure 1 Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 2
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