Marketing Interns Impact Progress in Iowa City
Van Meter’s 2017 interns are off to a running start on their group project this week. They are kicking off with brainstorming meetings and tours of the different branches with a strong focus on improving warehouse efficiencies. In previous weeks, they have been shadowing the will-call counters at locations in Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. All the interns are fortunate enough to be supported by Paul DuBois, learning and development specialist. Paul has the interns assemble weekly to discuss their interactions on and off the warehouse floor to capture a more holistic experience with their internship. Van Meter’s five beliefs are a central part of the internship experience and the group project captures the “Progress” P effortlessly. The interns bring fresh ideas and creative solutions. Van Meter wants to ensure they are exercising these skills throughout the company. Katerina Hladikova, Van Meter’s graphic design intern out of Urbandale, has been able to experience opportunities at many of the branches and is a great asset for providing an outside view in the warehouse operations.
“It is exciting to collaborate with the rest of the ten interns to improve efficiency and effectiveness of everyday operations at the will-call counter. Van Meter provides an excellent opportunity for its interns to make a real difference within the organization. I cannot help but feel a sense of pride in the work I do for a company that is not only in a constant state of growth but also improvement. I am enthusiastic to continue working on the intern project and see changes take shape which I helped institute.”
– Katerina Hladikova (Iowa State University)
The 11 interns are improving the process of staging products ready for pickup and creating a more automated procedure to ensure a satisfactory customer experience. Seven of the Van Meter interns ventured to Iowa City with a goal to shadow the warehouse will-call center and understand the current practice for product pick up. Tyler Thompson, continuous improvement specialist, has been teaching the interns on the technology they will utilize to improve will-call pickups. The process will be implemented across all 15 branches, and the automation of shelf placing is only the beginning of our transformation series. Michele Miller, the marketing intern out of Cedar Rapids, had firsthand experience with the processes implemented in Iowa City.
“Working as a team in Iowa City with Tyler was something I had never experienced at my other internships. Van Meter wants us to have a strong connection with the project and they encourage us to give our own ideas and input. I enjoy this hands-on learning outside of my normal realm of work, as it challenges my brain and adds variety to my experiences.”
– Michele Miller (University of Iowa)
Each of the marketing interns plays an important role in achieving a successful end-product for the will-call staging areas. The internship program was clearly developed to benefit and challenge both the leaders and the interns. Read next week’s blog to learn about the Human Resource Department and their part in the intern project.