Career Connections


Elizabeth Miller

Major: Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies



Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Dubuque/Iowa

Company/Organization: Hy-Vee
Company/Organization website: http://Hy-Vee.com
Title: Italian Clerk
Destination: Dubuque Iowa
Timeframe: May 2015- August 2015

Advisor/Coordinator Email: lgstange@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
I had to order truck for the department and put it away on mornings that I worked when truck arrived. I wrote schedule for our department, did in-store transfers, sat in on inventory meetings with my boss and the store director. I had to do a Facebook promotion and come up with a new pizza. During inventory at the end of the month I had to help my boss count everything we had in the department and in the back of the store that was ours and get everything ready to go for the meetings. During most of my shifts I was in charge so I had to make sure everything went smoothly and answered any customer questions that they had.

I accomplished...
I had to do a Facebook promotion during my internship and I decided to grill our Tuscano crust pizza. No one had ever tried to do that yet so I wanted to give it a go. In the end it didn't do too well (it was incredibly hot the weekend I chose to do it, in the high 90's), but the experience of getting everything set up and ready to go to even do the promotion was an accomplishment. Another accomplishment was being able to talk to someone from corporate when they visited our store. He told me that I should look into getting into the manager program and work my way up with the company. I've been with the company for eight years so he said that I would be a good addition to the management side of the company.

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable project that I was able to work on was being able to be in the inventory meetings at the end of the month. I had no idea that so much went into getting the paperwork done for the meeting. When my boss and I would count everything in the department as well as in the back of the store, it probably took a good hour and then we would have to go upstairs and get everything else done. It probably took us a couple hours just to get the paperwork. Then when we had to go to the meeting, we needed to have so many copies for us, the store director and another manager that would sit in as well. The first meeting I sat in on I was really nervous because I didn't know what to expect, but the second one I was more prepared for. There's a lot that gets talked about in the inventory meeting and plenty of comparing different months together as well as this years and last years profits. This was valuable because I was able to be apart of something that is a big deal for the store. Inventory meetings set the stage for whether or not your department is doing well or not and if not then what needs to happen. There's a lot of work that goes into getting everything ready and I wasn't even sure if I would be able to go to the meetings because so much is talked about. A lot of the things that were shared I can't tell anyone else because it's sensitive information. To let me sit in means that not only does my boss trust me to not say anything but so does the store director and that means a lot.

I learned...
Ordering product for the department is a very valuable learning experience for me. I never knew how hard and frustrating it could be. There's a lot of thought that has to go into ordering. You first have to look at upcoming sales for the week and plan for that so you know how much crust to order, how many boxes, ingredients, etc. and make sure you don't over order. I've learned that ordering products to keep your business successful takes time to make sure you don't under or over order. I've also learned the process of knowing what to order and what can wait until next time. We only have a limited amount of space in the department and in the back of the store so if we over order anything then we have to scramble to find somewhere to put everything. There is also the notion of making sure you will have enough product between truck deliveries as well. It's a long process but it's also a valuable skill to have.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience for me would have to be talking with an employee from corporate. I had no idea that he was with corporate at all, I just thought he was from another store. He was in our department talking with my boss about a few things while I was making pizzas. My boss told the man that I was doing my internship with Hy-Vee and that I had been with the company for eight years. The employee from corporate said that there were going to be some job openings in Minneapolis for the new stores and that I should apply into the management program and transfer to one of the new stores. He said that I would do well since I had a lot of experience with the company already and would be able to get a job easily and that if I was interested to talk with my store director about it. I wasn't expecting to talk with someone from corporate or get some job offers.

A surprising discovery...
Definitely talking with the corporate employee. I only recently have thought about continuing my career with Hy-Vee and moving up in the management area. After talking to him about it and what I would need to do in order to be a manager, I think I might do it. It's not everyday you get to talk with someone from corporate, let alone get some potential job opportunities as well.

Advice for others...
My advice would be to learn as much as you possibly can. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to suggest anything. I was suggesting things at the beginning that I was too afraid to ask before my internship. But, make sure the suggestions are something appropriate and are realistic. Also, be prepared to work hard and have more responsibility on your shoulders. You will be expected to do more things and will get more tasks during your shift. Also, your coworkers will come to you for questions about things that they would normally go to your boss for so learn the department more and be ready for the questions you never thought you'd get!

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I knew that Hy-Vee did internships but more at the bigger stores. Our store is one of three in my town so we don't have the huge stores like the ones in Des Moines. I wasn't even sure if I would be able to do my internship at my store but I asked my boss anyway. He said he was on board with it but would have to talk with the store director to make sure that it would be a possibility. Once everyone said it would be okay to do the internship my boss and I sat down to make sure we could make it happen.

I landed this assignment by...
I would say just by talking with my coordinator for the internship and my boss. I made sure that I would be learning things related to my major so that it would work out.

I wanted this experience because...
Like I said earlier, I've been with the company for eight years and I've recently been thinking about furthering my career with Hy-Vee. I knew that Hy-Vee did internships and I was curious to see if I would be able to do mine at my store. Once I knew I would be able to, my heart was set on doing my internship at Hy-Vee. And I'm really happy that I made the decision because so many doors have been opened for me that wouldn't have been if I hadn't done my internship with Hy-Vee/

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