Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back…(Chinese proverb)
Tomorrow I’ll start the last week of my internship, which will involve presentations to Colleagues, several follow-up discussions – including the one with former Talent Acquisition Manager with whom I had my first phone interview back in April – even a half day team building with the Watches & Jewelry team, so definitely this will be a memorable way to end a summer.
As I prepare myself for the evaluation meetings and look back what happened, what have I done during my time here with DFS I see three building blocks:
First of all I have put together the findings and recommendations for the main project I was requested to carry out. I had to come up with a rationalisation plan for the fine watch brands presented at selected stores of DFS at Hong Kong International Airport (the logo of which You may see on top), which with its many locations contribute significantly to the results of the company.
Secondly it is good to look back and see a relatively long list and busy agenda. My line manager was very attentive and supportive to arrange a few orientation meetings both within and outside our department and from my part I also added some extra visits to stores on my weekends and reached out to other Colleagues as well in order to better understand the DNA of the company.
Thirdly, which partly relates to the previous point, I experienced many positive energies throughout my time. I got to know some great people whom I believe are real assets of the company and a kind of guarantee for a steady and continuous development for the years to come. This alltogether gives me additional inspiration and further excitement in order to make it a reality that my journey with DFS continues after my studies as well.
Even if I see the above structure I ask myself the question what else could have been done, how else could I have brought more value or made a difference..? However reality is that in 2 months one could mostly scratch the surface and start getting familiar with names, processes, maybe some kind of routines. Even so I wanted to dig deeper and prove that I have a deserving place within the team and if things turned out to be that way everyone would welcome me whenever I returned.
Being a huge fan of sports – another passion besides luxury retail – I cannot stand not to make the comparison between an internship and long distance running (it could have been many other sports as well, but you’ll hear the saying anyway “MBA is like a marathon”, so that’s why I sticked to running). When standing on the start line you have your goals regarding your time, economizing your energies throughout the distance and keeping yourself to your OWN pace but in the same time shooting a glance on your competitors just to be aware about their tactics. At the start of the 2 month placement I had my clear goals, what I needed to deliver, made a plan for the upcoming weeks and kept intermediate milestones. It was not a last round interview situation when 2 or 3 candidates “fight for” the one and only position, but even if it was the case my aim has been to stretch my own limits, to concentrate with full soul and heart, so that on race day I arrive to the finish line knowing and feeling that I did my best. All the rest is another cup of tea, no worries about external factors, just focus on your achievement.
When I reach the home stretch I aim to get into this state of mind, so that my flight back to Barcelona will not only be a pleasant one because of seeing my family, but also because I did everything I could and that I am ready for the next challenge!
To those of you starting their MBA studies this September I wish best of luck, looking forward to meeting ESADE Class of 2015!
PS: I decided to write an additional post after starting my last term in September, as there will be some exciting subjects (Retail Innovation, Strategic Business Simulation among others), so it could be interesting to see a follow-up after the summer internship. Moreover this might also allow me to share insights after having met my schoolmates, so hope to come up with a good reading in a month from now.