This summer I am interning at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. I am working in the Modular and Category Development department in consumables, specifically the laundry care group. Here at Walmart I have two projects this summer. My first project is to help with the assortment discipline process. My second project, the one I will be presenting at the end of the summer looks at how to get consumers to add value to their basket by buying a variety of products in the laundry care group.
I come into work every day Monday- Friday from 8am-5pm. We have multiple buildings here at Walmart but I work primarily at the home office. I will also travel between the Mohawk building (a conference center), and the Layout center, which has products on modulars for our department to work with. I come into work and take a look at what meetings I have that day and what still needs to get done with my project.
I sit in a pod with 4 other people: Norm, who is the buyer for the laundry group and Kim, who is the replenishment manager. Then there’s Juan, who works on Keith’s team and does the mods for laundry. Lastly, there’s Jerome who is the buyer for dish soaps and sponges.
Working on these projects consists of multiple things. I work with a lot of data, primarily from a market research company called Nielsen, as well as working with the category team at Sun Laundry Corporation. Their category team has helped me with data, charts, and graphs. My project looks at consumer data of buying behaviors of laundry and looking at what the barriers are to cross purchasing in the 7 steps of laundry.
I then have lunch at the cafeteria in the home office with some of the other interns that I met. At the beginning of the program, we had a two day orientation and that is where I was able to make a group of friends working in all different departments here at Walmart. After lunch I usually either continue to work on my projects or I attend meetings. There are a couple different kinds of meetings I usually attend. I have meetings with my mentor, Martha, who works in the Marketing building doing market research. Walmart gives everyone of their interns a mentor and manager, so every 3 weeks I meet with her and touch base about how I’m doing and how my projects are coming along. I also attend biweekly meetings with the VP of our department, Corey, and his entire team.
The main meetings that I attend are assortment discipline meetings. Assortment discipline is a series of workshops that help the buyer know the most information about his category. These workshops include a kickoff meeting, customer behavior tree, and clustering. These meetings look at consumer insights data to help our buyers make the best decisions when buying products looking at customer loyalty.
This summer I’ve been learning a lot. I’ve been working primarily in the laundry group but have had interactions with buyers, associate buyers, and merchandising specialists in other consumables as well. I work with Nielsen data and different excel data sheets that show consumer trends on buying laundry products. I’ve also learned a lot of time management. Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and things move fast in the office. There are new products coming every day from the suppliers and because we rely so much on the consumers, Walmart has to be adaptable to what they want and what they are purchasing.
Walmart has given me the opportunity to work directly in the field that I would like to pursue after college, category management with consumer packaged goods. I have absorbed a lot of information that I will bring to my next position whether it be another role at Walmart, a retailer, or a consumer packaged goods company.