This week’s blogs are brought to you by 1-800-Flowers.com finance interns, Nicholas and Gina, who have spent their summer learning about the company’s budgets and costs.
INTERNal Perspective: Nicholas Hayman
I have been very fortunate to intern at 1-800-Flowers.com this summer. Before starting, I was searching for an internship experience that would be challenging and rewarding. So far, my experience has met the criteria. Under the leadership of the Brand Finance team, I have felt like a team member since day one. They have all taken the time out of their busy schedules to speak with me, train me and contribute to my professional development. I have learned so much already, but continue to learn more each day.
One of the greatest aspects of working with the Brand Finance team has been my interactions with different departments across the business. Many of the reports, projects and tasks I have been assigned involve employees from very different departments. Not only have my communication skills improved, but my knowledge of the company as a whole increases every day.
Overall, this internship has been better than I could have ever hoped for. I have gained new skills, improved upon existing ones and came in contact with many insightful people. Additionally, this experience has confirmed my initial interest in a career in finance. While still young, I know that this internship experience has been very valuable to my future career.
INTERNal Perspective: Gina Wei
My name is Gina Wei and for the last two months, I have been interning in the Accounting Department at 1-800-Flowers.com. I graduated this past May with my Bachelor of Science in Accounting and I am returning to the University at Buffalo (SUNY) this fall in pursuit of my Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Internal Audit and Risk Management.
I was initially really nervous coming into this internship for several reasons; the main one being that I am a shy person by nature. I was worried that I would not make any friends during my time here because I am older and more introverted than most of the other interns. I was also the only intern working on a different floor so I felt a little isolated in the beginning. With time, I came to realize how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to work in the Accounting department. As the only intern in the Accounting Department, I am able to work with five or six different managers as opposed to simply one or two. In other words, I was offered an extremely well rounded internship experience by being able to rotate between departments. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I interned between the Tax and Financial Reporting Departments. On Thursdays, I worked with the Accounts Payable Department and on Fridays, I gained experience in the Accounts Receivable Department. The rotations between the departments gave me a better understanding as to how the company was operated as well as exposure to newer fields.
Another aspect of the internship that I really enjoyed was being able to work on a business plan for a personalization brand with some of the other interns. My team (including our mentors) was one of the best groups of people I have ever had the opportunity of working with. I think the reason why our team worked so well together was because we were able to leverage our differences and use them to our advantage to accomplish one predetermined goal.
The biggest challenge for me this summer was the day-to-day test of time management. Also, as previously mentioned, I had the opportunity of working in four different departments. Assignments from the different departments often overlapped and many of the projects were time sensitive, which taught me how to prioritize. Learning to time manage this summer really helped me gain a sense of independence in the work place. What distinguished my internship experience here from my previous experiences was that I felt like my managers and co-workers made me feel more like an employee or an equal rather than an intern.