Jesus Ortega interned with Safeway Inc. and gained experience in business administration and customer relations.
Why did you choose this internship and how did you get it?
I found my internship by looking at different sites like Handshake, Indeed, and LinkedIn. I applied to a lot of different options at the same time rather than waiting to hear back from each one before applying for a different internship. I was not expecting to hear back about this opportunity and all of a sudden, I received the call to interview.
After interviewing and being selected for the internship, I had the opportunity to be an assistant manager and had both corporate training and customer service responsibilities. I learned a lot of the processes required to run a business successfully. I also learned diverse perspectives of the business because I worked with four different managers from other departments.
I felt like this was the right internship for me because it included opportunities to strengthen my management skills and also get to explore my career options to learn if management is the path I want to take in the future. And I was right--through my internship I discovered that this is the path I am excited to continue to explore.
What new skills did you develop in this internship?
I had to learn a lot of things but training was provided so my onboarding was easier than I thought. The skills I had to practice were time management, organization, problem solving, customer service, inventory management and more. Some new skills I had to learn were scheduling, using payroll software, and software that helps with keeping track of customer traffic and purchases.
What did you find most challenging about your internship?
One challenge was getting used to a full-time workload, which was 40-48 hours a week. Also, I needed to be adaptable, as sometimes my schedule included morning shifts one day and evening shifts the next day. Overall I think that is the only challenge I faced but it was only for the first couple of weeks as I adjusted to the demand on my time.
How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?
My internship influenced my plans in a big way as I took this opportunity to explore and get to know better if the path of management was the right one for me or if I perhaps had to explore some other paths. This internship helped me realize that I enjoy every aspect of being a manager: working with coworkers, customers, having someone depending on me to get the job done and that with my work an industry gets to function as it should.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?
One piece of advice I have for other students is to not get discouraged when searching for an internship. You will apply to a lot of companies that will not reply back but that does not mean you should get discouraged or doubt yourself.
Another good piece of advice is to not be nervous when you first start, ask a lot of questions, and have fun while you learn.