Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Don’t Let Summer Slow You Down!

For college students that have spent the past nine months cramming for tests, attending classes and maintaining an active social calendar, the summer may seem the perfect time to take a break from it all. However, the summer is actually the perfect time to contribute to your post-graduation plans in a variety of different ways, including the ideas below.
Get a summer job!
Obtaining a summer job is an excellent way to put some extra cash in your pocket, while adding credentials to your resume. To give you a place to start, Forbes.com lists the top five summer jobs for college students:
·         Freelance writer
·         Server
·         Internship*
·         Nanny
·         Entrepreneur*

While the ideas listed above are great places to start, I have asterisked two items in particular – Internship and Entrepreneur, as these are my favorites.
Obtaining an internship provides tremendous benefit to a college student:
·         Provides a temporary view into a certain industry, position and/or employer
·         Creates many avenues for networking
·         Allows for the opportunity to gain real-world work experience
·         Helps to solidify decisions regarding possible future careers, and
·         Opens the door to possible post-graduation employment opportunities.
In addition, putting your creative hat on and utilizing your entrepreneurial skills during the summer is also another extraordinary way to gain real-world experience. When pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, you’ll be integrated into most basic areas of business:
·         Marketing and sales
·         Financial management
·         Product/Service development
·         Customer service
·         Much, much more!
TIP: When I see on a resume that a student has pursued an entrepreneurial project, my interest level is greatly raised!

Shadow a professional!
If the time commitment that comes along with an internship doesn’t work with your summer schedule, take a day or two to shadow professionals in industries or professions that you are interested in. Shadowing allows you to see the responsibilities and duties of certain positions, and provides you an opportunity to make a more well-informed career decision in your future. How can you secure a shadowing opportunity? Talk with your professors, Career Services, family members and friends to let them know that you are interested in shadowing someone within a specific industry or position. Also, LinkedIn is a fantastic avenue to search for and network with specific individuals.

Visit Career Services!
The fall and spring semesters are typically considered the “busy season” to college students, as well as college employees. The summer is the perfect time to make a few appointments with a Career Services representative to spruce up your resume and work on those interviewing skills. Oftentimes, these representatives will be able to spend more time with you, or see you more often because of the decrease in student usage during these few months.
While you may be taking a break from your studies this summer, don’t lose steam on your career journey!

Need more ideas on how to utilize your summer to the fullest? Email me at haley.hoskins@mattressfirm.com!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Intern Spotlight - Kathryn B.

I feel like I have hit the jackpot this summer by choosing to spend it with Mattress Firm. Although most people do not grow up dreaming of selling mattresses I have quickly learned that it can be a great career and that most importantly, the company helping you to do so is phenomenal.

A month ago I knew next to nothing about mattresses and although I am certainly not an expert yet, I have definitely expanded my knowledge since starting my internship at Mattress Firm. Who knew that a Protect a Bed was necessary to save your mattress from sweat and dust mites or that adjustable bases exist somewhere other than at the hospital? Not me. However, in my opinion it is not the specs about mattresses that is the most valuable thing I have learned from Mattress Firm, the internship is about much more than that. I have never worked with a group of people who are so passionate about what they do and about their community. I did not know that a workplace like this actually existed.

I was nervous to start this internship because it meant new people and a new city. However, I took a leap of faith and decided to move to Atlanta from North Carolina for the summer despite the fact that I knew no one here. Although it was tough at first, my coworkers quickly took me under their wing and were eager to show me around the city and make sure I was happy to be here and was enjoying my job. I could not have been placed in a better district. My District Manager, Intern Coordinator, and all of the other Area Managers, Store Managers, Assistant Managers, and Managers on Duty could not be better. They are all willing to help us learn and grow, both as Mattress Firm employees and as people and professionals in general. From the moment I walked in to the first day of training, I have felt welcome and a part of the Mattress Firm Family.

Mattress Firm is such a unique company who makes every effort to ensure that its guests and employees are as happy as possible. This internship could not be better so far and it inspires me to see how hard those around me are working and makes me strive to be better and eager to learn more every day. I could not be happier with my decision to intern with Mattress Firm in Atlanta this summer and I cannot wait to take my knowledge and personal growth back with me to Chapel Hill in the fall!

My advice to anyone seeking a job, part- or full-time, or an internship would be to not get consumed by titles and the company name or industry but to look for a company that is going to look out for you and has a culture that appeals to you. No matter how much you are getting paid, the job will be meaningless if you aren’t happy and aren’t growing as a person. It is important to find a company that wants to help you grow and wants to see you succeed. I have certainly found that and more with Mattress Firm this summer!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Intern Spotlight - Rebecca L.

The Mattress Firm Intern Experience

My name is Rebecca L. and I've been sleeping happy this summer because I've landed the opportunity of a lifetime as a sales intern at the nation's largest mattress retailer--Mattress Firm! Throughout these past three weeks, I have learned more things than I ever thought possible—about the mattress industry, about myself, and about this incredible company.

Before my internship at Mattress Firm, I knew little about the mattress world. Now, I can effectively hold a conversation about coils, about the phase changing material in Tempur-Pedic beds, about the benefits of getting a great night’s sleep and even about the importance of bed protectors to keep those nasty dust mites and bed bugs from eating away at those skin cells!

I have been constantly encouraged by every manager, area manager, district manager, intern coordinator and trainer that I come into contact with. I have never, in my entire life, felt so warmed and welcomed by such a talented group of individuals who are more than eager to help shape you into the talented young salesperson you're meant to be! My confidence level has risen to great heights these past three weeks as I have asked countless questions, and failed, more than once, thus teaching me many lessons about the importance of getting no’s!

As a college student that is searching for a future career, I am pleased to say that Mattress Firm is one of those golden eggs in the Easter egg basket—a company that is truly unique in their service to guests, and unique in their impeccable treatment of employees. I, without a doubt, have found an incredible organization that not only values their guests, but values the well-being of their employees. Energetic, encouraging and full of character are words to help describe the Houston Northwest district team I have worked with. I am thankful to have met each and every one of these talented individuals.

I have made an excellent decision in choosing to join the Summer 2014 Mattress Firm Intern team, and I recommend to any college student that is looking to grow both professionally and personally to take the chance and intern at this company. You will, without a doubt, learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Intern Spotlight - Kyandrea J.

Best Place to Intern: Mattress Firm

Thoughts as an intern:

When looking for the place to work regardless of full-time, part-time, or intern position most people overlook the bigger picture: finding a company that feels like a family. If you are looking for a new job make sure you understand and agree with the companies values and culture.

Mattress Firm gives back and is big on community involvement. Contributing over 800 hours to the community. Mattress Firm is big on growth we are trying to be a coast-to-coast retailer and with that there are many opportunities for the internal guest (the employees) to grow; we are almost coast-to-coast! Mattress Firm is all about hiring passionate individuals, in part because of the need for great culture and brand that Mattress Firm, as well as, looking to fill those new positions with knowledgeable and enthusiastic people. Mattress Firm is not only a brand/company but it is a big family.

I can truly say here at Mattress Firm, that I have gained not only new friends, but a family within the almost 3 weeks I have been here. Through the relationships with the interns I came in with or the full-time staff I have built relationships that are sure to last the test of time.

I have learned that Mattress Firm believes in their people and does everything to put them in the best position as internal guests. Throughout the Manager Interview process I have found many managers love the ability to be able to help others ,as well as, having the ability to act on their own; being leaders not order takers.

Anyone with a great attitude, sales aptitude, or even the ability to learn should come and learn more about what it means to be with a great family!