• Parker Grayson

Interning at Walmart

Hello from the comfort of my home office. This week marks the midpoint of my summer internship with Walmart’s Merchandising Operations team. With a career transition, self-exploration and of course…COVID, there is a lot to write about in regards to my experiences so far!

Walmart has really impressed me with the level of commitment to the ringing mantra, “The Customer is Number 1”. This phrase was first heard during the week of onboarding that included IT set-up, team and manager meetings, and intern cohort introductions. It really helped me feel like I was a part of the culture of the largest retailer in the world.

My team, Team Sports, is a part of Men’s Apparel (D23). My project is centered around how to grow my business unit by honing in on sporting events to target with retail efforts. It is an interesting time to be apart of the retail environment, and especially an interesting time to be a part of retail tied to sports, as there have been major disruptions in both industries. Nevertheless, Walmart has made sure to provide resources, contacts, and 6 weeks of training to ensure I am learning not just the mechanisms of my team, but also any business unit of interest inside of Walmart. The willingness of Walmart Directors, Vice Presidents, and Executive level members to schedule a Zoom call has been a highlight of the summer. The Executive exposure certainly conveys that this internship MATTERS to Walmart.

As a little more detail into what the day-to-day looks like for my project specifically, I have scheduled and conducted 20-25 interviews of Corporate Walmart employees to aggregate valuable information to use in a strategic and data-driven recommendation. Navigating the large corporate structure, accessing the massive amounts of data that Walmart has collected, and focusing on driving business without losing sight of the customer’s needs has led to an incredibly valuable experience. I have uncovered findings that were counter-intuitive that forced me to flex my people skills in conveying the findings to the appropriate people.

All along the way UNC alumni have made it a point to reach out to check on my experience. Walmart has impressed me with their vision of the future of retail, their humility in pouring into our intern class, and their willingness to adapt in times of stress….all of this while cheering the mantra “The Customer is Number 1.”

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