How would I describe my first week at Walmart ISD? Amazing. Here’s why. Sometime before 7 am on my first day, I arrived at the Sam Walton Development Center (SWDC) where my intern orientation was to take place. Upon entering the lobby, I was immediately greeted by security and asked to present my badge. I explained that I was a new intern and was instructed to sit in some nearby chairs and wait until I could be escorted in. Only a few seconds passed, and thereafter, a handful of other interns entered the building and we all began to get acquainted. It wasn’t long before someone from the recruiting team gathered us together, led us into a large meeting room, and asked us to look for and sit at the table with our name on it. Following this; at 8 o’clock, orientation kicked off and we began learning about all the things that make Walmart great. As we listened intently to engaging speakers, participated in fun team building exercises, and searched through a plethora of materials provided to us we quickly became knowledgeable about Walmart’s rich history, its culture, and its guiding beliefs.
Later on in the day, we practiced and performed the Walmart and Sam’s Club cheers. Then, it was on to networking. Walmart has a strong focus on the importance of effective networking and this was evident as we were given an extensive opportunity to meet and connect with all of the other interns in the room who had gathered from campuses all over the country. Our experience didn’t stop there. Afterwards, people began slowly filtering in and standing around the room and we were told they had come down to meet us. As I began walking around and talking to them, I was shocked to find out I was speaking face-to-face with CFOs, vice presidents, and directors – just to name a few. As the afternoon came to an end, I left for my commute back to the very nice apartments that Walmart has kindly provided for us this summer and later went out to explore the sights and sounds of Fayetteville, AR with some of the people I had meet earlier in the day.
The next morning began in much the same way as the day before, except this morning we were introduced to our managers and were able to find out the exact projects we would be working on over the summer. As I found out more and more about what I would be doing, I got very excited. I was actually being given a meaningful project that would provide me with a valuable learning experience as well as tangible accomplishments to leave with at the completion of the internship.
For the rest of the week, I became familiarized with my workplace, the enormous David Glass Technology Center (DGTC), introduced to my team (all very friendly, intelligent, and helpful people), and given an overview of all the development tools and environments that I am now working with. Something that really opened my eyes was how everything I had learned in the MIS program began to take shape in front of me. Believe it or not, in case anyone is curious, the three MIS 295 binders are not meaningless exercises Dr. Hale created for the sole purpose of torturing his students. They actually prepared me very well for understanding the documents used to control the SDLC of our projects here at Walmart ISD.
Although I have only been here a short while, I would rate my time here at Walmart as one of the best experiences of my life. Whatever you are looking for, the opportunity exists here at Walmart. Every day is a chance to meet hundreds of people, learn new things from all aspects of the business, develop professionally, and climb to new heights.