Summer Internship: Home Depot Update

My internship with The Home Depot is more than halfway over, and there have been so many things to look back on already. I was given a project right away to begin working on, but I can talk about that next time. I would like to take this time to talk about some of the experiences outside of the day to day work that helped to make this so much fun. Remember, work is important, but so is having a great time.
One of the areas The Home Depot excels is community service. The IT department has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for 19 straight years building 21 houses. There was a build scheduled for this summer. There are about 80 interns with 40 in IT. They spread us out over the whole build. My roommate, Ross Harris, and I were on the last day. Some of the jobs we were doing consisted of laying sod, planting flowers, cleaning the inside, finishing trim on the outside, finishing the back deck, and much more. We also got to be a part of the house dedication to the young couple who would be living there. It was great to see where all the hard work was going. Donations were also taken over the course of the week to buy the couple lots of great Home Depot tools and some spending money they would need to take care of their new house. It was a great day.

The next day, the IT department held a picnic. I know what you are thinking, but it was not just a few hours of food and sitting outside talking. It was quite an event. Jim N Nicks catered some wonderful food under a huge tent. There was a volleyball tournament taking place on two different courts, which by the way was won by a mostly UA MIS intern team. There were carnival games, bouncy houses (one of which was a fifty foot pirate ship), putting greens, rock wall, caricature artists, face painters, snow cones, and cotton candy just to name a few. Whew!! Oh yeah, it was all free. The picnic lasted a few hours before it was time to head back to work.

The next week we all gathered together for an intern dinner after work. We enjoyed some good pizza while relaxing and getting familiar with each other and some of the associates that are acting as mentors. Later that same week, I had the pleasure of joining other interns in my department as we got to have lunch with our VP, Barbara Sanders. She was very interested to hear how our internship was going. She wanted to know what we were doing and what our thoughts were about the program and our experiences. I also got to attend two different manager meetings. One involved the Director of my department who answers directly to the VP. During this meeting, I was involved in the round table comments where I was asked to discuss the project that I am working on.

The following week involved a round table event with Matt Carey, CIO of The Home Depot. The event was staged as a talk show with him and Paul Wakim, Director of Human Resources of IT, who was the host. Paul asked him a series of questions before turning it over to us. We were able to ask him whatever questions we wanted. It was something to be proud of when after the first few were asked, Matt asked why all the questions were coming from Alabama. In the end, it was a great way for us to get to see a side of him that we would not ordinarily get to see. It was very entertaining and educational as we got to hear some stories and received some advice.

The following day our VP held an All Hands event. I got to help decorate for the meeting which was done in a beach theme. There were beach balls and straw hats everywhere and funnel cakes, popcorn, and popsicles were served. During the meeting, updates were covered about what was going on in our department for the quarter.

The first half of the summer was so full of events that it was hard to believe there was still more to come. And some of these were not special intern events. They were normal in the life and culture of The Home Depot.

-Stephen Frost


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