Being an intern at 5 Star Plus Retail Design is unique in the aspect that we operate as a unit. Regardless of your title, you might find yourself doing research for the design team, creating PowerPoint presentations for your supervisors or training how to create sketches or blueprints for clients, electricians and the government. At 5 Star Plus Retail Design our primary focus is to provide individuals with a store design bursting in creativity, individuality, and personality. Clients who have a positive experience with this company are more likely to reference it for future projects. As I write a blog or create presentations for both the design team and my supervisors, I do so with one purpose, addressing a need. People visiting our website or listening to our PowerPoints share a common interest. They want to generate as much profit as they can with spending the least amount of money necessary. For new stores, this process begins with designing the store from scratch. For established brick-and-mortar stores, this is done through innovation and finding means to maintain sustainability. Providing clients and potential clients with the resources necessary to be sustainable and successful offers them insight to maintain longevity; potentially increases our chance of gaining new projects.
As I scan the room where my colleagues and I work, reflecting on my experiences throughout the past two weeks, I notice most of the employees other than Barbara, Cecilia and Mariam spend their time working from the office. Working from the office is nice in terms of being in an environment with minor distractions and having valuable resources at your disposal. However, being confined to a 4 x 4 area for nine to ten hours a day is monotonous. I yearn to spend less time in the office learning from behind a screen and more time interacting with individuals, attending networking events, and learning through action.
While observing several of my colleagues’ presentations, I realized my PowerPoint skills could use some improvement. Incorporating photos with bright, pastel colors that promote warm, inviting emotions and using bullet points to foreshadow your content instead of boring them with everything you plan to talk about are key observations I saw to assist in keeping engagement between the speaker and the audience. Over the next 4 weeks, I would like to improve my skills in PowerPoint and continue to increase my connections through networking events. If I decide to pursue a career in China after school the connections I make now could open doors for me in the future.
To accomplish these goals, I have started to observe and listen to the individuals in my work environment. I go through older files relating to past projects and study each presentation. I observe and catalog how photos were placed, the types of photos that were used, how many slides were incorporated, what type of information they used in their bullet points and so on. I take this knowledge and use it within my own presentations. Through repetition, error and practice, I plan to leave this internship with a thorough understanding in creating professional PowerPoints. To build upon my guanxi, I have attended one networking event through my company hosted by the British Embassy. I intend on attending hopefully two more before I head back to the states. These networking events hosted through companies are excellent means for introducing yourself to prospective clients, future friends and potential bosses. You never know what or who you might meet at these events which is why I plan on attending as many as my schedule will accommodate.