Month 2: December 2014
Satisfaction Brewing (Satisfaction 5 / 5)
It's my second month in the Retail Internship and I've been so busy but absolutely loving it. I feel that many of the skills I gained during PR and Marketing internship are transferrable and are helping me when communicating with suppliers, I feel more confident with these interactions because I have built up quite solid brand knowledge and understand what our product requirements are.
I have been doing a lot of research for products for the new shop, ranging from speciality teas and drinks (for the brew bar) to Kentish cobnuts (for our customers to crack open), to greetings cards and books for the gift section. It has been really fun communicating with so many different suppliers and being able to explore different products every day. For instance, today I was looking for beautiful designer mini tongs to serve the special Lakrids liquorice we will be getting from Denmark. I enjoy paying attention to detail and looking for products that are unique and hard to source, it will be exciting to offer our customers special things they can't get anywhere else in London (it's a big claim but...).
To help plan sourcing, I have also been learning how to use the project management tools this month, and learnt about Gantt charts. I used Gantter, a web-based tool which allows you to schedule tasks, link tasks with resources and to certain people, to generally keep track of project progress. I hadn't used a project management tool like this before and was eager to develop a new skill. At first I found it slightly confusing to use, but a few video tutorials later and I had made my own tester project to play around on and practice with. I can see how useful a tool like this is when managing a big project which involves lots of different people doing a variety of tasks. One of the features of the tool allows tasks to be linked so one can only be started once another is completed, which gives a good overview of what needs to be done and by when before the project can progress. I'm looking forward to putting this tool to use to manage some of my own tasks!
As I have started this second CCK internship, I realised I needed to think about some sort of paid work since I was going to carry on interning. It is CCK's policy not to allow more than 2 consecutive internships and I feel passionate about the brand and want to stay on which is why I have applied to join CCK2 on the shop floor as staff once the store opens. I am so excited to be able to be a part of the actual shop and it will be brilliant to see all of our hard work paying off.
I will be starting in a retail and customer service role which will combine perfectly with my retail internship. I will be able to see how the products I have helped source are received by customers and will be able to directly listen to them and take into account what they would like to see being served and on the shelves. It will also be a great opportunity for me to tell the customers about the products in more detail and tell them about the suppliers/where they come from etc.
As I will be working in the shop I also got the fabulous opportunity to go along to professional Barista training at the Monmouth Coffee Roastery near London Bridge. It was a brilliant 2 day course in which we learnt about coffee, from bean to brew, and got to taste a variety of delicious and diverse drinks. We also were taught all about the espresso machines we would be using in the shop. Coffee making is much more complicated than I ever imagined! I learnt a lot and have a whole new respect for coffee experts as making the perfect cappuccino isn't as easy as you may think. However after 2 days of practicing making espressos and blending milk to get that perfectly textured consistency, we were all in agreement that our Cappuccinos and Lattes were tasting pretty good. We even got the sips of approval from Mike and Adam, the two top baristas at Monmouth who were teaching us over the two days.
I'm really looking forward to working with the suppliers I am in touch with now and seeing my hard work pay off once things begin to arrive in store and we can stock our cupboards, fridges and shelves with lots of lovely things.
I think next month is going to be so exciting as we plan to open the shop and welcome our first customers in for a hot drink on a cold day, and I'm expecting it to get very busy and a little hectic at some points during opening - Christmas is always a bit chaotic anyway right? Maybe I'll just have to get some mistletoe out and spread the love in stressful times.