This past summer I interned at the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. My day-to-day duties as a Starbucks intern started with getting to connect with my partners (coworkers) and fully immerse into the cultural environment. This was by far my favorite part of interning at Starbucks — they fully invested in their interns and gave us almost the first 1/3 of our time over the summer to get to know who we were working with on both a personal and professional level. Moving on from there, my daily duties included; attending team meetings, having ongoing partner connections, researching and designing a central (internal) HR webpage, and assisting the compensation team with tracking minimum wage nationally and implementing a new company-wide structure for this. Believe it or not, throughout my whole internship I never once had to make a coffee run!
I would say most of my days were structured similarly, but I had a ton of control over my schedule and basically free-reign to decide what I wanted to do based on what interested me. So while most days followed the same structure, that was because that’s how I like things.
Over the summer, Starbucks hosted many intern social events for all of us. These included; watching a sounders game from a suite at CenturyLink, touring the Kent Starbucks coffee roasting facility, an Argosy dinner cruise of the Puget Sound, a morning coffee meet & greet with the Starbucks CEO (Howard Schultz), lunch meetings with top leaders from each business unit, and a closing dinner event with all 63 interns and their managers & mentors.
To a student on the search for an internship (or job), the biggest piece of advice I could offer is to find a company with a culture that is a good fit for you personally. I know (from experience) how stressful it can be to find an internship with summer coming sooner and sooner, but the reason I felt so passionate about my work and achieved success in my internship can be 100% attributed to the culture at Starbucks and the people I was so fortunate to work with.
Secondly, I would mention to show initiative and chase after what you are passionate about/interested in. I was on a high-level HR team which was a more general team (not concentrated), but I took the time to set up meetings with people from all divisions of HR (learning & development, compensation, performance etc.) and voiced interest in compensation to my manager and was able to take on a second project with the compensation team from which I later got my full-time job offer!
At the end of the summer, the last thing I did was give a final presentation. Basically, this was an opportunity to share what I worked on, learned, and how I grew over the summer with my manager, peers, and executive-level leaders from my division.
If you’re looking for a job/internship, best of luck to you and absolutely make the most of whatever opportunity you find!