Build-A-Bear Workshop Presentation

I wrote in an earlier post about my internship presentation to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Chiefs and Managing Directors.  I’ve had some questions so I figured I would share more of an “outline” of that presentation.  Some notes are below.

® & © 2010 Build-A-Bear Workshop. Reproduced with permission—all rights reserved.

Slide 1

My position, my supervisors

Slide 2

Who I Am – high school, college, etc.

Slide 3

Learning about the Build-A-Bear Workshop business and shortened project list.

Slide 4

Introduce the International Holiday Toolkit and it’s role in the International Operations Summit; the focus on execution.

Slide 5

More details on the Holiday Toolkit – designed to fit Summit theme, made more functional, easier implementation, led collaborative effort of departments across the company.

Slide 6

My Takeaways:

  • The opportunities and challenges of running an international business.
  • Tim has described our work as a business of relationships.  Whether it is coordinating projects with an international team made up of representatives from across the company or saying something to each franchisee in just the right way, this statement is certainly true.
  • Happy employees are more productive and are able to create new and happier customers.
  • Asking questions, exploring new ideas, and challenging the status quo are not only okay but important pieces of business growth.
  • The importance of simplicity and clarity.
  • Excel is everywhere and that larger paper can offer larger spreadsheets.

Slide 7

Impact on my career plan:

  • Desire in an employer and piqued my interest in exploring the world of franchising.
  • I want to work for a company which values its employees and its customers, that has great public reception, and which cares about more than just the bottom line.
  • I like the fast-paced work environment with projects that change daily and unexpectedly.
  • Tim has taught me that franchising is “like being on the board of a bunch of small companies”.
  • This translates into Karen’s description of Build-A-Bear’s franchising as working like consultants.

Slide 8

Thank you for an amazing experience and a great opportunity!

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End of Internship & Final Project List

Well, today was the last day of my internship at Build-A-Bear Workshop.  I cannot believe how quickly it went.  While I was a bit unsure about leaving summer camp, I have had an amazing experience and learned, contributed, and grew more than I ever could have expected.  I am very happy to have had this experience.

Today I had the ability to sit down with Tim and Karen and talk for a bit, get to know Darlene better (she is the head of HR), complete projects, clean up, and say my goodbyes.  Although, I hope they are really just “see you laters”.  That would be wonderful.  I plan on keeping up with the progress of the company and related news.  I will certainly be back to visit BearQuarters and stay in touch with those I worked with this summer.  Who knows – if I am lucky, I will have the opportunity to do so again.

Below is the final list of the projects I completed in my internship this summer:

Project List

  • Updated Merchandising Assortment Guide (MAG)
  • Updated and branded prospective franchisee materials
  • Partnered in the preparation of a PowerPoint presentation on International for a Board of Directors meeting
  • Compiled international store profit/loss analysis
  • Analyzed seasonal global sales by country and product for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
    • Developed tools for an international assessment of the World Cup program
    • Created reports for the FIFA licensor towards evaluation of a contract for the 2014 World Cup
  • Created a “toolkit” to assist franchisees in driving sales during Quarter 4 / 2010 Holidays that involved compilation and creation of resources from across the company
  • Helped plan the 2010 International Operations Summit
    • Developed presentation materials for presenters
  • Organized international store pictures
  • Updated international store layout/blueprint records for store fixture assessment
  • Researched 2011 International Licensing Opportunities
  • Analyzed international supply chain/inventory flow and product loads by country as a tool for assessing the international franchise model
  • Assisted franchisees in developing inventory forecasts and turnover/ordering projections
  • Reviewed new store proposal/design and real estate opportunities
  • Offered feedback on business plans submitted by prospective franchisees
  • Conducted merchandise reviews for seasonal and core product planning, ordering, and delivery
  • Developed tools for end-of-season program evaluation and product analysis
  • Assisted in the development of strategy and promotional plans for complimentary business products
  • Acted on behalf of franchisees in resolving disputed invoices
  • Assisted with headquarters training of franchisees
  • Filled out a Franchise Offering Circular for new franchise development
  • Forecasted yearly revenue from royalties and development fee amortization in developing the FY2011 International Department budget
  • Communicated regularly with franchisees worldwide

Through these projects I have been able to:

  • Analyze and evaluate product sales
  • Assist in franchise development
  • Help franchisees become more profitable while increasing royalties to Build-A-Bear Workshop®
Countries with Build-A-Bear Franchises (as of 13 August 2010)

Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Germany, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Russia, Singapore

It may seem unrealistic to have done all of this in just ten weeks, but that is the reality of Build-A-Bear Workshop – surpassing expectations. 🙂

The Second To Last Day

Today was amazing.  I really do not want this internship to end.  I hate goodbyes – although hopefully this will not be goodbye.  I would love the opportunity to come back to work for Build-A-Bear Workshop after graduation and it seems as though that may be a possibility if a position becomes available.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.

When I got to work today, I had an email from Maxine (the CEO) that she had sent to all of the interns with the subject “You guys rock!!!”.  That’s pretty awesome.  She wanted to thank us for our work this summer and asked us to be in touch.  That seems to be a theme with most people in the company and they genuinely seem to mean it.  I will definitely be in touch.

Laurie, who coordinates our internship program, shared with me a message that Maxine had sent out to Tina (CFO), Eric (General Counsel), Darlene (Chief of HR), and Laurie early this morning.  She had seen my blog post from yesterday and sent it to them to “enjoy”.  How nice!

Today I worked on finishing a few projects, went to lunch with the international team, met with several people, and went to the Bon Voyage Paw-ty for the interns.

At lunch, Cory and I were each given a Zakumi, the World Cup mascot, from Build-a-Bear Workshop International for our work on the World Cup as well as a Build-A-Bear Workshop International portfolio and highly sought after jacket.  I was pleasantly surprised and am happy to be able to take these with me to remember the international team.

At our Bon Voyage Paw-ty, a good chunk of BearQuarters showed up to say goodbye.  It was nice of them to come se us off and showed me, once again, how interconnected we all are.  The company gave each intern a bear with a shirt that had been embroidered with our university name on it, a signed copy (with a personal note) of Maxine’s book, The Bear Necessities of Business, among other gifts.  They are really very kind.

I met with Tina and Eric today.  It was my first chat with Tina and I got to find out her history and involvement in the company and a bit about her personally.  I was able to reflect on the summer and the company’s future with both of them.  Everyone here has such unique stories and perspectives that together give the company a lot of opportunities.

There will be a Bear Builder in town from Denmark the week after next.  Even though I will no longer be with the company, I have been invited to help show him around St. Louis and participate in events with him in the evening.  That should be a lot of fun.

One more day.  I know it will be good.

Pictures from the BearQuarters Meeting

Here are a couple of pictures from Tuesday’s BearQuarters meeting:

Pinatas in honor of Mexico during the International presentation at the BearQuarters meeting

Showing off furry fashion at the BearQuarters fashion show.

Build-A-Bear Internship

This summer, I will be working as the International Business Intern at Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Their World Bearquarters (clever, isn’t it?) is in St. Louis.  I will be working for the Director of International Franchising and Operations and the Director of International Marketing and Product Development.  I’m super excited for this great opportunity.

I have often heard good things about Build-A-Bear and learning from a growing, unique, exciting international company will be a great opportunity.  Throughout the 10 week program, I will likely post updates on the experience/opportunity and related information about the company.

Here are some links related to Build-A-Bear

The Company Website

The Interactive Online World

Stock Quote

Facebook

Twitter

My offer letter for my internship with Build-A-Bear came with "Messenger Bearemy". How awesome is that?!? I'm going to like working for this company.

My Undergraduate Thesis

I am finally done!  I have completed my undergraduate thesis!  Since March 2009 I have been learning research methods, developing a topic, researching, reading, writing, refining, editing, changing, thesising, etc.  After countless hours of work (and at least as many thinking about/complaining about the work I needed to do), I am done.  64 pages / 18,357 words later I am happy with my work.

Topic: The Rising Influence of Segmented and Fractionalized Communities in Israel

Thesis Completed for:

Advisor: Jonathan Adelman, Professor of International Studies

If you are interested, click here to read my thesis.

Update: May 3, 2010: I’ve turned in my thesis and my Advisor has given me an A.