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!

Thoughts On The Week & A Meaningful Song From Jason Mraz

I have not done so well at posting things this week.  Life has just been crazy busy – but in a good way.  Unfortunately, because I am so busy, I have to turn down opportunities to see friends and family (which I, of course, would rather not do).  I wish there was more time to see people.

It’s been an extremely busy week at work – and the work I am doing is certainly useful.  I have been helping to plan the fall Operations Summit, preparing my presentation on my internship that I will be giving to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Chiefs and Managing Directors, compiling sales data for license product contract renewal, completing filings with governments for new franchise business development, and much more.

I cannot believe that one week from tomorrow will be the last day of my internship!  This summer has gone so fast!

As I reflect on the summer, I find the words of “Details in the Fabric” by Jason Mraz meaningful.  The song was shared this week at BearQuarters:

Details in the Fabric
by: Jason Mraz

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads saying
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
But, if it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine
Everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
No reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Yeah everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
No reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

The White Privilege Conference

Today marks the end of the 11th White Privilege Conference (WPC – link).  It has been a great opportunity (my second – I attended the conference last year in Memphis) to learn about and discuss white privilege/oppression, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice.

Javier Ogaz and I are currently in our hotel room at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I enjoy the opportunity to spend good amounts of time having quality conversations with good friends.  Javi is certainly at the top of that list.  This is the second year in a row that the WPC has been good for this.

Earlier today, we facilitated two workshops on Addressing Microaggressions – A Focus on the Little Things.  Each was an hour and half.  The first had 38 participants and the second had 36 participants.  Our topic, workshop and presentation styles/methods were well received.  For our first major national presentation, I’d say that we were successful.  In our sessions, we had high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, PhD students, high school teachers, college professors, government employees, non-profit workers, activists, community organizers, and business consultants.  Click here for a copy of our workshop handout.  Of course, we are available to facilitate trainings and workshops for you too!

The keynotes and sessions we went to included:

  • Redressing Health Inequities in Native America: The Role of India Self-Determination
  • Creating Social Justice in Organizations: Sharing Best Practices and Lessons Learned – a two part workshop led by the Social Justice Training Institute
  • Ethics and Leadership: Making Choices for Social Justice
  • What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication
  • Free Land: A Hip Hop Theater Experience
  • Shabbat Ce-Liberation Dinner
  • A Celebration of Youth

The White Privilege Conference has definitely been a great experience – it has helped me realize where I am in my personal development.  Last year, I was afraid that I would only be able to attend Beginner-level workshops and would find them all challenging.  In fact, the beginner-level workshops were usually easy/very understandable and I wanted more of a challenge.  I was further along in my understanding of these topics than I had thought.  This year, I found that the keynotes were more specific than I would have preferred – but the ones we attended were still good.  Further, I was less interested in as many workshop topics.  The ones we attended were Intermediate and/or Advanced levels.  It seems as though my experiences and involvement this past year have really helped me grow in my identity and my understanding.