Written by special contributor, Lance Fleming
When most people go to Arkansas in the summer, it’s to take advantage of some of the great outdoor activities offered by “The Natural State,” such as fishing, kayaking and canoeing, exploring lakes and rivers, hiking, mountain biking, and visiting national parks and nature centers for which the state is known.
But Bryanna Monteiro spent her summer as an intern for the state’s most visible business: Walmart. Instead of spending her days outside enjoying what Arkansas offers, she was working inside on networking and connectivity. Her work paid off, however, as the senior marketing major from Orlando, Florida, earned an offer and accepted a job with Walmart that will begin after she graduates from ACU.
We recently caught up with Monteiro to get a sense of her internship and how ACU prepared her for her work in the summer and beyond.
Q: What did you do in your internship?
Monteiro: “I was a merchandising intern in Department 72: Networking and Connectivity. I was given a project over the summer: content quality score acceleration within our department. At the end of the internship, I presented the project to leadership, where I talked about my strategy for what items to remove, move, and improve.”
Q: What was your favorite part of the internship?
Monteiro: “All the valuable experience it gave me because of all the incredible people I met, from other interns to people who work internally at Walmart and external people Walmart works with. I feel like I learned so much from getting to hear others’ experiences as well as the wisdom they were able to share with me.”
Q: What are the most significant lessons you learned in your internship?
Monteiro: “The importance of progress over perfection and focusing on opportunities and growth rather than just the challenges that may arise with things out of your control. There is always more to do, and moving forward even when things don’t go to plan is essential.”
Q: How do you see this experience aiding you in the future?
Monteiro: “This was truly the most incredible experience because I learned to be confident in my abilities and skills without being afraid to share my input. I met so many amazing people who supported me but also challenged and pushed me so that I would grow both personally and professionally.”
Q: Is this job leading to full-time employment with Walmart? If not, what are your plans after graduation?
Monteiro: “Yes, it is! I will be moving to Bentonville, Arkansas, post-graduation.”
Q: Do you have any tips for future interns or students looking for internships?
Monteiro: “Do an internship!! I cannot stress this enough. I don’t believe there is such a thing as looking back and regretting not having done more internships. Be yourself and know what you’re passionate about/what you are good at so you can find the right fit for you. Connect with your professors and anyone you meet; that will be important when looking for opportunities. Finally, ensure you intern at a company you see yourself working at or are open to because it could lead to future opportunities, and you won’t waste your time.”
Q: How has your time at ACU prepared you for this internship, employment, or graduate school after graduation?
Monteiro: “My time at ACU prepared me for this internship/future post-graduation job because I am an individual rather than just a number at this school. My professors have supported and encouraged me in every aspect: in class and when I was preparing to take on this internship. All my courses have equipped me with the skills necessary to succeed in my role. ACU provided me with all the additional resources I could use when preparing.”
Q: What’s been your most memorable experience as a business student at ACU?
Monteiro: “The application side of every class I have taken because it allowed me to take what I am learning and use it in scenarios I may encounter later. I love COBA’s community aspect in that all the professors want you to succeed and are the biggest support system in helping you achieve your goals.”