Hi Everyone! Halie here, writing from Hajoca Toledo (Ohio)—Inspirations Bath and Kitchen. I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in May of this year with a degree in Psychology and Management. Throughout my four years of college I focused my studies on social psychology, specifically the psychology behind power and leadership. I was introduced to Hajoca at my college career fair and I was admittedly a little hesitant when asked to interview. Obviously when starting my job search I imagined being in a glamorous industry where I would be strutting around a modern office building implementing leadership plans and suggesting brunch hotspots. After my first interview with Hajoca, my perspective on what I wanted in my future career dramatically shifted. The promise of autonomy, innovation, and leadership opportunities left me striving to get into the Management Development Program at Hajoca and turning down opportunities with the glamorous industries I once envisioned myself at. Now, as I enter my third month in the MDP, you can find me sweating and strutting around the warehouse, collaborating on leadership plans with my team, and suggesting brunch hotspots to my coworkers who don’t really understand the concept of brunch (apparently it’s a millennial thing–we’re working on that).
Getting down to business, I just finished up the warehouse portion of my Phase One training, and let me tell you, it was both physically and mentally demanding. I started in the warehouse with essentially no product knowledge, barely knowing the difference between a fixture and a fitting, and was expected to speedily pull orders for customers (hah!). I was barely able to carry more than two grocery bags into the house at one time, yet here I was, lifting toilets and moving showers around. With a smaller team of nine people here in Toledo, we only have one full time warehouse man, our Warehouse Manager (and my mentor), Ron. So as I entered this phase of training, I was his right hand woman and I was expected to do everything that he does on a day to day basis, no exceptions. Needless to say, I was challenged daily to learn more and work harder than the day before. Although I may have found the warehouse and the demands that come along with it intimidating, my mentor made it his purpose to teach me instead of coddle me, something I was very grateful for as a less-than-knowledgeable, somewhat weak, woman in this industry. I can confidently say at the end of my warehouse phase that I can pull orders and sling toilets with the best of them! I look forward to moving on to my counter phase and seeing what new challenges and learning opportunities come my way!
Just as an added bonus if you have made it all the way to the end of this blog, I am quite The Office fan and I often compare my experiences in the MDP to the ones Michael Scott faces in his role as Manager at Dunder Mifflin. For the warehouse phase, I often found myself very comforted by the scene where Michael decides to drive the forklift and completely destroys the warehouse, because although learning how to drive the lift was challenging, I managed to not destroy the warehouse. Go ahead, look it up!