Education: BSc in Business and Economics & MSc in International Business Stockholm School of Economics
Role: Online Merchandiser (for Divided and part of the Ladies concept, Central Europe)
Journey so far: Summer Intern, Business Controller (including 3 months in the New York office), and Online Merchandiser - all at Online Sales
Hi, who are you?
I’m Malin, I started working for H&M at Online Sales one year ago after graduating from university. I grew up in a suburb just outside of Stockholm, but I have also had the opportunity to live abroad on a few occasions (where working for H&M in New York last fall was by far the best experience!). When I am not at work or spending time with my friends, I like to listen to music (I listen to music all the time), take care of my plants and paint/make simple drawings.
Tell us what you did as a Summer Intern?
I spent my summer at the Online Sales department within a Merchandising team, whose responsibility is to optimize the online selling of a certain market. The time was split between learning and practicing the daily tasks of a Business Controller (such as analyzing stock and sales numbers) and working on an individual business project. The project related to the daily business as well, it was to study the result of the previous sale activities for that market (for instance a Black Friday Trousers deal) and based on that make recommendations on how to format them in the most efficient way.
I appreciated that I was trusted with so much responsibility from day one. Even if I initially worked with quite small tasks, it was always real problems that the Business Controller needed help with. It was never administrative work or tasks where the result did not matter, which made me feel that I actually contributed to the business.
What was your biggest challenge during the summer internship?
In the beginning I think it was learning one of H&Ms values “keep it simple”. In an organization with so much data and information available, the key is to learn how to scale problems down and focus on the things that will make the biggest difference. This sometimes contrasts a lot to academic projects were you may need to investigate and document every detail of a problem, at H&M it is more about cutting to the core to be able to take quicker actions.
And now you work as an Online Merchandiser! What do you do and what do you enjoy the most?
I am responsible for maximizing the online selling for two of our concepts on the largest planning market. I must admit that I think that it is quite thrilling to work with these kinds of numbers! I like the clear ownership in the role, it is my responsibility to know the sales situation of my concepts and use that information to optimize the selling. It is a very action-oriented role where I make both short and long term strategic decisions every day. Seeing the results of my actions in the sales numbers really triggers me. It can be small or big initiatives, anything from doing minor changes in how we present our products on the site (that we can evaluate already the next day) to building the sales strategy for the coming season. The key is just that you feel that you make a difference!
What makes the role even more exciting is that I work very closely with the other Merchandisers as well as with a number of cross-teams. Being around these intelligent and fun people is what makes me look forward to going to the office in the mornings!
What is your main takeaway from the Summer Internship?
One key thing is definitely seeing “the bigger picture”. It is pretty unique to get insights to so many parts of an organization in such a short amount of time. I would absolutely say that this has helped me adapt to the organization and made me quicker in understanding new tasks. Getting a holistic perspective of H&M also includes learning about the culture and the processes of a large and successful company. Constant improvement is one of the values that come through in everything that is done; there is always the question of how we can do it better the next time. In that sense, I think that the knowledge you acquire and the skills you develop in an organization like H&M benefits you in any business environment.