There are internships that sound good, but there’s really not much to do. In some jobs you are just a small part of the overall process, like a “cog in the machine.” Stacey Warren wanted more. And that’s what attracted her to MBI.
“MBI looks for intelligent, competent people, and lets them showcase and develop their abilities right off the bat. I wanted to be somewhere where I felt valued. I like that the CEO sees most of the work I do and that senior management knows who I am (and vice versa!). It’s very rare to come straight out of college and be treated like you are not straight out of college…if that makes sense.”
It makes absolute sense. Because MBI has high expectations of their Product Managers, and chooses creative candidates who can hit the ground running…candidates who are ready to take on a lot of responsibility, in a variety of roles. Like Stacey.
“I like what I do because it’s a new challenge every day. I may be doing the same kinds of tasks, but it’s different every time, depending on the product. The past two years I’ve been given the opportunity to build two brands: first, a jewelry brand, and now a new gift products brand. I don’t know anyone else my age who has been able to be in charge of what is essentially building a new company from the ground up.”
From day one, Product Managers start learning the ins and outs of creating a successful business. Unfortunately – or fortunately – there are times the new line is not a success. But this can be a valuable learning experience.
“The jewelry brand was unsuccessful. It was designed to supplement our fine jewelry business – we would market jewelry at a lower price-point to bring in more customer prospects, who would then hopefully be converted to fine jewelry buyers. To see it fail was difficult. Looking back, I can see where the signs were, but it’s still tough in the moment when you feel like a whole year’s work was for nothing.
But looking back now gives me an entirely different and new perspective. I learned to look back, reflect, and apply what I learned from that experience to what I do in the future, instead of focusing on what didn’t work. It’s something that’s been incredibly salient as I’ve been creating this gift products brand over the past year.”
There’s a rich perspective that Stacey and her colleagues have gained, one that will serve them well for the future. “Everything you do at MBI – and life in general – gives you experience. Nothing ends up being ‘for nothing.’ What matters isn’t what fails. It’s what you take away from the failure and how you use it to turn your next project into a success.”