Internship Spotlight: Katy Tolson, TJX

Sept. 16, 2021

Eller PDC Blog

Katy Tolson is a Marketing major graduating in the spring of 2022.  This summer she interned as a Distribution Operations Intern for TJX in Phoenix, Arizona.


What was the process for getting this internship, job, or summer experience?

The first step in the interview process, after submitting the initial application with my resume and cover letter, was an automated online interview. In this step, I was shown a series of four questions and then had 30 seconds to prepare an answer and 2 minutes to record myself giving the response. The questions were pretty standard like telling them about yourself and why you want to work there. After this, I had three 1 hour interviews with a series of leaders within the DC.


What was a typical day like?

Everyday was truly different in the distribution center, but one thing I could count on was plenty of work to stay busy with! It was a very immersive and hands on experience where I got to help coach associates to stay on method, learn more about TJX’s buyers strategy and all the details of how to get product intact to the stores. My main priority throughout the internship though was completing research and solutions for my final project which was centered on decreasing damages in transit to stores.


What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part was getting outside of my comfort zone and experiencing a 360-degree view of the retailing industry. Also, the work culture at TJX is so welcoming and prioritizes making relationships which I really enjoyed.


If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:

My final project was focused on creating solutions to decrease the top three damage departments in the Distribution Center. I was given the autonomy to create my own solutions and then was guided by my mentors on how to make them stronger and any recommendations they had. In the end, I created visual aids that are now being used and new methods that are also in the process of being implemented.


What did you find most challenging?

I found it most challenging to adjust my schedule to the work hours. The DC splits up into three shifts and management did not want one shift to have the graveyard so I worked on the second shift that was from 3pm to 1:30 am.


What did you learn?

I learned how to manage my time in terms of working on my own project, learning the methods of the distribution center and creating relationships with people around me.


What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar experience, or advice for future students to be successful?

I would advise everyone to start applying early and apply to things you’ve never heard of! I never thought I would be in distribution operations and I don’t see myself continuing in this field but I am so much more well rounded because of it. I also fell in love with TJX and hope to continue with them post grad.


How did Eller prepare you for this experience?

Eller prepared me by forcing me to present every semester. This was something I dreaded but when I present my final project I was so much calmer because of all the experience I had in my time at Eller.


Anything else you would like to share about your summer experience?

Take internship opportunities as a way to get outside of your comfort zone and experience something new!