Tangela Smith Blog: Intership at Jamba Juice

By Tangela Smith, Mercury center
Posted: Nov. 3, 2010

Hey X-Factor!

I wanted to check in with you now that Iím up and running in my internship with Jamba Juice!

The WNBA and Jamba Juice put together a program called the Executive Development Program. Itís an in-house management internship where me and Alana Beard from the Washington Mystics will work with the Jamba Juice corporate team, learning critical strategic, operational and management skills that will help us become successful businesswomen when we finish playing basketball. I hopefully would like to own my own Jamba Juice store!

The overall experience has been amazing. Iím so grateful for this opportunity because Iím learning so much from some top executives of the company including the CEO James White. Iíve been playing basketball for a long time (13 years professionally), and I never really made the time to do other things that I had always dreamed of doing. Now Iím taking the time to do a little soul searching of what I want to do when I retire from basketball. Iíve always loved Jamba Juice and what the brand stood for which is to Simplify and Inspire Healthy Living. From the first time I had a Jamba Juice Iíve loved it and I also love where the company is headed. This is definitely a company thatís moving forward and a company that I would want to be associated with.

Iíve been here for about 2 weeks now and my first week was actually doing a 5 day in-store training where I learned the day to day operations from a General Managersí and Team Membersí perspective. I spent the entire 5 days in the store looking over P&Ls (Profit and Loss statements), doing inventory, and learning how to prepare everything on the menu (juices, oatmeal, wheatgrass, smoothies, etc).

My second week here has been spending time with the Jamba Juice executives, the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, the President of all Jamba Juice Stores, the Senior Vice President of Operations, the Senior Vice President of Global Franchise and Development, The Senior Vice President and General Counsel, the Senior manager of regional learning and development, the Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Products, and the Vice President of Franchise. Iíve been meeting with them to understand more the different departments and what they are in charge of.

Learning directly from these executives-hands on is very invaluable. Meeting with James White the CEO was probably one of the best experiences Iíve had so far. I was very intimidated going into the meeting, but he made me feel very comfortable. We talked about my time here and what I have learned so far and what my biggest surprises are. He also shared his management style, successes, and his path and recommended reading material for me. It was great.

I would say my biggest surprise is how hands on everyone here is and how everyone has this open door policy that whenever we want we can come and ask for help if we need it or if we donít know something we can just come and ask. Itís a very warm and friendly environment.

My biggest concern coming in was that I didnít have much experience and I was going to feel very overwhelmed by everything. Well I have been overwhelmed, but itís slowly going away each day Iím here. I laughed and joked with my friends and family about having to be at work all day (from 9-5) and not thinking I was going to be able to do it, but there is a lot for me to do here. My days fly by with meetings, research and learning the ins and outs of what it takes to be a successful businesswoman, which is my ultimate goal. I made and set goals for myself on the basketball level and have been very successful and that is the same thing that I will do business wise. I know the lessons I learn here at Jamba Juice and the relationships Iím making will stay with me forever. Their goal is to set us up for success and for that I am very grateful.

I also got the chance to attend the 2010 Womenís Conference hosted by California First Lady Maria Shriver and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is the nationís premier forum for women. Iíve never been to anything like this ever in my life and I left this conference feeling very inspired and empowered. It was great!

There were more than 140 speakers there and I wish I could have heard them all. Some of the women in attendance were First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Mary J Blige, Maria Shriver, Mary Oliver, The Honorable Sandra Day OíConnor and The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eve Ensler and thatís only to name a few. I was so in awe listening to all of the stories that were told. This conference was a very inspiring and transformational event for me. Again I have to thank Jamba Juice and WNBA for making this possible for me. Ok now I need to get back to work. Hello to all and I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am. Until Next TimeÖ