(212) Meeting the CFO + Celebratory Circles

Mochi Ice Cream: A circular confection made out of the Japanese mochi (pounded sticky rice) and ice cream filling. I was skeptical in trying this because the “sticky rice” didn’t sound appealing, but to my surprise the texture of the outer layer tasted more like stiff jello. It felt like was eating  a cool flavored bubble- with was perfect for the 83 degree NYC heat.

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2 Mochi ice creams split in half

This was the delicious orange and ‘cookies and cream’ mochi I treated myself to after a busy and happening start to the week. On Monday, myself and the two other finance interns at Macy’s presented our final group project. It was a culmination of all our hard work, research and collaboration. As nervous as we initially were for our presentation, we presented with surprising confidence.

I’m starting to realize that no matter how many times I present or perform in front of a large group of people, the nerves always kick in. For this presentation we had our supervisors and higher-ups in the company attend. Naturally, I felt anxious as they walked in and took their seats. Once I began to speak for my portion of the presentation there wasn’t time to be nervous. The thoughts I was trying to express just flowed through my lips as they would in any other conversation. I genuinely wanted to explain our solution to the people there, and became less worried about what they would think of me-(The fact that they weren’t wearing suits definitely helped). The Q&A portion afterwards was an obstacle course that we tactfully navigated among the three of us. I felt relief and pride once the presentation was complete.

The following day, the three of us had the pleasure of meeting with Karen Hoguet- the CFO of Macy’s. She has been the CFO since October of 1997, and was named top CFO of the year in 2014. Excitement and awe would be an understatement when describing how we felt. We were taken by our HR representative up the elevator to the floor on which Hoguet’s office was located. As we stepped out of the elevator I noticed the grandeur of the entire floor. A fancy couch and a circular glass coffee table greeted us at the entrance. It was a mere taste of what lay ahead. We continued walking down what seemed like a wide hallway from the Gatsby mansion. There was a table covered in wineglasses at the end, hinting at the high-end gatherings that take place in the space.

We were brought into a room with a large circular wooden table and antique tapestries that covered the walls. After we took our seats, Hoguet strolled in to join us. She’s an extremely kind and energetic woman who was pleased to meet us. We talked about our presentation from the previous day, and asked her questions about her journey. She eagerly answered all of our questions and shared personal stories from her past to illustrate the importance of following a passion regardless of potential setbacks. Her demeanor was strong, maternal and friendly- extremely friendly. Since she had come from Cincinnati to speak to all the interns earlier that summer I knew she was an approachable type. Meeting her in person in a such an intimate setting only validated my opinion of her. Despite our excitement to meet with her, we were initially a little nervous. We worried that an awkward pause in conversation might occur so we made a list of questions we could ask her. However, once our meeting commenced, it was obvious that we had no reason to be nervous. Hoguet was so genuine and personable that we immediately felt comfortable. Speaking with her was truly one of the highlights of my summer.

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