MU Life

An Insight into First Insight

Hidden on a hill in Warrendale, PA lies a company that is revolutionizing the fashion industry. Improving every retailer they have ever dealt with, this innovative company named First Insight is where I am so fortunate to have an internship this summer.

And let me tell you, after spending the last couple of months with them, I can go ahead and say that they are probably the coolest company within the industry so you’re gonna want to keep reading.

First Insight is a cloud-based technology company and provider of the world’s largest platform empowering retailers and brands to introduce the right products at the right price.  Essentially, First Insight tests products in order to determine whether a product will succeed or fail before it hits the store floor.  By being able to know how successful a product is, First Insight can advise buyers to make better purchasing decisions and improve their overall GMROI (Gross Margin Return on Investment).

My internship at First Insight this summer is with the Account Management team. I help the team keep on track with their accounts by creating insights (product tests), analyzing/pulling results and occasionally doing photo shoots.  I work Mondays thru Fridays, 8am-5pm. My average day at the office consists of editing photos, using Excel to organize data, and creating insights/surveys that are sent out to consumers.  When the tests are finished and sent out, I help analyze and provide results to the account manager for them to rely back to their account/retailer.

The insights that I create every day are the tests/surveys that First Insight uses to test products for success. Essentially, one of our accounts/retailers will provide me with the products they want to test as well as any other information they want to survey from their consumer. Once I have all the information, I then go ahead and build out the test and prepare it for deployment. After the insights are approved, these tests are then deployed out to our retailer’s consumer base.

One thing I have found while working at First Insight is that so many companies use the services we provide.  Over the course of the summer I have worked with and created tests for Dick’s Sporting Goods, David’s Bridal, Kohl’s, Lilly Pulitzer, HSN, Vineyard Vines, and many MANY other retail companies we have all shopped at or have heard of. In fact, First Insight works with so many common retailers that you have probably received an insight in your inbox from one of our retailers and have had no idea that First Insight was behind it.

Throughout the summer, First Insight has provided me with so many opportunities to be able to learn. I would say one of my best experiences with First Insight this summer was when I was given the opportunity to manage an entire account by myself. I served as the account manager and directly conversed with Dick’s Sporting Goods. I traveled to their headquarters for a photo shoot, met with their team, created their insights, and organized everything for deployment.  I was the point person for every single thing. I loved how I was given this opportunity and essentially got to act as the manager as many other companies would have never given this kind of responsibility to an intern.

Learning about the company this summer I came to find that First Insight has an awesome partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology. This partnership consists of FIT teaching a class about First Insight where the students learn about big analytics and the wisdom of crowd sourcing. The greatest thing about this partnership is when you take the class you become certified through First Insight. I was very fortunate to have met the FIT professor who teaches this class as well as many other merchandising classes at FIT. For over an hour I sat with Prof. Joseph Antee learning about the class, about FIT, as well as NYC in general.  For anyone going to FIT I strongly recommend taking his class as it sounds awesome! This course is scheduled to launch in the spring semester of 2018.

I have absolutely loved interning for First Insight because I don’t feel like the intern. Most of what I do every day is work that every other account manager is also doing on a daily basis.  As the intern I’m not stuck doing the ‘intern’ work such as getting coffee or doing grunt work so the managers can slack off. I also don’t feel like an intern because First Insight treats me as part of the team. Once a month, the team hangs outside of work whether it is getting dinner together or going bowling. In addition, the entire company comes together for what they call Captain Fun activities, which take place once a month during our lunch breaks. Again, it’s a time to break from work and get to know everyone while enjoying a free lunch and taking part in fun activities like scavenger hunts or paper football tournaments.

Interning at Fist Insight this summer has been an awesome experience and I honestly wouldn’t trade it in for anything else. First Insight is a great company that not only is revolutionizing the fashion industry but is also great to work for. I am so happy I spent my summer at First Insight, and I highly recommend checking them out!

Laura Schmiedeler, '18

Just a weird and crazy girl from Arizona, laughing through life and trying to find a good bargain.