For the past three months, I’ve been working at Rodan + Fields in the Financial District of San Francisco. Located two blocks from Embarcadero Station and three blocks from the Ferry Building, R+F is located in a fantastic area. From the fantastic food in Market Plaza to the beautiful artwork in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the city is rich in art and culture. San Francisco itself is home to many famous headquarters, including Adobe, Apple, Chevron, eBay, Google, Oracle, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo. The city is brimming with creativity, you can nearly see it in the infrastructure itself. It’s common to see a coffee shop with a built-in conference room, an in-store waterfall that falls from the ceiling, or hidden gardens that fall between the tall skyscrapers.
Although the city is undeniably beautiful, it comes with a cost. Rent, food, and transportation are expensive and require strict budgeting. Subletting, packing a daily lunch, and using the Bart or your local bus are helpful. On the bright side, there’s so much food to enjoy! I love to take my lunch breaks at the Ferry Building, Market Plaza, or a neighboring restaurant by my office. The Ferry Building has a wide variety of cuisine, offering everything from Mexican to Vietnamese dishes. A few local favorites include The Slanted Door, Boulettes Larder, and Hog Island Oyster Company. If you are in the mood for something sweet, I’d recommend Humphry Slocumbe, Dandelion Coffee, or Urban Remedy.
Aside from the Financial District itself, my procurement internship has been both challenging and rewarding. Every morning, I board the Millbrae Bart toward Embarcadero Station to work at R+F from 9 to 5. My team is responsible for directly contacting our contract manufacturers to ensure that products are delivered in a timely, cost-efficient fashion. In other words, we carefully manage and set expectations for a product’s production and distribution. The bulk of our day consists of attending meetings on the production or shipping status of our product, smoothing out issues–late shipments, low-stock inventory, expired or delayed batches–with our CMs, and updating our inventory database. Quantity, quality, sourcing, and timing are always key.
During my internship, I also expedited credit memorandums for contract manufacturers, assisted in fulfilling purchase order reports, and gathered market data to assist in supplier offerings. At Rodan+Fields, the Procurement Team utilizes SAP to track business operations and accelerate corporate functions through inventory management analysis. Although the Excel tasks are tedious, they are helpful for staying on track. Through this, I have learned that effective communication with your contract manufacturers is key to producing your product in a timely, cost-effective manner. Working in procurement requires firm communication, compromise, and the ability to exert pressure to meet important deadlines. If you do the job right, you will successfully lower your company’s total cost of production by strategically selecting vendors and negotiating contracts.
So far, I’ve loved my experience as an intern at Rodan + Fields. The office is warm, welcoming, and fast-paced. Since our two CEOs, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, are Stanford-educated women, our office is filled with strong female leadership. As a young woman, it’s great to be mentored by people who I can look up to. As for the products, the results speak for themselves. If you are interested in learning more about Rodan+Field’s science-backed, results-driven products, feel free to check out rodanandfields.com!