Wayfair's Interns Reflect on The Most Valuable Lessons They Learned This Summer

Each summer, Wayfair welcomes dozens of interns to teams ranging from Engineering to Talent Management. These undergraduate, MBA, and high school students are immersed in a 10-week program that aligns them with challenging and real projects to push them further on their way to advancing their careers. With the opportunity to grow and collaborate with leaders across the company, Wayfair’s interns work collaboratively on all facets of the business to gain the experience and knowledge needed to reach their professional goals.

We interviewed a few of our talented interns from Merchandising, Marketing, and Corporate Responsibility to learn more about their experiences virtually interning at Wayfair this summer.

Johnny Riordan, Merchandising Compliance Intern

Johnny Riordan Int

Johnny, a rising senior at the University of Virginia studying public policy and leadership, joined the Wayfair Merchandising Compliance team for his summer internship, noting that Wayfair caught his eye for a few different reasons.

“Last fall, I took a gap semester to live and work in Yellowstone National Park. While in Yellowstone, I enjoyed spending time outside and working in a small restaurant, but I also had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do during the following summer.”

Johnny found Wayfair through his university career center, sparking his interest in applying for an internship. “I loved the idea of working for a company that is rapidly growing,” shared Johnny. “I wanted to improve my technical skills by working in the e-commerce space, and I had the opportunity to chat with a mutual friend who had thoroughly enjoyed participating in the internship program during the year prior. I had an overwhelmingly positive interview process and quickly accepted my offer once it was extended.”

As a Merchandising Compliance intern, Johnny supports his team in ensuring that all products meet legal requirements and works cross-functionally with other Wayfair teams to maintain product compliance throughout our catalogs.

Reflecting on his internship experience, Johnny notes his favorite part about working at Wayfair has been the people he’s met. “I have honestly enjoyed every day of work, and I really do attribute that to the people I have met,” said Johnny. “I feel very fortunate to have gained my first major professional work experience at a company where employees truly value those around them and treat others with respect.”

Nini Nguyen, Social Impact Intern

Nini Nguyen Intern

A recent high school graduate, Nini learned about the Wayfair summer internship program through the Boston Private Industry Council. Starting this fall, she’ll begin her freshman year at the University of Chicago, where she plans to double-major in global studies and philosophy.

This summer, Nini has been interning with the Corporate Responsibility team with a focus on social impact and Wayfair’s Employee Match program.

“The opportunity to work on Wayfair’s Corporate Responsibility team drew me to Wayfair,” shared Nini. “It was a completely new concept that encompassed what I wanted to do in the future. I had prior experience in the public sector, advocating for social change, as well as the private sector, working at a law firm, and [I] wanted to incorporate both elements of my previous jobs to help the world in the private sector. Interning on Corporate Responsibility was a perfect compromise between the two.”

Torie O’Neil, Brand Development MBA Intern

Torie O'Neil Intern

Torie, a rising second-year MBA student at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, was introduced to the Wayfair internship program through a recruiting event on campus. After attending an informational session and spending time learning about Wayfair over coffee, she knew she wanted to apply.

“I was particularly drawn to Wayfair’s fast-paced culture and knew that the quickly growing and changing environment would be the perfect place to spend my 10-week MBA internship,” said Torie. “It was clear that Wayfair challenges its MBA interns with meaningful projects that have a lasting impact on the business, and I was confident that I would develop as a strategic business leader during my summer with Wayfair. More than that, every single employee I met through the interview process was not only incredibly knowledgeable but also someone I would be thrilled to work with, and I left the process knowing that Wayfair’s culture would be a great fit for me.”

As an MBA intern on the B2C Brand Development team, Torie focuses on Wayfair’s major promotional events, such as Way Day. “In this role, I have defined the strategy for future Wayfair promotions as well as implemented operational enhancements for event execution.”

Thinking back on the last few months, Torie notes that she’s grown professionally. “My favorite part about working at Wayfair is how valued I am as a leader and strategic thinker,” said Torie. “Even as an intern, I have full ownership over my projects and am trusted to drive business strategy and conversations with senior leaders. I really appreciate the level of responsibility I have been given at Wayfair, as it has contributed immensely to my professional development.”

Jordan Wong, Technical Marketing Analyst Intern

jordan photo.jpg

Jordan, a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying systems engineering, joined Wayfair’s internship program to combine both the technical curriculum of his major with the business skills he’s built throughout the course of his college career.

This role allowed me to reconcile both of my requirements, so considering applying for it even though I didn't know too much about the company was a no-brainer,” said Jordan. “But as I did more research about Wayfair and talked to people who had worked here, I was really attracted to the company’s emphasis on building a positive company culture and giving employees a lot of ownership over the work they did.”

Jordan spent the majority of his internship developing a tool that would allow analysts on the Marketing team to conduct statistical analyses on the outcomes of their studies more easily and efficiently. “There were many different activities that I had to do that are under this general directive, which included conducting user interviews, planning development timelines, and coding,” said Jordan.

Most Valuable Lesson Learned

When Wayfair interns were asked about the most valuable thing they all learned from their internships this summer, “communication” was a common theme.

Jordan noted that an important lesson he learned was “not only being willing to ask questions for clarification but also being able to synthesize what [he was] doing on a daily basis in a quick and digestible manner.”

“I learned that communication is key,” shared Nini. “While it may seem obvious, communication can not only make processes more efficient but also build more of a trust between work relationships because you are showing someone that you value their time.”

Similarly, Johnny added, “The most valuable thing I have learned at Wayfair is how important it is to communicate with the people around you. I realized early on that my team encourages clear communication and really wants to help one another succeed. It set me up for an amazing experience, allowing me to challenge myself while not being afraid to look for guidance when needed.”

Torie added, “As someone who is relatively new to both the retail and brand worlds, the internship has been invaluable in honing my ability to tackle strategic business questions in those spaces. Through my internship projects, I have gained hands-on experience working with cross-functional stakeholders to drive Wayfair’s future promotional event strategy. The impactful work that I have had the opportunity to drive has been critical in developing my professional skill set.”

Thank you to Johnny, Nini, Torie, Jordan, and the rest of our 2021 summer interns! For additional information about our internship program and opportunities for students, please visit