Florida Polytechnic University junior optimizing new platform for national retailer

Jun 20, 2019
Florida Polytechnic University junior optimizing new platform for national retailer
Florida Polytechnic University rising junior Phelippe Souza-Herod is interning at Badcock Home Furniture &more this summer, where he is enhancing the company’s new e-commerce platform and customer experience.

For the first time in the company’s more than 100-year history, customers can purchase furniture, appliances and other home goods directly from Badcock Home Furniture &more’s website. Florida Polytechnic University junior Phelippe ‘Phil’ Souza-Herod is playing an important role in making it happen.

This summer, Souza-Herod is working on a variety of projects to enhance Badcock’s e-commerce and optimizing the customer experience. With assignments such as making the website easier to navigate for users with disabilities and assisting with security solutions that help detect fraud, Souza-Herod’s work is critical to the platform’s success.

Souza-Herod said he is already seeing the benefits of this hands-on, front-end development internship at Badcock’s headquarter offices in Mulberry, Fla.

“The biggest shift I’ve seen in myself this summer is my mindset,” said Souza-Herod, who is majoring in computer engineering. “This internship has helped me realize the power of being able to creatively problem-solve. I’ve realized how important it is to find innovative solutions for the challenges we’re facing, and to not get stuck in trying to find the so-called ‘right answers.’”

The Sarasota native is one of several Florida Poly interns at Badcock this summer, offering their skills in e-commerce, IT, and supply chain management. The company has taken a cohort of Florida Poly interns each year since the University opened.

Kelley Trivett, Badcock’s director of special projects and Souza-Herod’s supervisor, said Florida Poly interns show a unique ability to apply concepts and think outside the box to solve problems.

“These students have been instrumental in the development of our e-commerce platform,” said Trivett. “They are constantly coming up with amazing ideas. I just hope they learn as much from us as we do from them.”

The Badcock team said they try to make a difference in the lives of their interns as well.

“We like to provide them opportunities for personal and professional development through personality assessments, social media training, mock interviews, and developmental reviews,” said Andrea Prather, director of human resources at Badcock.

“We want to be part of the students’ long-term success,” added Prather.

Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications