Summer internships help students carve out their careers in fashion merchandising.
Internships provide invaluable real-world experience, helping students bridge the gap between theory and practice. They enable students to apply classroom knowledge, develop critical skills, build networks and gain industry insights. These opportunities also clarify career goals, enhance résumés and often lead to job offers, setting students on a path to a successful future.
“After completing the internship, students gain a deeper appreciation for the industry,” explains Nioka Wyatt, fashion merchandising and management program director. “I love when they can see their future careers by doing things like shadowing a company executive to learn more about unique positions, such as consumer insights, product development coupled with analytics or digital merchandising.”
The Nexus spoke with three fashion merchandising and management students to see how their summer internships with top brands helped to crystallize their career paths and provided insights into the dynamic world of fashion.
This summer, London Bogden interned on the e-commerce team at Eberjey, a sleepwear company. In her role, she gathered website traffic and engagement metrics, conducted daily quality assurance audits of the website and supported the digital merchandising team on product categorization and backend updates. She also worked across departments to ensure the alignment of digital strategies.
“My favorite part was helping to launch and merchandise new collections on the website from the backend,” Bogden says. “It’s always exciting to work with new products and participate in telling their stories to customers.”
Working cross-functionally with teams like digital, marketing and creative strengthened Bogden’s professional development, she shares. “It gave me a much deeper understanding of how my coordination abilities impact other departments and exemplified the importance of making sure you’re consistently aligning your strategies with other teams.”
Watching the clock wasn’t on the agenda for Alyssa Miller during her internship for Ross, the discount department store chain, in their watches and men’s jewelry department in New York City. Her responsibilities included running reports, analyzing and interpreting key business issues, attending vendor appointments and developing vendor relationships.
Miller learned about the ins and outs of Ross’s customers, the company’s pricing model, how to communicate with vendors and the best ways to navigate New York City—an essential skill in the fashion industry.
“This experience will prepare me for life after graduation,” says Miller, who just accepted full-time offer to return to Ross as an assistant buyer following Commencement in May. “I learned a lot about the industry and myself. I learned what I want in a company and how I work best.”
Stopping to smell the roses was literally part of the job for Alayna Norville, who interned in product and fragrance development at Bath and Body Works. She was based in New York City and spent time in Columbus, Ohio, tracking and filing existing fragrances and idea submissions presented by fragrance houses, compiling consumer data, researching competitor fragrance brands (also known as competitive benchmarking) and more.
At this internship, Norville learned how to use the language of the olfactive industry and developed her research, analytic and design skills.
“My favorite part was conceptualizing my summer fragrance collection,” Norville says. “I presented this project to my team during the last week of my internship. I also shadowed a merchant for a day at the Columbus headquarters. I learned so much about merchandising from a fragrance perspective. Plus, I did a research and development lab tour to learn more about distribution centers, safety and stability testing. These experiences were completely breathtaking.”
Top Image Credit: © Adobe Stock/agcreativelab