Major: Labor & Employment Relations (IUG) /Business Management
Hometown: Amityville, NY
How did you learn about this opportunity?
I came across this enrichment opportunity by checking the College of the Liberal Arts website for summer funding/grant opportunities. During this time, I also received emails from the career and recruitment coordinators within the college about these opportunities made available to students.
Tell us a little bit about your experience.
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to accomplish one of my short term career goals of working within the fashion industry. I quickly learned that working within the world of fashion was not the same as working within online startups, corporate healthcare, or media entertainment where my past experience lies from prior internships. Simply put, working in the fashion industry was truly amazing! Being able to work for Macy’s, the number one fashion apparel retailer in the U.S out of the world’s fashion capital, New York City, was life changing. I was able to immerse myself in all functions of the company, including store management, merchandising, vendor relations, store visual, and so much more.
I was in charge of managing the women’s shoes and designer handbags/accessories departments of a 40 million dollar business. There were a total of 30 associates which I directly supervised and although this was a challenging role I learned how to grow my team by providing them with responsibilities to increase engagement and commitment. I was able to help run the store with department specific tasks, collaborate with designer brand vendors to analyze trends to influence merchandise selections, styles, SKU’s and assortments, and research competitive retail prices to compare trends on online/mobile shopping platforms. I had an amazing experiences creating the “Magic” at Macy’s.
How did this experience impact you academically?
I have a different, more in-depth perspective on leadership, employee engagement and marketing analytics because I have actually experienced these topics in the real world.
This experience impacted me both academically and professionally. I was able to witness first hand the tasks and responsibilities it takes to work in the retail apparel industry and run a multi-million dollar business. I leveraged the basic fundamentals learned in my classes and applied it to my projects and team management. Now, I’m able to take practices and knowledge learned on the job and engage in class discussions based on actual experience. I have a different, more in-depth perspective on some of the topics focused around leadership, employee engagement and marketing analytics because I have actually experienced these topics in the real world.
What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?
I’ve always had a vision of where I wanted to see my career beginning. I knew I loved business but I’ve always had a burning passion for working within the fashion industry.My short term career goal is to work within fashion merchandising for a private label apparel brand. I would love to grow within this role and become a CMO one day. This experience has made a great impact on me accomplishing my goal. I was able to build a professional network within and outside of Macy's and connect to professionals within the industry. The skills and knowledge I gained throughout this role serves as a solid foundation to understanding the this dynamic industry and it's key players.
Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?
I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It’s an opportunity to not only develop your business acumen and develop yourself professionally but aids in establishing your professional network. In addition, this experience puts you in a role where you are able to evolve into a business leader. There is autonomy to lead your own team, which is not only challenging but eye-opening when you're able to see the tangible contributions you have made to the company by the end of the program. You are able to truly make an impact and own your work.
For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.