Benjamin Thompson

Internship with Burlington Stores, Inc.
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Benjamin Thompson

Benjamin Thompson

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Long Valley, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity when I was browsing the career fair at Penn State. I stumbled upon the Burlington Stores table and spoke with a recruiter. I was contacted via phone to set up an interview the next day with Donna Norton, the internship coordinator. The rest of the process unfolded with the help of Donna.

"This internship experience exposes interns to a plethora of important opportunities and skills that translate to many career paths."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship is focused on the buying world of retail. We are essentially the middle man between a company/brand and our customers. On Monday and Tuesday I work from our south Jersey office in Burlington, New Jersey. Here, we are able to review what we call the 'style report.' This is the bible of the successes and failures of our recent products placed in all our stores. We then commute to New York City on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with different companies who want to sell us their products. These companies range from Ralph Lauren to Michael Kors. At these appointments we negotiate and try to get a good price for the merchandise we want to sell in our stores. Then, a typical Friday consists of browsing our competitors to see what they're doing in their stores and how we can improve from their successes. It is most definitely an exciting position.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has helped to improve some of my personal skills that will impact my future academic career. Organizational skills are essential, especially in the boys shoes department where I work. With so many sizes and styles, it is imperative that I keep track of every detail and communicate effectively. So in addition to organization, communication is important as well. Not only in-person communication, but communication via media, especially email, is increasingly significant and essential to the success of a business. These are all skills I will use to further advance in my academic career as well as my lifelong career.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career plans have always been focused on working for a company I respect and ultimately, in a position that makes me happy. This internship has allowed me to experience a career that I have always dreamed of doing. I look forward to completing the rest of the internship and hope to be able to gain more insights into this industry. I'm excited to see what the future holds and the projects I have coming my way. This internship has shown me that loving what you do is extremely important.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most certainly recommend this internship experience. I have learned a great deal not only about interpersonal communication, but the world of business (which was always a scary world to me). This internship experience exposes interns to a plethora of important opportunities and skills that translate to many career paths.

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