Wharton Retail Club recruited several retail interns who have agreed to blog about their retail internship experiences. Our writers have a wide range of retail experience that ranges from buying and planning to merchandising and design. The purpose of this blog is to create an online community for students interested in careers in the retail industry. Make sure to check back often for great stories, insights, and advice from our writers!
Visit our blog at http://retailinterns.blogspot.com or see the newest posts below!
If you are currently interning in the retail industry and wish to contribute to this blog, email Philine Cheng at email@example.com.
- Wed, 07 Aug 2013 03:29:03 +0000: Target Intern: Minneapolis - Wharton Retail Club InternsLast time I wrote, I told you a bit about Target’s commitment to the community– this week, I’d like to dedicate my blog post to the beautiful city in which I am living this summer: Minneapolis!Here are my three main findings:1. Minnesota Nice… really is NiceThis is a stereotype echoed by most East Coast transplants, and I was eager to find out for myself to what extent this generalization rings true. My conclusion? It’s real: the people of Minneapolis are what have made my stay here truly amazing. I have met incredibly kind-hearted, down-to-earth, fun-loving people in this city. Needless to say, these traits are also true of my coworkers and fellow interns at Target– which really is so nice.2. The Land of 10,000 LakesLakes, lakes everywhere! This city is extremely outdoorsy, with tons of outdoor events going on all the time. Outdoor movie screenings, art and music festivals, hip hop battles, block parties, yoga, lake-side reading, rooftop dining, baseball, the pride parade, parks, river tubing, swimming, boating, and an intern kickball league for Monday games after work with a Target-provided umpire… this is an abriged list of the outdoorsy events in which I’ve partaken this summer. And it has been awesome.3. The Arts, the Eats, the MallAll of this is huge in Minneapolis. Take, for example: the Mall of America. Yes, it is the biggest mall in the United States.Watching a Twins game at Target field!The famous Spoonbridge and Cherry in the sculpture gardens!
- Wed, 07 Aug 2013 03:27:36 +0000: Target Intern: The Brand Promise - Wharton Retail Club InternsIt is my hope that my blog posts over the next couple of weeks will speak to the ways in which Target exemplifies and consistently builds upon what it takes, at stores and corporate headquarters alike, to be the top retailer it is. The answer: its central brand promise.
Expect more. Pay less.
(I know, I know! You already knew it!)Though I'm not sure I will always deliver on this promise with my blog posts (seeing as I’m always busy exploring Minneapolis and bonding with my fellow Target interns after work) I can promise to be genuine as I tell you about Target as a company, as a group of extremely talented individuals, and as an internship experience precisely the way I see it: through my very own [bulls]eyes.
A little bit about my place at Target before the blogging begins: this summer I’m working in Target’s Marketing division at corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. I’m on the PR and Social Media team, and work closely with my team on Target’s behind-the-scenes online magazine, A Bullseye View. My team also works on Target’s Pinterest, and its VIP blogger program, Target Inner Circle.I'm so excited to make the most out of everything Target and Minneapolis have to offer. I have a feeling this summer will be filled with ever-rising expectations– which will, of course, be consistently met and surpassed by this awesome company.
Janina (and Bullseye the dog)My instagram of a massive glittery portrait of Bullseye at Target HQ
- Mon, 05 Aug 2013 13:32:06 +0000: My Last Week Interning at Diane Von Furstenberg - Wharton Retail Club Interns
Hi again!I cannot believe I have been interning at DVF for nearly 7 weeks. I have established numerous relationships with various DVF employees in a myriad of departments. It is so intriguing to learn about the differences and similarities between each of the departments. I have been exposed to more than I could have ever imagined! One of the key takeaways I did not expect to learn was the importance of getting along with your colleagues. No matter how competent one may be, the relationships you hold and maintain with your colleagues and boss will help you throughout your career. Despite my growing comfort at such an iconic brand, it does feel as if my time spent here has flown by. I will miss XXX’s blissful “good morning, everyone!” as she flutters by my desk with her shades and summer glow.Not only have I become accustomed to the fast-paced environment, I have established a daily routine of walking to work, where I pass by the same individuals, including Nigel from ANTM! How can anyone not love New York?Until next year,
- Mon, 01 Jul 2013 02:15:36 +0000: Interning at DVF: Week 4 - Wharton Retail Club Interns
Hi again!After 4 weeks of early mornings, numerous social media reports and lunches on the High Line, I definitely have established a daily routine. To mark my final week interning for the Social Media Department, I completed a research project which primarily focused on past, present and future blogger/fashion firm collaborations in addition to potential collaborations for DVF. I was pleasantly (and nervously, of course!) surprised to learn that I would be presenting my extensive work and findings to the entire Department. After completing the nail-biting project and presentation, it was definitely rewarding to be graced with my boss’s bright smile and many compliments on my execution. I definitely learned how to compose a clear and concise, business-appropriate presentation (nearly 30 drafts later!).Next week I begin the last stretch of my incredible experience: interning for the E-Commerce Department. I cannot wait to embark on a new adventure at DVF!Bisous (as Diane would say),Caroline
- Sat, 29 Jun 2013 15:07:23 +0000: Target Intern: Because Learning Matters - Wharton Retail Club InternsYou may or may not have seen this ad (click the link, I promise it’s so worth the 30 seconds). This clip acts as a peek into the world that every kid deserves– and it allows us to look into the heart of one of Target’s goals, education.This week, Target interns volunteered at local Twin City schools. We all wore our red volunteer shirts with pride, piled into yellow school buses, and arrived at our new workstations for the day: classrooms, libraries, and playgrounds.
It was exciting to see the huge change we made. In a single afternoon, we touched the lives of so many school children! I am thrilled to be part of a company that makes giving back more than a corporate goal: it is something that the amazing people who work at Target are genuinely eager to do.Target intern volunteer day!
- Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:56:44 +0000: Interning at Diane Von Furstenberg. XO, Diane - Wharton Retail Club Interns
Hi everyone!Living in the city has been an unimaginable experience so far, but I have ONLY completed three weeks of my two-month internship. There is never a dull moment in New York City. I love the fast-paced and surprisingly friendly culture of the city. There is constantly an interesting event to be wowed by, restaurant to be impressed by and music performance to blow you away. So, concerning the reason I embarked on such a fantastic adventure, my internship. Interning at Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) has been a dream come true. I assumed interning for such a prominent fashion firm would consist of coffee runs and copying. In fact, I have done neither! When I first stepped through the inviting DVF glass doors, I expected to immediately go on a Starbucks run; however, I was welcomed with a firm handshake and a warm smile from the VP of Social Media. My first day was full of commotion and confusion, but by the end of the week, I began to get the gist of the day in the life of a DVF employee: fast-paced, demanding and rewarding. Each day I am pleasantly (a bit too pleasantly perhaps) surprised by Diane’s presence as she swiftly moves around the office to keep everything in check. My days frequently begin by updating DVF’s Pinterest, and working on copies (short blurbs or statuses) for their other platforms, which include: Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Songza and Vine (don’t forget to check out all of my work!). I never would have believed so much research, time and effort contributes to a single pin via Pinterest! The day ends with a wave of exhaustion as I race home to relax in my apartment or grab a bit to eat with a friend. I love interning for DVF, and I am definitely looking forward to what the future has in store for me (not the DVF kind of store!).Don’t forget to follow DVF’s Pinterest and Instagram to keep up with my weekly posts!XO,Caroline(During the #SUMMERSUNNIES Instagram photo shoot on the High Line)
- Fri, 14 Jun 2013 03:19:52 +0000: Meet Janina, Target Corporation Intern - Wharton Retail Club Interns
My name is Janina Lagemann-Doné and I’m a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences here at Penn. My major is so cool (it’s communications) and my minors are anything but minor to me (creative writing and French are huge interests of mine).On campus, I’m newly elected VP of the Promotions & Web committee of MUSE, Penn’s marketing club. I’m also involved in the philanthropy efforts of my sorority, Chi Omega, and I contribute to several campus literary publications.
More about me? Okay! I like carrot cake, broadway musicals, and traveling. I also love marketing. Oh, and I adore shopping.With that said, I’m thrilled to be doing retail marketing this summer!I’m off to Minneapolis, where I’ll be interning at Target corporate headquarters! I can’t wait to tell you more about myself and my marketing internship at Target. Check out my Wednesday blog posts!
- Thu, 13 Jun 2013 04:56:29 +0000: Warby Parker: Training Week - Wharton Retail Club Interns
My name is Lennie Zhu, and this is my second time writing for this blog. Last time I was at the luxury brand Jil Sander, but this year I'm a few blocks over, working on shaking things up at the fashion world's revolutionary eyewear startup, Warby Parker.
I had my first day at Warby Parker yesterday. So far, my work has consisted mostly of customer experience training and listening to various branch heads present on the history and functions of their departments. While this process of employee culturization and orientation is fairly standard among most companies, I have been continuously awed by the amount of depth and passion that I have seen in every single presentation here at Warby. It is clear that the company places vast importance upon educating every single employee about the operations and long term vision of the company.
Within 2 short days, I have had the opportunity to watch fascinating presentations about everything from Warby's independent manufacturing process to specific branding initiatives to how to read glasses prescriptions. Throughout all of these talks, two things have stood out for me: (1) Warby's culture pervades everything- everything- that its employees do, and (2) Warby is a truly modern retail company.
In the first talk, we learned about the company's core values; namely, Warby Parker believes that its employees should take their work seriously, but never take themselves seriously. Beyond that, the company seeks to be a "Good Company" that infuses social good into all of its everyday processes. This is apparent in everything from the way it communicates with its customers ("kill them with kindness") to its nonprofit partnerships, B Corp certification, and Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, to its carbon neutral materials. I have never before encountered a company that has so successfully integrated these values into its basic structure. The result is that Warby's employees approach their work with a highly positive, yet humble attitude, and also treat one another with the utmost kindness and understanding.
Secondly, I am incredibly impressed by the number of creative and modern solutions the company is constantly finding for its problems. For example, the company has been selling glasses through a truly multichannel platform that includes its website, showrooms, partnerships with pre-exisitng boutiques, its brick-and-mortar flagship stores, kiosks in the Standard Hotel, and bicycle baskets filled with glasses at Art Basel. Additionally, the company leverages technology seamlessly in its business model in a way that no other retail company currently does. It uses Youtube videos to respond to customer tweets, has virtual try-on tools on its website, and uses new age technologies to track customer shopping patterns in its new brick and mortar stores. There has also been talk of incorporating 3D printing into the production model.
With each new presentation, I become more and more confident that I am working at a company that has an unbelievably bright future. That confidence was further boosted by my visit to the company's visually stunning flagship store in Soho, which is pictured below:Within the next weeks, I will continue to train, learn, and hopefully get started on my summer projects! I'll keep you updated throughout all of those adventures- I am sure that I'll have a lot to share with you all. Until then, take care!
- Fri, 03 Aug 2012 15:28:11 +0000: DKNY PR Girl: An Intern's Guide to Working the Shows.... - Wharton Retail Club InternsProfessionalism is super important, and sometimes you have to anticipate your boss' expectations of you in order to do what is acceptable. As always, Aliza Licht, DKNY PR Girl, makes it easy for you to meet your boss' expectations, whether at a fashion show or in the office with a few (very) honest recommendations. -- Dan*The below recommendations really apply to many industries..
Most people start in this biz as an intern. We all have been there in one way or another. I used to pick dust bunnies out of shoes in the accessories closet at Harper’s Bazaar and appreciated every minute of it. As an intern it’s an incredible opportunity to experience certain milestones of the Fashion industry- Fashion Week being one of the biggest.So here’s a list of things I think you should know before show week and may the force be with you….
1. Know your role. Meaning- have an understanding of what is expected of you before show day, so on that day, you are on autopilot.
2. Ask what you should wear. There is nothing that makes me cringe more than an intern showing up at a show decked in something totally inappropriate for the brand. (Of course, a good supervisor should tell you!)
3. For godsake, be on time, if not early. There’s nothing worse than someone who is lucky to be there at all, showing up late.
4. Don’t get in the way. This one should sound familiar. Your parents said this to you when they hosted dinner parties. Remember? In this case it means don’t hover waiting to be told what to do. If you did #1 you should know exactly where you should be and what you should be doing.
5. Do not ogle vips, celebrities or designers. I know it’s super exciting to be there, but really, people get very uncomfortable when they think they are being stalked.
6. Do not think of this as a networking opportunity. It is NOT. Interns should be seen and not heard. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, in the nicest way possible, but trust me this is the best advice you will ever get.
7. Do not under any circumstances invite anyone to the show, not even to stand. It’s not your party and yes, you can go cry if you want to, but it won’t help.
8. As much as I can understand why you want to, this is not the place to snap pictures. What goes on pre-show is proprietary information and should not end up on your Facebook page. The people you work with will not appreciate candids of them in action. #Trust
9. Do NOT sit unless you are told to fill in a seat. Sitting is a privilege given out, not taken.
10. Impress your supervisors by asking them what needs to be done once the show is OVER. P.S. a lot.
11. Be an over achiever and come to the office the next day with the local papers that feature the brand’s reviews. It will cost you all of $2 to do that and it looks super impressive.
12. Work hard and make an impression. We really value great interns and a lot of what we do can’t get done without you. So THANK YOU for striving for excellence and trust me we notice when you do.I’m sure I forgot something, so feel free to tweet me @dkny and I’ll add it to the list.xo,
DKNY PR GIRLSource: dknyprgirl
- Fri, 03 Aug 2012 11:36:06 +0000: Marc Jacobs Week 7 - Wharton Retail Club Interns
Last week I started on a new project called “Top 20 Reports,” which compile the most popular 20 styles in each division into a single-page worksheet that is referenced during corporate meetings. Another intern and I took over for a full-time employee who left the company, assuming the responsibility of completing the reports for Retail and Wholesale divisions by Friday night. Moreover, this week we had to teach the process to a new intern who will be taking over the project when the first group of interns leave. A few key lessons learned from this experience:1) Make sure to practice the steps yourself after watching someone else do it. I can’t even express how different it was to go through the process on my own than to watch someone explain the process to me. Nuanced problems will inevitably pop up that can be avoided by trying the steps yourself.2) After trying the steps firsthand, make a calendar of the tasks that need to be completed each day and notice when you deviate from the projected timeline. If things are going slower than expected, do not hesitate to tell someone in the office so that they are not left scrambling at the end of the week when it is not completed.3) When you are working on a project with other people, it helped to create a GoogleDoc that each person updated with their progress so that no work is duplicated or skipped. In my case, it is very easy to confuse the divisions and seasons because they have similar abbreviations; so, staying organized was critical to ensuring that no mistakes were made.At the end of the week, it felt amazing to have completed a project that would actually be used by corporate during meetings that Friday night, and to see the results of our efforts. I had to stay late one night to finish a division and I ended up having the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a person who is normally in meetings all day. She had excellent advice that I would not have heard otherwise because we do not have the chance to talk very often.Whether you realize it or not, the extra effort that you expend above and beyond the bare minimum is noticed and it will be the critical factor that makes you stand out among fellow, equally qualified, interns.Until next time,Elle