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 RMI Students Explored the Retail World this Summer

Friday, Sep. 6, 2013

Leavey School of Business’ Retail Management Institute (RMI) students have infiltrated the local retail scene for the past three months. As part of the Retail Studies minor, students are required to complete an internship the summer before their senior year. With an arsenal of knowledge they acquired throughout their first 3 years, RMI students headed off to put their knowledge to the test and experience working in retail.

With a variety of options for landing an internship, including on-campus interviews and RMI’s annual Internship Faire, students worked with RMI staff to find a good fit. This year, 16 students interned with leading retail companies including Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Hugo Boss, Levi, Gap, Cisco, Cost Plus, Philips-Van Heusen, and TJX Companies.  With a wide range of positions held, students were able to get an idea of how they want to be involved in the retail industry in their future. 

“I chose to intern with the Gap not only because of its reputable internship program, but because of how much I admire the brand and the company as a whole. I've been shopping at the Gap ever since I was a little kid and years later the brand personality has stayed true to its heritage in casual American style. As Gap, Inc.'s portfolio of brands continues to grow, I wanted to be a part of the company's movement towards being the top apparel retailer in the world and filling the closets of shoppers globally.” – Paige Parsons, Merchandising, Gap, Inc.

“I choose my current internship because it offered a well-rounded view of marketing (from PR to Media buying) and I was hoping it would help me narrow down what I do and don't like about marketing.” – Emily Jaser, Marketing, Cost Plus 

“I chose to intern at Cisco because it is a multinational corporation that makes an impact all around the world. Cisco Systems is changing the way we work, live, play, and learn. This is an endeavor and movement that I wanted to be a part of.” – Jerome Sanders, Strategy and Operations, Cisco Systems 

During their internships, students wrote weekly journals and completed additional written assignments which were then evaluated, along with feedback from their internship advisor, as a component of the final grade. In addition to class credit for their time spent in retail, students learned what it takes to work full-time in the industry as well as the benefits and challenges of working for a large company.

“I think the whole experience is something I will never forget. I learned different retail terminology and departmental roles, and I made great connections that will hopefully help me in the long run. I never felt like an intern there, I felt like part of the team.” – Kathleen Dermody, eCommerce Marketing, Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma

“I was fortunate enough to attend a conference that I helped plan as well as a corporate dinner.  Through this opportunity I met executives, directors, and employees from all aspects of the company including the corporate offices, the distribution centers, and stores.” – Kelly Hashimoto, Store Operations, Cost Plus

“I have come to the realization that it is not all about the individual tasks that are being asked to be completed on a day to day basis. It is about networking and continuing to soak in all the information I can in the short time that I have here.” – Jerome Sanders 

“Through this internship, I have learned a lot about reporting (excel sheets, learning from data, etc.) since I am projecting, forecasting, and creating purchase orders for inventory on the retail side of the company. But I’ve also learned how important company culture is. The people that work at Williams-Sonoma Inc. have such a big passion for the products that the company sells. It is truly a special place to work.”  – Brook Stephens, Inventory Management, Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma

Below is the full list of students and their internships.

Cisco Gap, Inc.
Jerome Sanders - Strategy & Operations                         Antoinette Marerro - Merchandising
  Paige Parsons - Merchandising
Cost Plus  
Calley Stouffer - Visual Merchandising Phillips-Van Heusen
Emily Jaser - Marketing Jennifer Gaona - Calvin Klein - Men's Sportswear
Julia Pasquarella - Quality & Compliance Justin Salinas - IZOD - Planning & Analysis
Kelli Hashimoto - Store Operations Sabrina Brutocoa - Tommy Hilfiger - Men's Women's Wholesale
Hugo Boss - New York Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma
Alex Elliot - Merchandising Brook Stephens - Inventory Management
Emily Brown - Merchandising Kathleen Dermody - eCommerce Marketing
Levi TJX Companies
Brianne Jones - Merchandising & Licensing Blair Mitchell - Merchandising



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