different types of responsibilities. At a high level, one of my largest responsibilities involves reviewing data and drawing conclusions from the data. At Kohl’s, Buying Office Interns are responsible for completing three separate internship-wide projects. These projects include a best sellers report diving into metrics of your office’s best-selling SKUs, a competitive shopping presentation where interns compare Kohl’s competitors, and a shark tank project. As I have gained experience within my internship I started taking on more responsibilities including creating and developing data reports, speaking to the business within office meetings, and completing office-specific projects. Aside from projects and analyzing reports, part of my responsibilities include shadowing my coach and learning about various positions both within and outside of my office.
I think my greatest accomplishment during my internship was the growth I saw in myself from the first week to the last. During my first week of the internship, I was intimidated by the data reports and metrics I was looking at and attempting to analyze. However, as I gained more experience and dove into my intern-specific project I found myself making more and more connections within the data. Gaining confidence within looking at data also helped me to be more assured within my presentations because I had the data to back up my conclusions and findings. I am also extremely proud of myself for learning the reporting system Kohl’s employees use. The reporting system can be tricky and take time to learn, however, I pushed myself to learn the system and my coach and manager took notice. Because of this, my manager asked me to develop a report that the team will use throughout the rest of the fall and past my time as an intern.
Before the internship, it was hard for me to ask questions. I was afraid asking questions, especially seemingly simple ones, would make it seem like I was not grasping concepts. However, throughout my internship I was encouraged by my coach, manager, and class and guest speakers to ask questions, and that no questions were “dumb”. While it took some time and practice, I started to feel more comfortable asking questions in meetings. I found that once I started asking questions, I was more engaged in the meeting and was also better understanding the material discussed. This is a lesson that can be applicable to many aspects of my life and I plan on continuing to ask questions, even the most basic, in the future.
What advice would you give?
My advice for future students within the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design major is to keep an open mind. I think a lot of us come into this major with a narrow focus of the retail industry and have an extremely specific subset of the industry they want to pursue. When I first came into the AMD program, I thought I knew exactly what part of the industry I wanted to be in and what companies I wanted to work for. However, as I gained experiences in the classroom, student organizations, and career fairs, I started to see all of the opportunities the retail industry presented. Had I not had these experiences and kept an open mind, I may have missed out on the amazing internship that I have had the opportunity to complete this summer. Another piece of advice I have for future students is to focus on company culture and what you value in a company. You could be working for a company that creates the coolest product and has worldwide recognition, but if you dread going into work every day, none of it matters.