Gabrielle Gordon

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Company/Organization: Altar'd State
Destination: West Des Moines, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer 2021
Advisor/Coordinator Email: briaj


At Altar’d State, my main responsibility was taking care of the guests needs. I was expected to greet every person who enters the store and share either our promotions for the day, our give back contributions or explain our rewards program. At the Register I was expected to check out the guests and provide positive feedback on what items they were purchasing. The company is adamant about getting people signed up for their new rewards program and in doing that requires guests to provide an email address with every transaction. This made obtaining emails from people an important responsibility. Other tasks were based in the dressing rooms and included unlocking rooms for guests, asking what they were shopping for and providing an add on item while they are trying on clothes.


My biggest accomplishment I found while interning at Altar’d State was the ability to stay centered. My time here was during a period of low employment and the store had very little coverage. To make things harder, more customers than ever before were coming into the store. This caused the floor to be filled with people and only three workers able to help them. Since Altar’d State prioritizes customer service, we were expected to take care and greet every guest. It felt like I was in a consistent storm. People would pull me in every direction for help with many talking at the same time. Finding balance in the midst of the chaos is something that will help me the rest of my life. Learning to center myself and not get overwhelmed has been something I’ve been working on, and this internship has allowed me to not only evolve in this area but excel in it. I am very grateful for this lesson and accomplishment.

Learning experience

A major lesson I experienced was development of my interpersonal and communication skills. Before interning and being in quarantine, I rarely spoke to people throughout the day. This caused some anxiety to spark when in social engagements. By pushing my boundaries and having no other choice but to engage with customers and help them, I no longer struggle with social anxiety. I now have the ability to talk to and sell to people from all walks of life. The other lesson would be learning the art of selling. Being able to read what people want without them telling you is a valuable skill. Not many people want to engage with a retail worker so capturing their attention and truly helping them with what their looking for has been a beautiful lesson.

What advice would you give?

I want other Apparel Design majors to know that their internship doesn’t define them or their future career. When first looking for an internship, I really wanted to obtain one through a company I valued and inspired me. While the pandemic was in full swing I was struggling to just find an internship related to my major. I am very grateful to Altar’d State for providing me the opportunity. That being said I never wanted to intern here because it didn’t align with my style or my values. After getting to truly know the company and people who work there this experience has reshaped my perception and has taught me skills that the other internship wouldn’t be able to. I now know that life is truly a journey, and you pick up valuable lessons and traits that you will carry into your next job or phase. Something that seems like a letdown can be a blessing in disguise.

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