Due to this company being a smaller, family-owned business, the responsibilities I had varied day to day. One of the main duties I had was to sell the merchandise to customers. I was specifically set to assist in the women's department, helping all customers with any questions they could potentially have in addition to aiding in sizes and fittings. Alongside sales, I did a decent amount throughout my summer working on visual merchandising. I would change displays bi-weekly to give the store a fresh new look. However, my two most prominent roles during the internship was being the head of social media and being the wedding coordinator. For social media, my co-intern and I would keep all customers updated on the newest styles and merchandise to arrive in the store. We were in charge of all social media handles such as Facebook and Instagram, hoping to give a new look to the media and gain followers. As a wedding coordinator, I would direct all weddings in our planner, meaning I would add each party, the amount of people involved, sizes, etc. After measuring each groomsmen, we would then call the tuxedo company of their choice and order the garments. Once they arrived, we would assist in fittings and check to make sure everything is ordered and suited properly.
My greatest accomplishment did not involve one particular thing, but rather the trust and faith I was given during my time at the internship. My bosses constantly gave me new projects and tasks throughout the summer, putting more trust into my talents. I also was proud to be the only female most of the summer because I was able to take care of the entire women's department. Any idea I had within the department I was able take on to become a reality. For instance, I would redo mannequins and the overall aesthetic of the department a few times a month, allowing different merchandise to be showcased throughout the season. In addition, I did have a larger vote of the Iowa State women's clothing for this fall season, which introduced me into the company's buying process.
What advice would you give?
My advice for future students would be to take on this internship and to not be afraid of small businesses. Before interning, I wanted to go to New York and work for a large media industry, however, I believe I learned a lot more about my major in general and about myself this summer from working at a family-owned business. I was able to take on more tasks and see different sides of the business (visual merchandising, sales, weddings, buying, etc) due to this internship only having four workers throughout the summer. I would tell the students that it would be beneficial to get the experience from smaller businesses to find out what they enjoy most and would like to do in the future.