I was a Keyholder/Visual Merchandising Intern at Anthropologie in the West Des Moines, Iowa location. I was in charge of sales associates along with working with the Visual Merchandising Manager. I was working on window displays, setting up certain shops based on color stories and working on visuals in the home section of the store. I looked at sales data daily and assessed our numbers by the hour each day in the store, including weekends. I communicated ideas with the Visual Manager and Store Brand Leader daily about what visuals were pushing sales and what needed to be changed. Each day brought a new challenge and always kept me on my toes, my responsibilities taught me all about daily operations in the store which included both the visual and management side of the industry.
My greatest accomplishment during my internship experience was the development of my visual merchandising skills. I went from studying the elements and principles of design daily with my visual manager, to being able to create visuals by myself and communicate a theme that represented the brand aesthetic through each section of the store.
The greatest lesson I learned through my experience was that each day brings a new challenge. Not every visual you create is going to have a positive reaction from your target market. Sometimes you have to come up with new ideas quickly and do a trial and error to see if they work by watching your customer react to the merchandise display.
What advice would you give?
My advice is make your internship count no matter what level it is on. I was not able to get a corporate internship due to the pandemic, but I loved learning about the store level of the retail industry. It teaches you so much about what it takes to run a store and how a store communicates with the corporate level to keep the location running smoothly and successfully.