The Journey That Led to My Internship at Tory Burch
posted by Kimberly Branas
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so it was my first time seeing snow or even being in a cold environment—yes, culture shock! I didn’t let the weather discourage me though. I had a goal. I was determined to make a name for myself, be known, and gain experience in the industry.
My first summer in New York, I interned at Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs. My task was calling potential designers/companies to show their creations in our annual trade show—a very overwhelming task to meet goals and exceed numbers. I was also working full-time at Ann Taylor and taking summer classes.
Interesting story on how I landed my second internship with Women’s Wear Daily that upcoming fall semester. During the trade show, the bathrooms broke down and I was in charge of taking guests to the employees’ bathroom. As I was walking a nice lady there, she said she is the VP for Women’s Wear Daily and invited me to come into her office to learn more about her company. After our lovely chat, I was offered an internship with the events team. This internship wasn’t paid, so I was juggling a 20-hour internship, a job at Ann Taylor, and a full course load at LIM.
Following my time at Women’s Wear Daily, I landed my third internship with Prabal Gurung. Even though it wasn’t my favorite internship experience, it showed me what I didn’t want to do in life, and that's just as important. After that, I was chosen to attend a 3-week LIM study abroad program in Florence, Italy. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity that LIM offers you to see the world!
Upon my return from Italy, I started my internship with The Zoe Report as an advertising intern. This wasn’t a paid internship either, so I was interning half the week and had a full-time job on the side. I interned at The Zoe Report for a whole year, working on projects that generated money for the company, but then The Zoe Report got sold to BuzzFeed and I ended up without an internship. Luckily, I was already interviewing for summer internships with Ann, Inc.
In June 2018, before my senior year, I started my interning at Ann, Inc. It was a full-time, paid internship that ran for 10 weeks. I’m not going to lie—it was hard going in every day for 8-9 hours and having “big girl” responsibilities. Ann, Inc. really prepared me for real-world responsibilities and people depending on you.
I started my fall semester of the senior year without a job because Ann, Inc. doesn’t offer internship programs during the school year. I can’t sit around doing nothing, so I started applying to every internship opportunity I saw on LinkedIn that I was qualified for. I also remembered that one of the girls I'd gone to Italy with was interning at Tory Burch, so I texted my her and asked if she would send me the company’s HR info. To my surprise, two hours later, an HR representative emailed me to schedule an interview.
Everything happened so fast. I went into the interview and two days later, I received an email with an acceptance letter. I started the internship the following week and was helping the brand marketing team. Tory Burch had always been my dream and it was also a paid internship! I’ve been at Tory Burch for eight months now and I absolutely love it! I spoke with my manager at the end of the fall semester and expressed that I was interested in staying for my Senior Co-op.
My day-to-day tasks at Tory Burch differ, depending on the day. This semester in the merchandising team, my responsibilities consist of updating our server with style numbers, colorways, size scales, and retail and wholesale prices. I also create line sheets with all this information to present to buyers during market week and research the market to ensure we are aligning to customers’ needs. At work, I participate in seasonal planning meetings and work closely with the creative team to create a detailed list of products featured in each campaign.
A structured Summer Internship Program was important because it made my transition into Senior Co-op so much easier. During Senior Co-op, you are working full-time at a company and have real responsibilities. The plus was that I already knew what to expect and what I should be doing to make it the best experience possible. As graduation approaches, I’m nervous where life will take me, but I’m confident that I have done everything in my power to succeed.