As an LIM student, by the time we graduate we need to have three internships. The first internship we have to take is a retail internship. I personally think every fashion student should work in retail at some point in their life because it can teach you a lot about customer service, communication skills, and teamwork. Also combine that with the fact that we are all studying some type of business so it is important to know and understand the retail part of the business and how it affects the overall business.
I have worked in retail since I was 18 years old and even though I did have the option to skip the retail internship, I decided to do it anyway. If anyone does not have a retail job already, it's really easy to find one. There are a lot of companies looking for sale associates, and the school actually emails to the students listings for retail jobs.
During my internship I worked at DSW and had good experiences and some bad ones. The good experiences I had were mostly due to my co-workers. We were all one big family, we care about each other, and are always there to help each other. Another good experience I had was our new store manager. My manager cared about making sure we were not over-worked and we were able to talk to her about any concerns. She also was able to work with my school schedule so that I wasn’t stressing out.
The negative experiences I had were with some of our new hires who were not the friendliest, nor were they very helpful. The associates who have been working at DSW for a while had to pick up their slack, which no one liked doing.
Also, the fact that I was working during the holiday season means it was very busy and of course there will be customers who will get mad because they do not agree with the company’s policies. A man actually yelled at one of my managers and myself because he didn’t like the fact that he could only get store credit for the items he was returning since the 60 day return policy was up.
In the end I learned a lot by working in retail that will help me in the future. When you do an internship in retail be sure not to overwork yourself and remember that time management will be very important.