Focus and patience helped Courtney Marcus ‘19 land a coveted internship at Roxy, a subsidiary of sporting brand Quiksilver. The Waxhaw, North Carolina native was interested in working for the company, so she monitored their website until she found the opening she was looking for — a six-week post as a merchandising intern at Roxy headquarters in Huntington Beach, California. The Fashion and Textile Management major (Textile Brand Management and Marketing concentration) shared her experience with us — what she did in a day, what she learned on the job and what it was like to watch a drawing become a three-dimensional garment.

Will you describe your role at Roxy for us?

Working in the merchandising department, I acted as a liaison between the sales department and the design department. A merchandiser’s main role is to work with both the sales and design team to curate a collection for each season that is trendy, stays true to the brand, and will market and sell well.

Merchandisers tell the design team what they need in the collection (ex: 10 woven dresses, five knit tops, etc.), and give a trend report of silhouettes they would like to see, and then the design team comes up with an assortment of designs based off of the information that the merchandiser provides them. The merchandiser picks out the styles that they want to keep and has samples of them made. Then the merchandiser has a meeting with the sales team where they showcase and speak about the styles they picked, and the sales team adds and drops styles and colors based on what they think will market and sell well, and what has sold in the past. Merchandisers also follow the product through each step of the supply chain, and approve or make changes to fabrics/samples if needed.

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job was seeing the products go through the supply chain. It was fascinating watching the product start as a CAD (computer aided design) and end as the finished piece. I was able to create trend reports, sit in to meetings with the vendors, and approve or make changes to samples. The merchandising team also works on about three different seasons at a time, so while the finalized samples for summer 2019 are arriving, we are approving or making changes to the fall 2019 samples, and creating trend reports for the Holiday 2019 assortment. Since they work so far in advance, it was also cool to see what product colors and styles will be trending for the upcoming year!

I also really loved the people that I worked with. My supervisors were all super nice and willing to answer any questions that I had. The company culture was very laid-back and welcoming, and they always referred to themselves as a family. I also became really good friends with the other interns, which made the move to California by myself a lot easier!

Can you describe a typical day on the job?

Every day on the job is so different, but a lot of it involved working in PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and Excel, approving or making changes to samples, unboxing and inventorying samples, and creating trend reports. I would often have to find CADs of products on PLM and send them to vendors and figure out the MOQ’s (minimum order quantity) and pricing for each product and relay it to my supervisor. When the summer 2019 final samples came in, I had to unbox and inventory them all and hang them all up in the order they were shown on the VLP (visual line plan). It was super important that the samples were in the right order, so that when the merchandisers had their meeting with the sales team, it was easy for them to find the product that they wanted to showcase.

I was also able to go competitor shopping, sit in on fittings, attend the AGENDA Trade Show, help make a banner for one of the marketing campaigns, and interview different people within the company. Unfortunately, I was done with my internship at this point, but one of my fellow merchandising interns was able to attend a swim trade show, and assist at Roxy’s pop-up store at the U.S. Open of Surfing.

What is your advice for fellow internship seekers?

My advice for fellow internship seekers would be to constantly keep checking for internship postings and apply to every one that interests you. I applied and interviewed with a lot of different companies before I was offered the internship at Roxy. While I applied to this internship through their website, a lot of internship postings can be found on indeed.com, ePACK, or the Wilson College of Textiles career fair. I would also suggest trying to reach out to a recruiter from their company, or someone you know who works for or has worked for the company. These people may be able to give your resume to the right person.

What have you learned so far?

I definitely learned a lot during my internship that I did not learn in my classes; I learned a lot more about the process of creating a line, as well as how to work with different people and departments. I learned that creating a line is not all about what is trending, but a big part of it is based on previous sales and what they believe will market and sell well. Lastly, I learned that being a merchandiser is something that I would consider pursuing after I graduate, though I think I would like to work in marketing.