NC State Wilson College of Textiles senior Kyrsten Rudock, a Textile Engineering major, is spending her summer as an Advanced Analytics intern at HanesBrands, Inc. at their headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We asked her to share what it’s like to work for the company, and how her internship is preparing her for a career after graduation. Read on to learn firsthand about her experience and her recommendations for getting the most out of an internship.
Can you tell us more about your role as an intern?
The Advanced Analytics team focuses on real-time analysis for the millions of production, distribution, sales and inventory data points across HanesBrands’ sales, marketing and supply chain functions. One current area of focus for the team is to ensure that the optimal decisions are made to ensure that supply meets demand by managing different product attributes and timelines. My project is based on bra sales and looking at different style attributes to make recommendations for new product lines, leading to better sales and diminished waste. It’s a great blend of working with products and then coming to objective conclusions based on the data. I’ve enjoyed learning how the process works and how it can be continuously improved.
How did you find out about your internship?
HanesBrands was a top choice for me since freshman year, when I attended my first career fair and decided to stop by their table. I was immediately impressed by how welcoming the recruiters were and how they described the company culture and internship process, so I made a point to visit their table each semester. After talking to recruiters and peers who previously interned at HanesBrands, I had a good feeling that the internship would be valuable and that it was a place I wanted to be. I kept an eye out for any internship openings by going directly to the HanesBrands Careers website and applying online. If you are interested in a company, I definitely recommend doing research early if you can — not only does it help you stand out, but it makes your first day that much more rewarding.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love all the opportunities that come from working at a leading textile manufacturer and marketer! The people here really do want interns to get the most out of our experience. As part of the Advanced Analytics team, I was given a project that relates to my Product Engineering concentration in Textile Engineering. Because of that, I have gotten to work with people across departments to pick their brain and learn about all the roles here at HanesBrands. Although there is a learning curve for any project, being at such an established company has eased the transition. There are mentors to assist with new programs and procedures, and I use skills gained from the Textile Engineering curriculum, such as Excel, VBA and JMP. Overall, I feel like I have received a well-rounded view of what it takes to be successful in such an important industry. At the end of the day, I think it really comes down to the people and company culture here.
Can you describe a typical day on the job?
My day consists of deciding the best way to complete my project by data analysis, learning more about products, and meeting people from across the supply chain. Since so many functions are in-house, I can often leave my desk and find the products I am analyzing from my computer. The internship has a similar timeline with the full-time hiring program, so each week we have a few professional development sessions where we learn about everything from operations to fun things to do in Winston-Salem. I’ve enjoyed how the program ensures that interns can take advantage of all the resources here, so we can truly follow the path we find best and make every day different.
What is your advice for fellow internship seekers?
Remember that everything is a learning experience. Everyone you meet has something to teach you, and the more you take advantage of, the more you can gain and contribute during your time with a company. HanesBrands appealed to me because they have a strong company culture and learning opportunities that I wanted in an internship, but they also place interns where they think we fit best rather than having us apply for particular jobs. It forced me out of my comfort zone and provided the opportunity to gain new skills and learn a new perspective. My best advice is to prioritize something that interests you about an internship experience, and stay open-minded from there.
What have you learned so far?
Meeting leaders from across the supply chain has really illuminated the significance of interdisciplinary knowledge and experience. I have met people here who moved laterally across functions and others who progressed in the same department. Working here helped me realize that my career can be much more dynamic than I thought – even within the same company! Learning how such a successful textiles company functions has also brought new light to my curriculum, and I am excited to move forward after such a great learning experience.