2013 TATM Student Interns

During Summer 2013, a total of 82 (23 for credit) TATM students experienced the “real world of industry” with valuable internship experiences. Students both undergraduate and graduate were able to experience:

  • Design (Aesthetics, functional, technical, “expressive” – tie to brands)
  • Product development
  • Merchandising
  • Marketing (brand marketing)
  • Retail and Wholesale
  • Brand development
  • Marketing Communications and Public Relations

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Concentration Key:

  • FTD – Fashion and Textile Design
    • FD – Fashion Design
    • TD – Textile Design
  • FTM – Fashion and Textile Management
    • TBMM – Textile Brand Management and Marketing
    • FDPM – Fashion Development and Product Management
    • RSCM – Retail and Supply Chain Management in Textiles
  • TT – Textile Technology
To view student profiles:
A-F
G-L
M-R
S-Z
Lisbeth AriasLisbeth Arias, BS, FTD
Concentration: FD
Internship: Ile Aiye, Salvador, Brazil
Title: Design Intern

Waking up to the bright sunrays illuminating through my window, running to the bus stop in the rain, and falling asleep to the fireworks and the sound of samba only describes the unpredictable lifestyle I had in Salvador, Brazil.  Ile- Aiye, an Afro-Brazilian school, was much more spontaneous.  My initial project was to assist in creating garments for Carnaval, their biggest festival in February.  Once I arrived, the school’s principle gave me another project to do instead; teach the students how to make skirts with only needle and thread.  For several weeks, I tried to meet with the textiles teacher to discuss the project; however, she only came to school once a week and sometimes the school was closed because of the weather or festive holidays.  When I finally met with her she had in mind another project; to participate in her fabric folding class and to teach a fabric manipulation class to her young students.  Two weeks before I left, I taught a class on shadow folds in Portuguese and learned how to make garments and turbans with no seams or stitching.

Ile Aiye was a great opportunity to dive into a culture I had not been exposed to. Although I did not practice many of the skills I had learned in the classroom, I did manage to learn how to adapt to new surroundings.  Regardless what I do with my degree, I know it will involve engaging in new cultures and new environments.

Linsay BittingerLinsay Bittinger, BS & BA, TT and Art & Design
Program Concentration: TT
Internship Site: Galbraith & Paul, Philadelphia, PA
Title: Design Intern

Galbraith and Paul is a company who specializes in hand block printed textiles. This privately owned business serves a high-end clientele and provides products such as custom yardage of fabrics and wallpapers, pillows, lamps, and rugs.

I had a very wide range of tasks that involved all sides of the business. It was a studio based and hands-on experience where I was able to directly help in the making of the actual products. Some of my tasks included block printing, heat setting, organizing and pulling samples for clients, cleaning paint buckets, assembling lamp shades, packaging products, and updating their computer system. It was great to be able to see the work I did, especially the block printing, be turned into actual products.

This experience helped provide me with a better understanding of the workings of a design business at this scale. I was able to observe the hard work and organization that is involved in creating an efficient business system. Some of the knowledge that I have gained from coursework at the Wilson College of Textiles was helpful when identifying and labeling bolts of fabric being prepared to print. I also used many craftsmanship and design skills gained from my studio courses.

Chelsea BosworthChelsea Bosworth, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Renfro Corporation, Mount Airy, NC
Title: Dr. Scholl’s Marketing Intern

As an intern at Renfro Corporation, I held several projects for the Dr. Scholl’s and Copper Sole brands. I was the content manager for both brands’ social media pages, and I helped with beta testing for the new Renfro eCommerce website. I also designed and created packaging for a new line of Copper Sole socks expected to be in sporting goods stores. My main project was creating a brand image video for the Copper Sole brand. I created a storyboard, found a videographer, and helped on set during filming in Boone, NC.

I learned how to market towards different consumers, and how to work with a freelance videographer. I also learned how to manage my time and create interesting content for social media. Working at Renfro provided me to work on national brands and work daily with sales, marketing, and product development personnel.

Through my brand marketing classes at NC State, I was able to make wise marketing decisions and effectively communicate with consumers. Also, the textile technology classes were helpful when discussing product features and capabilities.

Cally BrentonCally Brenton, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: COAST Apparel, Greenville, SC
Title: Retail, Menswear

Some of the major highlights of my responsibilities as an intern at COAST Apparel included styling models for the fall fashion shoot, working on the Fall ‘13/Spring ’14 catalog, and working with the marketing team to create visual merchandising displays that would be showcased in stores that sell COAST.  I also created new patterns and color ways for the Fall ’14 line, and helped sell products at the Charlotte Menswear Trade Show.

Some of my projects included the completion of the Fall ‘13/ Spring ’14 catalog, making several large lifestyle display boards for Belk’s, and helping design new plaids for the Fall ’14 season.

I learned exactly what goes into making a brand. It takes a team of designers, marketers, retailers, graphic designers, and logistics to make a successful company such as COAST. I also learned that trend forecasts and knowing exactly who your target market is, is key to a successful company. You need to know exactly what the customer who’s buying your clothes wants to wear and how they want to be perceived.

I was able to network with other industry members such as a graphic designer, marketing manager, and a fashion designer who worked at a company called Oobe. Oobe creates the uniforms for many different companies such as BMW, Chic-fil-a, and even Disney World. Being an intern at COAST helped me to decide what I truly wanted to do after graduation.

I was able to gain more experience using Adobe products. I also learned about other software programs beneficial to fashion designers. I was also able to discuss garment spec changes and design CAD drawings for the company.

Samantha BurdettSamantha Burdett, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: FD
Internship Site: Stoll America, New York, NY
Title: Technical Design Intern

As a Technical Design Intern at Stoll, I performed quality checks for production, did pattern making, steamed and measured to spec, attended all seminars and classes, served as the receptionist (gathering important production information, Bills of Lading, etc), and balanced other tasks as required.

The major project I completed was the Stoll pillow making production project.  I learned the design process from start to finish by starting with a design, to collaborating with a partner, to putting together a concept presentation and presenting, then revising, introducing new ideas, to production plans, to sourcing materials, implementing a timeline, then display concepts, price points, and lastly documenting work and materials.

Rarely are you able to work side by side with industry and work on every step, as if you were freelance proposing to a company; then working on the project on your own.  Seeing all of the different steps of product development like this provided an awareness of just how many people and processes are involved in producing something as simple as a pillow cover.  I also had the opportunity of having a supervisor who not only acted as my boss, but also as my mentor.  She explained things along the way and always gave her opinion on other examples of real industry work she had performed.

Because of this internship, I now know the difference between being a knitwear designer and a woven designer – as well as all of the steps involved if I ever wish to design on my own or for a company.

Caroline CoxCaroline Cox, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: FD
Internship Site: Tory Burch, New York, NY
Title: Fabric Research and Development Intern

As an intern at Tory Burch, some of my responsibilities included being ready to assist the design team as requests came up such as going to fabric stores to look for color/quality matches for substitute fabrics for special projects and for the upcoming season.  I also maintained seasonal binders and boards with the correct fabric qualities and colors and worked to keep the fabric library organized.  In addition, I created trend/presentation boards, and attended trade shows and mill appointments.

For my key project over the summer, I planned a trip to a fabric store in midtown and selected six fabrics that I believed achieved the Tory aesthetic. After making the  selections, I designed looks that included these fabrics inspired by Tory Burch. Ultimately, I produced my very own Fall 2014 Tory Burch inspired collection beginning with fabric development.

When first beginning my internship, I wasn’t very familiar with the fabric development or design process, but now I have a much better understanding of the process. I now know that the process begins with mill appointments and fabric trend analysis (trade shows), then proceeds to fabric selection and fabric editing, and then the “final” fabric swatches that were selected by Tory were passed to the clothing design team to provide garment designs.  I also learned what it is like to work with mills when trying to achieve a desired fabric quality.  It can be challenging, especially overseas.  Some of the fabrics or fabric trends that Tory tends to lean towards include wool suitings/coatings, tweeds, silks/novelty silks, leather, guipure/lace, special finishes, stretch jaquards, and definitely added embellishments. Some of the major opportunities provided were being able to sit in on mill appointments and assist in making fabric selections based on Tory Burch’s and my own aesthetic.

During my internship, I received a lot of practice recognizing the properties of woven fabrics. This included the fiber content as well as the wearability and price. I am now able to visualize fabric as a finished garment when making fabric selections and understand the importance of choosing the right fabric during the initial stages of the design process.

Diana DoDiana Do, BS, FTM
Program Concentration:  RSCM
Internship Site: Kohl’s Corporate, Menomonee Falls, WI
Title: Product Management Intern – Color Department

My major job responsibilities as an intern at Kohl’s included evaluating color approvals, attending cross-functional meetings, and researching and developing a final project.  The key project I completed was to research and analyze digital color assessment and recommend whether Kohl’s should convert to digital or remain with visual assessments.  I learned how to apply the education and knowledge I gained from my classes to the work place.  Another main concept I learned was how important it is to be able to work cross-functionally.  I was provided with the opportunity to meet and talk to major managers and executives within the company.  It was a great networking opportunity and one of the most valuable experiences I have had.

This internship highly related to my degree and concentration because I worked for a major retailer and had an active a role in the supply chain.  Ultimately, the goal of my project was to find a way to reduce the lead time on our product regarding the color approval process.  I felt like I was making a huge and revolutionary impact on the company.

Bailey DonoghueBailey Donoghue, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: STIHL Inc., Virginia Beach, VA
Title: Sales & Product Management Intern

Some of the major job responsibilities as a STIHL intern included researching and evaluating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and developing a growth strategy for the category by analyzing the product, marketing, customer, and expensescomponents.  Some of the main  projects completed included designing and constructing prototypes with a leading manufacturer, creating and implementing surveys to end consumers, calculating PPE Market Share, and conducting meetings with various teams and managers throughout the organization.

I learned how to network with people inside and outside of STIHL Inc.. I also gained an understanding of how to evaluate the effectiveness of the companies current marketing strategy, which included the influence of social media.  I also became knowledgeable about the legal aspects of marketing.

During my internship I was able to travel to various states and Canada.  I spoke with STIHL dealers regarding  how to improve the product line.  I also attended mixers and social gatherings with other interns.  I had the opportunity to interview well-known professional loggers and received  the chance to demo all of the PPE and various STIHL power tools.

I became fully immersed in all aspects of product development; from design and functionality, to customer needs, and then marketing to the target consumer. I spent a lot of time researching competitors’ product and marketing, national and global design/testing standards, and possible new products. I was in constant contact with the president of our manufacturer, and discussed the branding of our new designs and package designs. New people I met were always surprised that I was an FTM Product Development major working with high-end, dangerous power tools. However, after a few minutes asking about my project, they were always impressed with the knowledge I have learned from NC State Wilson College of Textiles.

Jefferson EllisonJefferson Ellison, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: BCBGMAXAZRIA, New York, NY
Title: PR Intern

During my BCBGMAXAZRIA internship I was responsible for pulling looks for celebrities such as Iggy, Azealia, Katy Perry, and Karlie Kloss.  In addition, I tracked runway pieces and worked hands-on with my supervisors. One of the key projects I completed during my internship was creating, organizing, and managing the system in which current runway samples for both the BCBGMAXAZRIA Runway and Herve Leger lines were sent out, returned, and photographed.

Some of the main concepts I learned were organization, customer service, time management, press releases, and the importance of collaboration. Some of the major opportunities provided were being able to pull together selections for major celebrities and magazines, having lunch with the president of Licensing and Director of PR, and attending a seminar with the President of BCBGMAXAZRIA.

This internship showed me the different aspects involved in running a fashion company. I learned the distinguishing aspect between public relations and marketing and the breakdown of management. It also taught me the pros and cons of vertical and horizontal integration, as well as the “ins and outs” of a globally active company.

Margaret FalveyMargaret Falvey, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Silver Jeans Company, New York, NY
Title: Sales Intern

The major responsibilities of my job include managing the showroom at Silver Jeans Company and making sure that all the samples were organized. I assisted in market appointments and attended tradeshows for the company. Also, I made cold calls to clients, created line sheets, completed RA’s, and helped with the visuals at Macy’s Herald Square.

The key project I completed was creating a sample log for all the lines of Silver Jeans and making sure each account executive’s samples were in order and accounted for. This was completed by having a single file that could be accessed by any executive to find out where their samples were located.

I learned how important it is to stay on task but also to be able to multi-task. Everything in the fashion world is done very quickly and you have to stay up-to-date if you wish to succeed. I also learned how to deal with clients during buying meetings. You have to give the customer what they want while still keeping the companies’ vision in mind.

One major opportunity that was given to me was to sit in on a buying meeting with Macy’s. I not only got to meet the buyers but also got to hear the reasons behind why they select the styles they do. It gave me new insight into why they sell the clothing they do and what buyers are really looking for from companies like Silver Jeans.

My internship was related to my degree in that I was apart of a team that reworked the visuals at Macy’s Herald Square. We had to make sure they were pleasing to the eye and would draw the customer into our new location. In a more general sense, I now feel that I have a better understanding of what really happens during buying meetings and how showrooms work. Also, I learned how much one garment can change during the product development cycle before the company is ready to market a product. Prior to my internship it was hard to imagine how much work goes into one pair of blue jeans before its ready to be put in stores, but now I have a much better comprehension of the entire process.

Lindsay FranceLindsay France, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren, New York, NY
Title: Denim Development and Fabric Operations

I really enjoyed my internship at Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren is a company that I have always wanted to work for, so I was ecstatic that I was given the chance to experience first-hand what projects they work on in New York City. Some of the major highlights of the program were all the internship events (Yankees Game, Met Museum, and Central Park); I was able to meet some really close friends that I still keep in contact with! With that being said, the Ralph Lauren Corporation really strived to have us included in the company, and have us fully understand what their company was all about.

Since the program was 10 weeks, I was with Fabric Operations for 5 weeks and then Denim Development for the last 5 weeks. I loved the fact that I was exposed to two different areas of the company during my time there. While I was with Fabric Ops, I would be in charge of making sure that samples were the correct color by comparing standards in the light box (which I had already learned how to do in my classes). It was a great way to use what I had learned in my classes about different quality tests to help their company be even more successful. With the Denim Development team, I was able to really apply what I had learned in my product classes and display my creativity. I would work with design to come up with the best washes for jeans and was able to see their laundry where they did wash trials in New Jersey.

Overall, I would consider every day to have been a great opportunity! I met new people every day, and I formed even closer connections with the teams I worked with consistently. Everyone was very friendly, and it was known that everyone called it the “Ralph Lauren Family” because they pry themselves on being close knit. This type of positive work environment led to my group to push the limits with the Corporate Project assignment because we wanted to show how much we respected this company. My group placed in the Top 2, and I was able to present to the highest management. It was a great experience to be able to share my ideas while making Ralph Lauren succeed. I would definitely recommend this internship for upcoming classmen!

Kelly FredenburgKelly Fredenburg, BS, TT
Program Concentration: TT
Internship Site: Hanesbrands Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
Title: Research and Development Intern

As a Research and Development intern at Hanesbrands I had the opportunity to work on several different projects including seamless bra and panty development, a partnership with Proctor and Gamble researching uses of cold water wash detergent, involvement in retrofitting pad systems to decrease cost, wastewater treatment of dyehouse effluent in a major plant, and quality control projects.

My main project was a competitive analysis of white t-shirts on the market. There were 10 brands used in this analysis and six new development white t-shirts. Each shirt was analyzed after 3,5,10, 15, 20 and 25 washes. The points of comparison were whiteness, weight, shrinkage, phenolic yellowing and scorching. Each test showed where Hanes t-shirts stood within the scope of the competitive market. I was able to provide insight on areas of good performance and areas that need improvement.

Through my time at Hanesbrands I learned how to effectively work as part of a team, manage my own project and perform many practical tests. Being able to see the steps it takes to perform a quality test gave me an idea of how to design an experiment or project. I also learned how to communicate with upper management through presentations and contributions in meetings.

This internship could not have been better suited to my major. I utilized much of the knowledge I have acquired at the Wilson College of Textiles from yarn number to knit structures to the use of excel spreadsheets. Hanesbrands’ collaborative approach with the Wilson College of Textiles definitely played a major part in me being prepared for this work environment.

Mary Layson GottfriedMary Layson Gottfried, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles, CA
Title: Community Relations Intern

Some of the major highlights while working as a Community Relations intern were strengthening the relationships between the fans and the Clippers Organization and developing marketing tactics to engage the target market and the fans. Working for the LA Clippers gave me  insight on how sports marketing is an essential part of the teams’ success and continued fan growth.

Some of the key projects I worked on were putting together media packets and organizing the advertising database. I worked on a competitive analysis and how to strengthen brand identity. I brainstormed social media content to increase awareness and buzz. Finally, I had the opportunity to work alongside the Fan Relations Department and strengthen the relation between the brand and the fans.

Some of the main concepts that I learned while interning for the Clippers were how they market their company and the organization. When I took Mrs. Gibson’s class this past spring, I learned about the 5 P’s of marketing, and the concepts were ringing in my head throughout my internship. Even though I was working in Community Relations and Player Programs, I got to see how the Clippers market their organization in a variety of ways to a variety of people. They reach out to a wide array of individuals across the greater Los Angeles area marketing the organization through job and health fairs, basketball clinics, and much more. Since the Clippers are an NBA basketball team, they have no problem with product or price. They sell products at stores across the country, online at the Clippers website, and many other places. They are constantly bringing in revenue through merchandise, advertisement, and sponsors. I got to see how they market the company through the community relations department because they work in so many areas marketing. The Clippers have already seen significant growth in revenues due to their current success in team management. With an effective marketing plan targeted at LA’s largest demographic, the Clippers can continue to grow their fan base and revenue for years to come. This plan will result in sustainable increases by creating a new market segments that will generate revenue for years to come.

I was given the opportunity to work at several of the LA Clippers community related events. On June 4th, the LA Clippers hosted a Job Fair at a local recreation center, which held multiple basketball games along with the job fair. The community relations department put on an event that brought people in from the area to watch basketball games, but also they had the chance to check out the job fair. It was a great event to be a part of because it taught me a lot about the Clippers organization and how they are willing to help people in low-income areas with job fairs. This event not only marketed the Clippers organization as a whole, but  as an entity that goes above and beyond to assist people in the community to find jobs in a struggling economy.

I also was given the opportunity to work the Clippers summer basketball camps/clinics. The Clippers offered 5-day basketball camps designed to improve the skills of all youth basketball players. The players and coaches provided the children with the opportunity to develop fundamentals, great practice habits, and teamwork in game-like situations.

Annie HallAnnie Hall, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: TD
Internship Site: Seedling Kids, Wilmington, NC
Title: Intern

During my internship at Seedling Kids, I got to experience a little bit of everything it takes to run a small apparel business.  Seedling Kids makes 100% made-in-the-USA organic cotton children’s clothing.  The line has been featured on MarthaStewart.com, in Earnshaw’s (children’s market magazine), and in Vogue Bambini (Italy).  Since it’s such a small company, I got to work directly with the owner, Stephanie Hogan-Webb.  She was a really great resource for information on small business management.

As the only intern, I wasn’t assigned to a specific area of the business but instead did a little bit of everything.  I copied and organized patterns when they came in from the manufacturer, took an inventory of the items in stock, and helped to package orders.  I learned how to use a whole new printing method, which was kind of like an industrial version of home iron-on printer transfers, except that it requires a much higher temperature press, which sets the dyes into the fabric so that the transfer film can be washed off.  I also completed two big design projects.  The first was to create little stuffed animal pillows from misprinted shirts by printing stock images of animals on the backs of the shirts and cutting, stuffing and sewing them into little pillows.  I really liked this project because it was another example of Seedling’s commitment to eco-friendly products.

Stephanie took a bunch of them to a tradeshow in LA and they were a big hit!  My second big project was to use a bunch of pictures of pets and zoo animals to create imagery for a new line of tween clothing.  I used Photoshop Elements to clean them up, recolor them in funky hues, and dress them with cute accessories.

Overall, I feel like I really learned a lot more about entrepreneurship and the US apparel industry than I ever could have learned in class.  I also gained experience in the children’s market, which is an area we don’t normally target in our class projects.  Working with Stephanie was by far the best part of this experience, though, because I got to see just how she turned her idea for an inspirational kids wear line into an internationally-retailed brand.

Grace HamiltonGrace Hamilton, BS, FTM
Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Diesel, New York, NY
Title: Wholesale Showroom Sales Intern

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Diesel’s 55DSL brand.  This brand is a younger, more urbanesque apparel company owned by Only The Brave group.

My internship was extremely hands on, allowing me to learn at my fullest potential.  Within the first week, I sat in on my first buying appointment and from then on, my tasks came with much responsibility.  I started at the end of Fall/Winter 2013 market and had the opportunity to see the brand completely transfer into a new collection.  As the Spring/Summer 2014 collection came in, I assisted in creating linesheets; editing which pieces would be kept and cut, and pricing individual items.  My next role was to contact buyers to schedule appointments to review the new line.  I sat through each appointment and helped select products and complete linesheets with the buyers’ orders.

The greatest opportunity was the overall amount of trust and responsibility I was given.  I completed tasks that I never imagined I would have a chance of doing as an intern.  My supervisor took the time to teach me everything he was doing, whether it was updating a future availability report for a buyer or canceling a specific garment.  Genuinely, each day I looked forward to going to my internship and always wondered what I was going to do next.

This internship provided me with great personal growth.  I had no previous retail experience and Diesel made me realize how much more I wanted to pursue fashion management.  Through the Wilson College of Textiles, I have learned a great deal about the many directions and opportunities available to me.

Stephanie HoffStephanie Hoff, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren Corporation, Charlotte, NC
Title: Retail Development Intern, Polo Ralph Lauren Wholesale Division

This past summer, I had the privilege of working with shop manager Rod Custodio, other Ralph Lauren team members, and two other NC State interns in Men’s Polo Ralph Lauren shops in Belk locations around the Charlotte area. For six weeks, I shadowed the daily aspects of managing the merchandising, marketing, and overall brand aspects of multi-million dollar Polo shops. This took time, dedication, and lots of patience as we learned the ins and outs of the Ralph Lauren image- who shops Polo, the quality of our garments, and how it is the retail developments team’s job to essentially drive sales home and convey the highly esteemed image of Ralph Lauren to every customer. This was a daunting task, but worth all of the hard work when we saw how these efforts translated to high sales numbers. Our daily tasks included analyzing sales reports for not only our Polo shop compared to other Belk departments, but also compared to other Polo shops across the southeast. We then took the time each day to merchandise the shop based on corporate directives, often times preparing for different visitors or events. We also had opportunities to work in Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, as well as complete competitive shops in other department stores and visit other Belk Polo shops to help out with their merchandising.

I had the opportunity to participate in several different trips and events during my internship experience, too. The entire internship team was able to visit the RL distribution centers in Greensboro, NC twice. There, we toured the account offices and distribution facilities (where every RL product is shipped to every store around the world!), as well as what RL execs called “lab”- basically, an entire warehouse full of “mock shops” used to create directives for department stores around the country. Our time in Greensboro was one of my favorite aspects of the internship, as we were given the chance to see how a huge, esteemed retail corporation operates, right here in North Carolina. Other opportunities included participating in a father’s Day Pop-Up Shop at Belk Headquarters, conducting a product assortment seminar for Belk Polo specialists and managers, and meeting RL New York executives (like the President of Polo Ralph Lauren) during a visit to our Polo shops. The main project I worked on throughout my internship centered around a research presentation about Ralph Lauren clienteling efforts, which we presented to other interns and Ralph Lauren executives at the conclusion of our internship.

I learned so much during my time with Ralph Lauren. Learning a very specific company cultures and adapting to working with a team was a huge learning experience, as well as relating the concepts of general merchandising efforts and integrated brand promotions learned in FTM 282 and 382 definitely came into play. Knowing what the consumer desires to purchase and their overall buying habits, learned in FTM 385, was a huge concept I grasped during my experience as well. Overall, I had an amazing experience this summer, I learned so much, and had an exceptional experience with an exceptional company.

Elisa HuberElisa Huber, BS, FTM
Concentration: FBMM
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren, New York, NY
Title: Product Presentation Intern

My internship in NYC with Ralph Lauren opened my eyes to the intricate processes, creative and technical, required to successfully present product in stores nationwide. Throughout my time at the Ralph Lauren headquarters I was given many responsibilities that further exposed me to the fashion industry as well as expanded my knowledge on the creative process within a business driven company. My responsibilities included organizing showroom pictures and identifying key rigs in order to communicate to the stores how new product should be displayed. This applied my knowledge in visual merchandising by figuring out how to communicate to the consumers the vision of the lines as well as please the buyers based on what looks are heavily invested in. I also worked on projects to determine how to display products based on each unique store floor plan and was able to apply what I learned by helping the store presentation teams accomplish changeovers as new product shipped into the stores in the NYC area. I furthermore participated in all weekly team meetings, showroom walkthroughs and adoptions for new seasons.

Various projects I accomplished throughout my internship included helping complete the Fall Snapshot for all stores to know how to display the incoming product for fall and daily tasks of updating the team global calendar, visual wall and various other duties. I also assisted with preparing for a new launch of merchandising strategies in Apparel and Home as well as a specialty line for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Lastly I spent time working on an individual Creative Project assigned by Ralph Lauren Internship Program where I conceptualized a new merchandise line called American Girl for Ralph Lauren to further the sales of RL Childrenswear as young girls often desire to match their dolls with their own closets. During this project I was given the opportunity to reach out to and work with the buying and creative teams as well.

Through my experience I was able to learn the logistics required in properly communicating with all stores to be on the same page in how to present each new season as well as learn the various steps of getting the product in the store from concept to design to buying to planning to merchandising and presentation. I had exposure to all aspects that apply to product presentation and any divisions that impact the presentation of the product within Ralph Lauren. My internship applied knowledge of branding and visual communication with the consumer and exposure to the various aspects in the management of a fashion brand and the importance of teamwork and leadership. I was also able to apply the creativity and general design knowledge related to what I learned through classes offered in Art & Design minor during my internship. Overall my second experience at Ralph Lauren was amazing and I gained a greater knowledge of the business of a fashion brand and improved my own creativity.

Diamond JacksonDiamond Jackson, BS, FTM
Program concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Virtual (Remote)- ApparelMagic
Title: Student Ambassador

Working with ApparelMagic was a really unique experience. It was my first ever internship and with it being virtual, I was really unfamiliar with what was to come of this experience. ApparelMagic is a company that has created an awesome software system pertaining to the apparel industry. It’s a unique software system that allows customers to easily maintain the financial aspect of their business. The bulk of this program was completing assignments that researched the fashion (FTM/FTD) program at the Wilson College of Textiles. I researched everything from our successful alumni to our curriculum. This research basically gave the company an idea of what our Wilson College of Textiles has to offer in conjunction to its industry connections. One of the highlights of the program, besides getting paid, was the opportunity to become certified with the software by receiving free training on the program. This internship correlated to my degree by exposing me to the business aspect of the industry as well as the somewhat technical/ graphic side. Through the assignments given, I learned how much a company researches potential clients to make sure they are benefiting to their fullest advantage. On the other side, the certification helped me become more knowledgeable about the graphic and technological aspect of the fashion/ apparel industry. Overall this remote internship was a great first experience. It opened my eyes to a different side of the industry as much as it opened doors for opportunities in the future.

Michelle JerebMichelle Jereb, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Polo Ralph Lauren, Atlanta GA
Title: Retail Development Intern

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with Ralph Lauren in Atlanta, Georgia.  I worked alongside two other interns, Danielle Janick and Annie Mastromonaco.  We were managed by Mark Allen Clark and took his lead on daily tasks.  My title as a Retail Development Intern enabled me to utilize and acquire many skills.  Some of the major highlights during my experience were analyzing sales of the Polo shops and then remerchandising the shops based off of the findings.  We were also able to create visual displays throughout the shops following Polo Ralph Lauren’s directives.  We traveled to many different Polo shops located around the Georgia area during our internship and at these locations we focused on embodying the Ralph Lauren brand and presenting the store to its highest potential.  A couple of times we explored what it was like to work with the women’s Ralph Lauren line (Lauren) and children’s Ralph Lauren line.  Both experiences were exciting and provided another insight into the world of Ralph Lauren.

Our final project to Ralph Lauren focused on special events.  We were able to hold an in-store event with Mark Allen Clark for Father’s Day.  We worked with children models to incorporate children’s Ralph Lauren wear with Polo Ralph Lauren menswear.  We had the models pose on visual displays throughout the shop and they walked around the men’s store to invite customers into the shop.  The event was overall a success and we were able to learn how sales were increased due to a special event.  We then used this experience and other research to develop and present a mock Polo Ralph Lauren special event.  Our findings and ideas on special events proved to be beneficial to the Ralph Lauren Company.

I found this internship irreplaceable.  The amount of knowledge I gained as well as the memories made from this experience made me very grateful.  I enjoyed many things but one that I think helped enrich the experience was orientation.  The couple of days that Danielle, Annie, and I got to spend with the other interns and managers in Greensboro was fun and valuable.  We were able to visit the Ralph Lauren Greensboro service center and see the mock lab shop.  This is where a lot of thought is put into floor plans, visual displays, and merchandising of the Polo Shops.  It was interesting to see the thought process behind Ralph Lauren’s retail development and our purpose as interns.  Overall, I am happy to have had the great opportunity of interning with Ralph Lauren and will have many memories to take away from my experience.

Kelsey KampfKelsey Kampf, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Kohl’s, Milwaukee, WI
Title: Production Intern for Croft & Barrow Women’s Sweaters

Collaborating with the designers of my brand on a daily basis to review and discuss updated fabric samples from multiple vendors to comment on the color, hand, quality, trims, and pattern placements. I then communicate these updates to the vendors via email or Tradestone in order to stay on track with the production timeline so that the goods make it to the distribution centers on time.

I completed a competitive shopping analysis project with four other interns to discover the white space in a Kohl’s brand of our choice. We presented our project to a group of managers and the brand’s team members. I also have completed an individual Impact Project, which I focused on for the duration of the summer. I discovered the costing differences between special sizes based on factual-based costing regarding fabric consumption. I was able to make the patterns myself in Optitex based off of the technical designers’ measurements for each style. This was then presented to my team, as well as multiple managers and vice presidents.

Cara LancianeseCara Lancianese, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Peter Millar, Raleigh, NC
Title: Photoshoot Production Intern

As the Photo-shoot Production Intern, I was in charge of prepping and styling looks, keeping inventory, and collaborating with others on collection names. I was also involved in the set-up for the Spring 2014 sales meeting. The tasks for the sales meeting included prepping the showroom, as well as making swatch card packets for each sales representative. Although the title of my internship was the Photo-shoot production intern, I assisted in all aspects of the Peter Millar company. I collaborated with the men’s and women’s designers on presentation boards for the Masters Tournament, sat in on meetings with representatives for the Ryder Cup, and worked closely with eCommerce for their web shoot.

While at Peter Millar, I worked on both the Men’s and Women’s line books for the Spring 2014 season. This project consisted of prepping and styling looks, working under the camera, understanding the photo editing process, and keeping the inventory closet organized. There was a time during the photo-shoot that a model came, and I was able to style her. While working on the line book, the other interns and myself collaborated on the collection names for the Women’s book. I also helped compile images and ideas for Peter Millar’s Masters presentation in Augusta, Georgia.

I was able to sit in on important meetings, see the styling process, as well as style myself, and I had the amazing opportunity to meet, network, and connect with various employees of Peter Millar. One meeting that is especially memorable was with the European sales representatives for the Ryder Cup collection. I was able to sit in as they selected the colors and garments to be sold in the golf shops at the Ryder Cup. Having the ability to work with stylists was a great experience. I was able to learn and understand the process of a photo-shoot, and what it entails. Every little detail really matters, and it was my internship that showed me this.

While my title was “Photo-shoot Production Intern,” I had many hats. I saw the entire Peter Millar production process; from collaborations on styles and designs, to marketing efforts. I was able to gain insight on designing, styling, marketing, and even quality control. This internship allowed me to experience various aspects of the fashion industry and network with industry executives.

This internship is related to my degree and concentration because it involved many aspects of the fashion and textile industry. I needed to have knowledge and an understanding of fibers and fabrics in prepping the looks, which I learned in TMS 211. I used what I learned about how to reach your target consumer in Dr. Devine’s class, FTM 387, to develop looks and collection names.

Cassia LewisCassia Lewis, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: Shawlsmith London, Raleigh, NC
Title: Fashion Web Merchandising Internship

I was able to participate in many of the campaigns and marketing promotions that Shawlsmith London was working on. One of the campaigns that I was given to work on and manage was the Online Blogger Campaign. I contacted and corresponded with bloggers and fashion magazines on behalf of the company. Other highlights of my time at Shawlsmith London included coordinating the visual display of ecommerce merchandise, increasing ecommerce traffic, interacting with the CEO and company executives, participating in company meetings, designing two scarves for the company’s ‘Occasions Collection’, and styling the Pre-Fall and Fall Line-sheet photo-shoot.

During my time at Shawlsmith London I was able to complete several projects.  The first was a Competitive analysis of online competition. I was able to create a presentation with my findings and research and present to the company in a meeting. I was also delegated the organization of B2C calendar of events and schedule for weekly e-blasts. I was able to assist with product development for the ‘Occasions Collection’, as well as put in charge of some of the blog posts and images for blog posts. I was asked to do the styling and assist with the Pre-Fall and Fall line-sheet photo-shoot. I was in charge of the companies’ Throwback Thursday collections for social media, and was asked to do all online product descriptions for spring, summer, and fall lines. In addition to the visual ecommerce management, I was also able to manage inventory and assist with the e-mail campaigns to B2C and B2B. Finally, my final and largest project was managing and running the blog contact and outreach campaign.

Shawlsmith London helped to teach me many things through my internship process, especially giving me a firsthand approach with the process of inventory and warehouse supply—it was interesting to see and be involved with the shipping and packaging of goods and learn that process. In addition, I was given many assignments that involved graphic design—in working with the e-mail, blog, and B2C campaigns I was able to work with Photoshop, and InDesign to create some of the graphics for Shawlsmith London. I was also able to use and practice B2B communication—in much of my work I was required to communicate with other companies and fashion bloggers on behalf of the Shawlsmith London name. Finally, I was able to apply the merchandising skills I learned through my time in class—throughout the entire internship I have learned the importance of merchandising and branding, promotional campaigns, website upkeep, blog contact, and social media involved with the entire process.

As an intern with Shawlsmith London, I was able to work with amazing people that gave me incredible opportunities. I was able to sit in and contribute to company meetings with CEO Katie Banner, and company owner, Rehman Chandrey. I was given many responsibilities, such as being asked to style—hair, make-up, and clothing—for the pre-fall and fall line-sheet photo-shoot; manage and organize the blog contact and outreach campaign; take over the Twitter and Throwback Thursday social media campaigns, and  manage the B2C email campaign calendar.

As a textile accessory company, Shawlsmith London gave me much insight into fashion and textile management. The company allowed me to be involved with the design, merchandising, shipping, packaging, and promotional aspects.  They also incorporated and utilized the marketing concepts I learned in my degree related courses such as the Fiber, Textile, Apparel, & Retail (FTAR) supply chain complex, competitive analysis, SWOT analysis, etc.

Sierra LowerySierra Lowery, BS, FTM
Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Polo Ralph Lauren, Charlotte, NC
Title: Retail Development Intern

The major job responsibilities of the internship included working with and job shadowing Polo Shop Manager Rod Custodio. Analyzing and reviewing the daily sales numbers and reviewing the performance of key items. Replenishing the product and following directives to merchandise product on sales floor.  We tutored smaller tier stores in NC to re-merchandise stores to help drive sales. The major highlights during the internship included touring the Ralph Lauren Factories in Greensboro, NC. During the factory tour we got to see the Mock Lab Shop, where merchandise is set-up to be put into directives that are distributed to Polo Shops across the US.  We also toured the Beachwood distribution center where all Ralph Lauren brands are warehoused.

I worked on a team with two other interns to complete a project on Ralph Lauren and clienteling. Clienteling is a system to manage customer’s engagement business processes for bringing customers into your store, providing an exceptional in-store shopping experience and creating a repeat customer.  The project was completed and presented in a power point format. The presentation covered the past, present, and future of Polo Ralph Lauren methods of clienteling. The project emphasized procedures that Ralph Lauren utilizes to establish exceptional customer service. The project also included interviews of a Polo Sales Associate, a Personal Shopper from Belk at South Park, and a cross comparative interview from a Saks Fifth Avenue Sales Associate.

The main concepts I learned were to always be prepared for corporate visits. A Shop Managers’ main focus is to always find ways to drive the business, increase sales from last year, and keep merchandise selling on the sales floor. The major opportunities provided were learning and interacting with individuals working in the industry. Additionally, I learned about Ralph Lauren business methods and visited Belk’s Headquarters in Charlotte, NC. The internship related to my degree and concentration through my FTM business courses on brand loyalty and marketing to different generational cohorts. It also related by working and presenting a project as a team.

Amanda MarshallAmanda Marshall, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: Fashion Design
Internship Site: Rosenberry Rooms, LLC
Title: Web Merchandising Intern

This summer I served as a Web Merchandising Intern for Rosenberry Rooms. Rosenberry Rooms is a family-owned, high-end children’s retailer for all interior design needs. Not only was everyone very welcoming and helpful, but it also was a collaborative environment where change was embraced and routines were challenged.

Primarily I worked with three full-time coworkers in the web merchandising department. I worked on different assignments every day based on whether I was working on a mini project or helping a coworker complete a new vendor line update. Since Rosenberry Rooms is mainly an online retailer, it is essential that the website is constantly monitored to ensure that the thousands of products are updated and that customers receive the highest possible customer service. Therefore, about once a month, I attended department and company meetings to review upcoming projects and discuss company goals. As an online retailer, Google plays a crucial role in the popularity of a website. Often, strategies were discussed on how to improve methods of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Some key projects I worked on included helping with a furniture manufacturer recall and merchandising new vendor lines. As a retailer, Rosenberry Rooms works with hundreds of suppliers. The actions of a supplier can positively or negatively affect the retailer.  One of the furniture manufacturers issued an extensive bed recall. Rosenberry Rooms had to compile all the customer information for the manufacturer. Although it was not a glamorous task, the data entry was essential for quality customer service. Second, new products are continually added to the website each week. Every line update requires writing creative product and vendor descriptions, data entry, converting wholesale costs to retail prices, editing images, categorizing products, and distributing to website pages. Since customers cannot touch online merchandise, the customer must be provided with an abundance of information so they can make an informed decision.

I gained an abundance of new skills such as writing some HTML code, navigating new websites such as Yahoo Editor in order to go through the backend of a website, as well as, using other company programs. Also, I improved my skills with Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Excel.

Although my major is focused on design and not merchandising, I learned a lot of valuable information about the operation of small online businesses, the importance of Google, the textile and interior industry, and how to maximize the consumer experience. I view my internship at Rosenberry Rooms as a unique version of working retail at a brick and mortar store. With the prevalence of online shopping, the Internet is the new world of shopping. As an aspiring designer, I need to understand and respect how every part of the chain operates.

Annie MastromonacoAnnie Mastromonaco, BS, FTM
Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Polo Ralph Lauren, Atlanta GA
Title: Retail Development Intern

This past summer I had the pleasure of interning for Ralph Lauren in Atlanta, GA. Michelle Jereb, Danielle Janick and I had the opportunity to work alongside Mark Allen Clark each day and help him with his daily duties. Our main responsibilities included assessing sales of key items and learning product classification as well as utilizing visual merchandising and presentation skills. We also traveled with Mark Allen Clark to several Polo Shops in the Georgia area to help re-merchandise the stores and help increase sales in those specific shops. One of the main highlights of the internship was being able to visit the Greensboro Polo Ralph Lauren headquarters and tour the Mock Lab Shop, and the Beachwood distribution center. In the Mock Lab Shop we saw where all of the creative displays are set up and then put into the directives that are sent out to all the Polo Shops.

During the six week internship the two other interns and myself completed a project on the impact of special events on a store’s sales. Our supervisor had already planned a special event that was held in the Polo Shop on Father’s Day and from there the three of us executed the event. For the event we had three children models who modeled clothing from the Ralph Lauren Children’s Department in hopes to increase sales not only in the Men’s Department, but the Children’s Department as well. The event was all day and included small refreshments. The event was overall very successful  and helped prove that special events are definitely a driving factor of a store’s sales.

The main concepts that I learned from this internship were how to assess a sales sheet of products and then merchandise the store in order to increase sales of specific products. This internship also gave me the opportunity to learn more about the Ralph Lauren company and to execute a special event properly. From this experience I have acquired new knowledge, amazing learning opportunities and many memories from my experience with Ralph Lauren.

Lauren MichelakisLauren Michelakis, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: TD
Internship Site: Elizabeth and James, New York, NY
Title: Product Development and Fabric Research and Development

This summer I had the opportunity to work as an intern with Elizabeth and James; Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s contemporary collection inspired by their unique vintage finds and pieces in their personal wardrobes. It was located in New York City’s Fashion District.

As an intern working with both Product Development and Fabric Research and Development, my responsibilities included sourcing fabrics and trims, conducting fabric tests, organizing previous, present, and upcoming fabrics and trims by vendor, fiber content, color, weight, and article codes, and also working on season to season linesheets, techpacks, bill of materials, and trims sheets.

Since the headquarters is small, I got to work with the knit and design divisions as well as see photo shoots and fittings take place. I also got to see samples from vendors, the showroom, and Mary Kate and Ashley themselves.

I learned an immense amount about all the different components that go into making one garment and a collection: everything from the paperwork to choosing the trims, patterns, and fabrics. This internship, along with being in New York, inspired and helped develop my knowledge of the design process.

Jonathan MillnerJonathan Millner, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Cotton Incorporated- Cary, NC
Title: Global Supply Chain Marketing Intern

I had the opportunity to work for Cotton Incorporated this summer at their headquarters in Cary, NC.  I worked as an intern in the Global Supply Chain Marketing department, which markets and promotes cotton innovations and technologies to various businesses, manufacturers, textile mills and retailers.  As an intern, my responsibilities were to scout and catalog new pro-cotton technologies and opportunities, identify top opportunities to pursue, assist with design and development of marketing packages, and assist with initiating and managing hybrid marketing packages. The internship provided valuable experience in both research and creativity, as it was imperative to conduct research to identify innovations in cotton, and implement creativity to disseminate these innovations to the textile industry.

In my day-to-day responsibilities, I had the opportunity to design and develop packaging for Cotton Incorporated’s partnership with the sustainable laser finishing company, Jeanologia.  The project featured a line of denim and knitwear from Cotton Incorporated that implemented Jeanologia’s laser technology. This was one of the divisions most expensive and significant projects and I had the task of designing hangtags, brochures, packets with inserts, and a one-pager, to be distributed to industry. Also, I was able to use my interest in photography to photograph fabric samples from Cotton’s collaboration with the Italian fabric company, Tonello. The Product Development and R&D team used these photos for Cotton Incorporated’s FABRICAST™ collection, which is a collection of unique cotton fabrics that is marketed to industry.

I was very fortunate to be able to travel during my internship! I traveled to Lubbock, Texas to meet with a denim manufacturing company and promoted a new technology that substantially reduced the amount of water waste and indigo used in the manufacturing process. I was able to participate in the meeting with the company, as well as see the denim manufacturing process from fiber to end fabric. This was a rewarding experience and I was able to see how collaboration within the textile industry is initiated and executed. In addition, I was able to attend a denim trend forecast presentation and see how companies interact with each other to promote their products and technologies at the Kingpins trade show in New York City.

The internship experience was very rewarding and I learned a lot during my time with Cotton Incorporated. I am grateful to have been a part of the corporate environment and it provided valuable industry experience. Also, I felt I was valued and made a lasting contribution to Cotton Incorporated.  I was assigned substantial projects and tasks that were very critical to the company and used in tradeshows such as Outdoor Retailer and Premier Vision.  Also, the internship allowed me to see the difference between consumer marketing and B2B (business to business) marketing. While I was accustomed to marketing to the consumer, I was able to learn and implement strategies and techniques to market to various businesses. The knowledge and experience I have gained at the Wilson College of Textiles effectively prepared me for the internship at Cotton Incorporated and I was able to find success.

Overall, this was a very comprehensive internship experience and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to work and gain industry experience at Cotton Incorporated this summer.

Jordan NecampJordan Necamp, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Alice + Olivia, New York, NY
Title: Merchandising Intern

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work for Alice + Olivia, located right in New York City’s Meatpacking District. As a Merchandising Intern, I worked mainly with the Merchandising team, but also worked closely with the Sales and Production team as well. I definitely learned that it takes an immense amount of teamwork to merchandise a company’s products.

Some of my major responsibilities included pulling samples for meetings with buyers and major department stores, creating merchandising line sheets for the showroom, entering data for the new collections into a program called Blue Cherry, updating off-price PowerPoints for each door, reviewing transfer reports, and assisting the Merchandising team with everyday duties.

My main project of the summer was the Alice + Olivia Intern Challenge. All of the interns from each department in the office were split into teams of six. Our challenge was to create a concept for an in-store event. This project included extensive company and consumer research. Each team got to meet with different departments including Retail, Events and Marketing, Public Relations, and Creative in order to help us bring our concept to life. We even got the opportunity to present in front of company president Deanna Berkeley and founder/designer Stacey Bendet. This project gave me the opportunity to learn about the different departments in the company, and to see how they all work together each day.

A major opportunity that was provided was being able to work during June market week. Although it was a hectic time in the office, I was able to learn so much from the experience. I also got to hear Stacey Bendet present her inspiration for the Resort and Pre-spring 2014 lines.

Being able to incorporate what I have learned in my FTM classes made my experience so much easier. For example, my knowledge from FTM 382 made it easy to complete the research that was needed for my project. The many presentations that I have given in my FTM classes allowed me to be confident and professional in front of the executive members of the company. Overall, it was an amazing first-hand experience of the industry with a young and whimsical contemporary brand.

Mary OgburnMary Ogburn, BS, FTM
Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Polo Ralph Lauren, Raleigh, NC
Title: Retail Development Intern

The major responsibilities for my internship with Polo were to work under the Polo Shop Manager for the Crabtree Valley Men’s Belk store in Raleigh. On a day-to-day basis I worked with a team of three other interns to appropriately merchandise the sales floor, dress rigs, and look at sales figures to see where improvements could be made in our visual sales tactics. Throughout the summer we kept a blog as a record of our work.

We also had the opportunity to work in various other smaller locations in the Triangle area. Traveling to Durham and Cary, we were able to see how a smaller sales floor and team operate to achieve similar goals to the large flagship stores. We also spent some time at the Greensboro distribution center working with the mock visuals that were to be sent to every retail location as well as touring the facilities.

For our final project we created various profiles on the consumer that regularly visits and purchases from our location. We presented it at the end of the summer to a team from Polo. This internship was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed each day I was a part of it. I took away a lot from it and learned more than I ever would have thought.

Chelsea PerryChelsea Perry, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Bellagurl Inc., Morehead City, NC
Title: Marketing Intern

Bellagurl Inc. Marketing, Publishing and Advertising is a small, full-service advertising agency located in my hometown of Morehead City, NC. My major responsibilities during my internship included composing marketing plans and press releases, composing and editing text for websites, social media posts, collaborating with clients and designers to develop logos and brand identity and working on a market research project for the Outer Banks Wedding Association.

My main project was doing market research for the Outer Banks Wedding Association, headquartered in Nags Head, NC. Bellagurl handles all marketing aspects for the Outer Banks Wedding Association. This summer I completed a project that assessed the destination wedding market. I completed research on United States destination weddings as well as NC beach destination weddings. This required working with OBWA vendors and communicating with wedding associations across the US. After completing research, I composed a presentation to be presented to the OBWA board when proposing Bellagurl’s 2014 marketing plan for the Outer Banks Wedding Association.

Because Bellagurl is a small company, I learned a lot from hands on experience with all aspects involved in a full-service marketing agency. I was able to work daily with our Founder and Sales Director, Account Manager, Web Programmer/Designer and Graphic Designer. It was a great opportunity and I was able to use all of the marketing tools that I have learned at NC State. Although my internship was not textile related, it heavily reinforced my concentration in Brand Management and Marketing.

Stephen PeskowitzStephen Peskowitz, BS, TT
Concentration: TD
Internship Site: American & Efird, Mt. Holly, NC
Title: Manufacturing Management Intern, Wet Processing

American & Efird (A&E) is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of sewing threads and industrial yarns.  As a Manufacturing Management Intern with A&E, major highlights included having the opportunity to interact with much more than staff solely located within the US, but with associates on a global level. While working at A&E, I completed a global color comparison analyzing colors dyed throughout all global dye houses. I was responsible for communicating with management in other countries to ensure that the colors on the global color palette were uniform. Ultimately, the main aspect of my internship was process and quality improvement; I worked to make sure A&E’s products were competitive with others in the market.

This internship gave me the opportunity to see how the manufacturing process works—there’s a lot more involved than I imagined before I had this internship. For example, I learned that city and federal regulations are very specific about what can and can’t be produced. These regulations are important because they lead to better products for the customer. I also learned to communicate effectively with vendors and other professionals in the industry; outreach to other manufacturers and business partners was a major part of my job as an intern. Throughout the course of this internship, I utilized the knowledge I gained during my Textile Technology classes. I gained experience learning about manufacturing processes, textile quality, dyeing and finishing.  Because of my internship, I was able to connect the Wilson College of Textiles with A&E to provide product to the college.  A&E donated custom-made cabinets containing over 1,000 spools of thread from A&E’s global color palette.  The thread will be a valuable tool to students in the Fashion Studio. Overall, it was a valuable experiential learning opportunity to apply what I learned in class firsthand.

Ben PhillipsBen Phillips, BS, FTM
Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren, Raleigh
Title: Retail Development, Polo

My responsibilities during this internship encompassed everything in the retail development process. Our team was responsible for merchandising the Polo shops in the Raleigh area including Crabtree, Southpoint, and Cary Town Center. We also assisted with weekly reports sent to the corporate office that analyzed sales for the previous week by item grouping.

We also had the opportunity to go to the corporate headquarters in Greensboro twice and assist the team from NYC with preparation of the retail lab for photo shoots that were part of the merchandising directives. Meeting and working alongside this team was one of the most incredible experiences of the internship.

Our team had two projects to complete. The first was a weekly blog that described everything we did during the week and how that influenced sales for the week. The other was our final project that was presented to the VP of Wholesale Relations. This project analyzed the psychology of a Polo purchase.

The most important thing that I learned during this internship was that what we learn in class is central to the workings of the industry. Every day I used knowledge gained from my classes to work on projects and complete the daily tasks of the internship.

The greatest opportunity provided through this learning experience was being able to explore other career paths in the industry. The internship was focused on the brand management side of the industry, which I had not previously focused on. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities for my career path. I now know that I can go anywhere I want in the industry with my major.

Sarah PlaistedSarah Plaisted, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: FD
Internship Site: Katherine Feiner & STOLL America, New York, NY
Title: Fashion Design Intern

This summer I had the amazing opportunity of interning for two different fashion companies in New York City.  One company, Katherine Feiner, is a contemporary women’s fashion line, launched in 2012 in New York City. At Katherine Feiner, some of my responsibilities included drawing detailed Fashion Illustrations to send to China for production.  I also helped select  tassels and embellishments based upon the designers’ aesthetic.  In addition, I organized the designers’ inspiration boards, sketches, swatches, patterns, and publicity sign in/sign out’s.  I was exposed to industry pattern drafting methods by adding or altering a pattern as needed when samples came in. I tracked inventory, organized, counted, and packaged the 2013 Fall/Winter looks using Excel spreadsheets. SnagIt software was used for social media and publicity purposes and I created graphic designs for Instragram, a blog, and website for a July 4th publicity campaign.  I created the Spring 2014 fabric swatch book. I assisted with model casting and the photo-shoot for the 2014 Spring/Summer collection.

I was fully immersed in every aspect of Katherine Feiner’s company from beginning to end. This included her initial conceptual ideas, pattern drafting, sampling, fabric shopping, embellishments, production, and publicity.  I learned how off-shore production in China operates and what to do when unanticipated problems arise.  I was responsible for handling/packaging/receiving many celebrities’ garments for publicity purposes.

I was given the opportunity to travel to meet the pattern maker for the company and was able to ask any questions I had concerning garment construction. I sat in on fittings and took notes.  I was able to apply my knowledge of fashion illustration, pattern drafting, prototyping, as well as industry design procedures.  I used this knowledge to further my education in this area by asking questions directly to the designer. This internship related almost directly to all of my courses. I found that previous classes  prepared me very well for all the tasks I was asked to complete, such as pattern drafting, various workroom practices, trend research, fashion illustration, and quality garment construction techniques.

While interning at STOLL America, I drafted patterns for customers, kept the archives organized, worked at the front desk with customers, and washed and steamed samples and garments.  I produced a product line of pillows and helped run the sample sale.  For the pillow design project I worked with another intern, Samantha Burdett, to conceptually design over 50 pillows based upon duplicate samples available and inspiration from magazines. Next, we did an evaluation and narrowed the ideas down to our final selections. We purchased zippers and the necessary materials to create samples for our presentation. Through this process we created an excel sheet to organize all of our information that included our ideas, sketches, materials needed to be  purchased, production time, and price points. We produced samples and presented our final project to the faculty at STOLL. They provided constructive criticism and then we began our pillow production. We cut, serged, sewed, and displayed pillows that were eventually sold in STOLL’s summer sample sale.

Some of the main concepts I learned were pattern drafting for knits and industry sampling practices.  I was able to hand knit on flat bed machines using various types of knitting structures and the learned the knit design process from start to finish. During my internship, I was provided with the opportunity to attend Spin Expo and a WGSN seminar within the Exhibition.  I took the STOLLS’s IBO Knitting Course and the Knit 1 Purl 1, and Knit 2 Purl 2 Seminar free of charge.  While interning, I was able to use the STOLL flatbed knitting machines without paying a usage fee. I gained experience in the production process for both large and small companies that STOLL works with, such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Alexander Wang.  I also was made aware about how knitting production is gravitating back to the USA (re-shoring) and is being steered away from Chinese production.

Katharine PlayerKatharine Player, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: TD
Internship Site: Cone Denim, New York, NY
Title: Product Development and Merchandising

As a summer intern at Cone Denim, a leading supplier of premium denim fabrics, I worked closely with the denim product development and marketing team in the New York office and showroom. I gained exposure and knowledge of the fabric development process from concept to final product and sample garment, through fiber, stretch, weight, shade, and wash selections.

Some of my daily responsibilities included sending or hand delivering samples to customers, organizing and stocking the sample closet, archive closet, and showroom, and interpreting and translating fabric construction details to create a database of labels for sample garments. I gained exposure in the marketing segment of the company as well in assisting editing promotional and educational videos, informational product handouts and co-branding projects, as well press stories, trade show research and booth development. Some of my projects included creating the 2014 Fall/Winter Trend Pages presented in the company sales meeting, taking inventory of and organizing the archive room of vintage denim styles used for design inspiration, creating the Fabric Presentation guides used in customer meetings, and managing the bulk distribution of new product.

I was given the opportunity to attend several customer meetings with denim design teams from companies like Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic, both on site and some in the Cone showroom. During these meetings I was able to experience the design teams’ fabric selection process, as they described desired product qualities and then would be shown Cone fabric with the appropriate yarns, stretch, shade, or weight to yield these qualities. This process, along with preparing for and attending trade shows was a great opportunity for me to become familiar with their customer base, gain market and consumer knowledge, and make connections with designers in the industry.

I was able to apply a great deal of what I learn in fibers, yarns, fabric properties and construction courses throughout my internship, and was able to understand weave constructions, and yarn properties of the denim fabrics being developed. My Textile Design courses were a great foundation for my internship, helped me more easily understand the denim construction and development process, and even made me more excited to explore and further my knowledge this fall in denim and woven design.

Abigail ProctonAbigail Procton, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: Textile Design
Internship Site: Glen Raven Inc., Glen Raven, NC
Title: Custom Fabrics, Design Intern

As a summer intern at Glen Raven, the makers of Sunbrella fabrics, I was kept busy working and learning about every aspect of Sunbrella products from conception and design, to production and marketing.

One of my greatest responsibilities was editing artwork, using Pointcarre textile software, in order to convert the artwork into the proper format for production on jacquard and dobby looms.  I also created some original artwork of my own, which was then woven into durable, fade resistant Sunbrella fabric.  Once artwork was cleaned, I was able to assign appropriate weave structures to the file and weaving could begin.  I also assisted designers in running color work and creating additional color ways for sampling.  Finally, I worked alongside the design team, developing a coordinated and stylized line for December 2013 Showtime.

Day-to-day tasks varied greatly, but included sorting incoming fabric samples to be sent to clients or reviewed by designers, color matching for customer requests and trends, and documenting purchased artwork.

By the end of my internship, I had 9 unique textile designs, each in multiple color ways, that were produced using Sunbrella acrylic yarn and meet Sunbrella’s standards of quality and durability.  Ultimately, I created 3 coordinated sets, which will be great additions to my portfolio.  Several of these pieces will be produced and sold as a part of Sunbrella’s December 2013 Showtime line and the Sunbrella Contract line in the upcoming year.

While interning with Glen Raven, I attended June Showtime in High Point and was able to work in the Sunbrella showroom as the seasonal line was presented to clients and buyers from around the world. This summer, I was also given the chance to tour two state of the art manufacturing facilities where Sunbrella yarns are spun and woven into fabric, in addition to two Glen Raven manufacturing plants in which the company’s technical fabrics are produced.

Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience as it related to my major.  I was able to see the process of creating a Sunbrella fabric from beginning to end.  I was able to experience every aspect first hand, from the conception of a design, to the production process, to sampling, to taking the product to market.  I learned a great deal about textile design, from both a technical aspect of durability and weave structure, and a design aspect of color and coordination.  Finally, I cannot imagine a better environment to learn and work.  I consider myself lucky to have been given such a unique opportunity to grow and learn in a place that fostered creativity and innovation, and where employees were more than co-workers, they were family.

Victoria SchuchVictoria Schuch, BS, FTM
Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Peter Millar, Durham, NC
Title: Special Event Planner Intern/Assistant

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with Peter Millar. I was able to work alongside the Special Event Planner and get a feel for how the company is run. During the beginning of the summer I mainly worked on drop shipments to different country clubs. It was important to stay organized and on top of the events as to make sure the products were received in a timely manner. I was able to learn about the products of Peter Millar, and understand the procedure for coordinating an event. Eventually, I was able to complete the steps of a drop shipment from start to finish.

One thing I really enjoyed during the course of my internship was the tour player program. I was able to assist Holli, the Special Event Specialist, and pick out the outfits for all the players that were going on tour. It was fun to be able to integrate my knowledge of textiles, love of clothes, and enthusiasm for planning into my internship. It was cool to watch the players on ESPN and to know exactly what they were wearing and everything about that product. I also had the privilege to work closely with President Cup players which involved planning and picking out their outfits and shipping them off.

At the end of the summer, Holli offered me a part-time position to assist her through the fall. So far, I have learned the system they use to keep track of their inventory, to place orders, and have been trusted to work more independently. This has been a great opportunity to deal with time crunches and dilemmas that arise and learn how to go about them. I loved working with a smaller company that does a lot of stuff in-house but is a large, well-known brand.

Crystal ShufordCrystal Shuford, BS, FTM
Program Concentration:  FDPM
Internship Site: David’s Bridal, Raleigh, NC
Title: Supply Chain Management and Product Development

With my internship at David’s Bridal, I concentrated on the alterations department. My key responsibilities were to track the bridal appointment conversion (of the gowns sold that week, how many appointments for alterations were made); to increase the overall customer service score coming out of the alterations department; and to keep the payroll percentage at 100% (using the hours that we earn).

I was given several projects upon starting my internship, but there was one project that stood out in importance. The project was to figure out how to receive a higher customer satisfaction rating on our scorecard.  After weeks of observation, I found that communication during appointments was poor, therefore driving our score down. To remedy this I talked with all of the alterations employees and implemented a new way of conducting appointments; instead of doing what we think needs to be done and then talking to the customer, we talked to them first and listened to what they wanted and went from there.  The conclusion of this project resulted in the Raleigh store having the highest overall customer satisfaction in the district.

The main concepts I learned were that when operating a business, you have to wear several different hats. You have to be the customers’ friend and have their best interest in mind, but you also, at the same time, have to be thinking about what is going to be best for the store.  Some other concepts I grasped were that although alterations is a different department, it is still a vital piece of a David’s Bridal store; and each member of the team is just as important as any other.

In the future, I would like to open my own bridal store or be the manager in a branch. This internship has given me a major opportunity to use my new understanding of the business side and work my way up in the store since I currently hold a position there.

This internship related to my degree concentration in that I got to see first-hand how things flow from the warehouse, to the store, to the customer; therefore getting a small piece of product development in the supply-chain. I also witnessed supply chain management with the bridal conversion.  The bridal appointment conversion could be at 100% and the alterations department could still not make enough money to keep their hours for work.  This occurs because if the consultants on the sales team don’t have as many appointments/purchases, there is nothing the alterations department can do to book their appointments to capacity considering they only alter merchandise from David’s Bridal.

Millie SimmonsMillie Simmons, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: FTM
Internship Site: bevello, Raleigh, NC
Title: Visual Merchandising & Marketing

Last summer, another FTM student and I had the amazing opportunity to intern with bevello.  We worked mostly at their headquarters in Raleigh, but we also traveled to work on site at many of their North Carolina stores.

The major responsibilities of my position were assisting in the creation of advertising content, working on special event promotion, conducting marketing and trend forecasting research, posting on social media, and on site visual merchandising projects like windows, lighting, artwork, and the store front.

The key project I worked on over time was the creation of bevello’s college ambassador program, called “bella reps”. I compiled research on other brand ambassador programs, created the application, and worked with my supervisors to launch the application. I got to review the initial applications that came in, and helped to recruit the first group of bevello bella reps. The other intern and I also got to go to Winston for the opening of a new store. We got to do a lot of visual artwork projects for the store, and got experience merchandising clothing and jewelry.

Throughout the internship, we really got the experience to work hands on with the company. It really showed us everything it takes to run a small company from the buying office to marketing to merchandising.

Lisa SlavinLisa Slavin, BS, FTM
Program Concentration:  TBMM
Internship Site: Michael Kors, New York, NY
Title:  Retail Development Intern, Accessories & Footwear

While interning at Michael Kors under the Operations Coordinator/Project Manager, I was able to take with me an abundance of valuable experiences and skills that will benefit any future job or career opportunity that I may encounter. Some of the major highlights of my job responsibilities included tracking the graphics and visual requests for all shop-in-shops, managing the graphic log, organizing all floor plans and editing weekly shop install photos, just to name a few.

One of my key projects during my internship was managing the graphic log. The graphic log is a document that tracks all graphics that must be delivered to each shop for every upcoming season. I handled the accessories and footwear graphics for the Fall 2013 season. Within the graphic log, I was required to make sure that every graphic was the correct quantity, size, and image for each specific shop. Since I worked within the Wholesale division, I handled all of the department stores and other vendors. Our six major accounts were: Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bloomingdales, Belk, Lord & Taylor, and BonTon. Each account orders specific images, therefore it was vital that the correct images were delivered to the correct accounts. All graphics also had to be delivered to the corresponding person whether it is a Shop Manager, Visual Coordinator, or District Coordinator. Also, every Tuesday I was required to print out the most recent shop install photos, organize and edit them, and then deliver to the CEO to be reviewed and provide feedback.

Another major project was submitting new Project Request Forms to the Store Design team for all upcoming projects. These forms must be completed and sent over to Store Design before budgets are approved so the Store Design team has an estimate of how much money they will be allotted for the specific shop. Items that factor into PRF’s include handbag capacities we were required to meet, square footage given, and overall expenses. Once Store Design received the PRF’s, they added the fixtures to the floor plans to complete the shop layouts.

Within the Retail Development department, I developed a complete understanding of all operational activities within the company. I also learned how to look over and review floor plans, something I had no previous knowledge of.  One of the major opportunities I was exposed to was attending the weekly Store Design meetings. At these meetings, new projects were presented to my supervisor, the Project Manager, as well as the Visual Merchandiser and Director of Retail Development. Together, they all determined whether or not the floor plan needed revision, or not. During my internship, I was fortunate enough to attend the bi-annual business conference for the Retail Development department called the Summit. This conference focused on leadership, teamwork, communication, and presentation skills; as well as other management skills needed for any job. Our field team, such as District Managers and District Coordinators from all over the country come to participate during this weeklong workshop.

My internship really provided me with a huge range of skills that will relate not only to a fashion or textile related business, but to any corporate job I may have in my future. Besides learning about operations, I also learned how to create tools that help maintain a business’s organization and efficiency.  I truly felt that my classes at the Wilson College of Textiles informed and prepared me for such an internship. I applied skills such as retail math, visual merchandising elements, and management strategies; all criteria I learned in my classes.  Overall, my internship at Michael Kors was an amazing and beneficial educational experience that provided me with a better understanding of how brands are managed and the intricate processes that go into that.

Hayley SowardsHayley Sowards, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Kate Spade New York, NYC
Title: Strategic Marketing Intern

There were many highlights from my internship at Kate Spade this past summer. A few of the most exciting projects I was able to participate in were the August and September marketing campaigns, which are the largest campaigns for the fall season. The August campaign was for the KSNY partnership with a graphic artist named Darcel.  This  collection featured all things special about New York City. In order to promote this collection the marketing team created a “guerilla” marketing campaign. They created a food truck, which sold merchandise and gave away free donuts as it drove throughout NYC and across the country to Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to help plan the campaign and work on the food truck as it drove around NYC. I was also able to help work on the photo shoot for the September ad campaign, featuring the 2 Park Avenue beau bag.

Along with working on different marketing campaigns, I was given an intern project to complete during the summer. This project was to conduct a marketing competitive analysis including social media. I compared thirteen different companies’ marketing strategies to Kate Spade’s, as well as tracked Kate Spade’s social media and developed an effective strategy for each social media outlet. At the end of the summer I presented my project to the thirteen executives and vice presidents.

One of the main concepts I learned was that there are many steps and months worth of planning that go into a single marketing campaign. I also learned that it takes many different teams in order to complete one project. The internship provided many opportunities for learning because there were very few interns. I was lucky enough to be the only marketing intern for the summer, which allowed me to participate in many different projects; not only for the strategic marketing team, but for other teams within the office. The internship correlated directly to my degree and concentration as I had the privilege of working in marketing for a major lifestyle brand.

Agee TaylorAgee Taylor, BS, FTM
Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: Tory Burch Corporate, New York, NY
Title: Design, Fabric Research and Development

The major highlights of my job responsibilities involved working with the design team and assisting in selecting fabrics and determining their outcome in the final product. I created fabric boards for presentations and cut swatches of each quality to present. I also worked with print design by re-coloring existing patterns and developed new prints and textures to be used on inspiration boards.

One of the key projects I completed was organizing the fabric libraries and dividing different swatches into sub-categories by reviewing the various mills’ qualities and categorizing them. I also completed projects within fabric research and development in prints, colors, product development, and technical design.  For my final internship project I created my own delivery of a collection based on the Tory Burch aesthetic. I created delivery boards for the Fall 2014 collections that displayed the different fabrications and colorways for Tory.

While participating in my internship I learned an immense amount about the fabric selections and how to apply new designs to pre-existing fabrics. I also became aware that fabric contents  can be adjusted to different standards.  For example, if a fabric was 57% nylon/43% wool, the blend could be adjusted to 51% wool/49% nylon so that the company could pay duties on a natural fabric rather than a synthetic one. Paying a natural duty rather than a synthetic one results in significant cost savings. Another aspect of the fashion industry I found really interesting was the process of fittings with models and how designers critique garments on the body and make adjustments accordingly.

I had to opportunity to attend the Premier Vision, Texworld, and Korean Preview fabric trade shows in New York City.  There, I met with vendors and assisted in making decisions on which fabric headers we would take back to present to Tory and the design director. When the fabrics team was having a slow day, I had the opportunity to explore other departments. I was able to sit in on fittings with models and go to costing meetings. Also, as a part of my internship program, we had a weekly speakers’ series. The series highlighted the various stages of the product lifecycle. The first week the design team spoke, next product development and production, then merchandising and costing, wholesale and retail, and many other departments as well.

My internship related very closely to my degree and concentration in many different aspects. While it was technical textile and fabrics based, it also was a creative outlet from a design perspective, similar to the way COT works. When working with prints and colors, I was able to utilize many of the skills I learned in my major. The FTM 271 class taught me a lot about print design using Photoshop and Kaledo to create new concepts and ideas. The series in FTM from 219-415 taught me a lot about product development and how the initial inspiration ends up with the consumer. It is very interesting to see the inner workings and how every person is divided into departments that have incredibly detailed tasks to complete for each season. Being at Tory Burch was an incredibly enriching experiential opportunity where I learned how the real world apparel industry works.

Shelby ThompsonShelby Thompson, BS, FTM
Concentration: FDPM
Internship Site: Hanesbrands Inc., Winston-Salem, NC
Title: Technical Design Intern, Women’s Panties

As an intern, I was responsible for assisting my manager and specification technicians with their daily duties.  This included creating garment spec packs, evaluating product, conducting fit evaluation reviews, assisting with fit sessions, and providing finished garment measurements.

For 10 weeks I worked on a competitive fit analysis between Hanes women’s panties and competitors’ brands.  This project began with measuring 9 key points of measure of around 500 pairs of panties.  I created a grade rule based on the averages of each size and silhouette panty.  I then looked for patterns within the created grade rules and made comments on each.  I chose one control panty and one panty to be washed for each size, silhouette, and brand.  I fit each silhouette of each brand (washed and unwashed) onto a standard Alvanon form and took pictures of each panty from the front, side, and back.  I then compared pictures of all competitor brands to Hanes brand to look for areas in which Hanes could improve.  I also repeated this process on live models for better accuracy.  I compiled all of my information and data, along with my suggestions for the brand into a power point presentation for Hanes employees to use in order to improve their products.

During this internship, I learned the daily activities of each person within the technical design team of women’s panties.  These team members taught me about developing specs for prototypes with sketches, block reference, grade rules, construction, and measurement details for accurate prototyping and costing.  I learned that making technical adjustments during fit sessions could result in cost reductions.  I also gained knowledge of how to evaluate products using garment measurements to facilitate sample development and manufacturing.

I was given the opportunity to travel to the Hanesbrands NYC office to conduct a fit session with live models as part of my internship project.  This allowed me to gain insight into the creative design aspect of women’s panties, since most Hanes creative design takes place in the New York office.

Within my concentration I am required to learn all information related to specification packages.  During my internship I learned how to create these spec packs in order to reflect all fit, construction, and performance details so that garments can be made in mass production.  My internship has helped me interpret creative design from a technical aspect and combine both the technical and creative knowledge that I have learned thus far at NC State.

Abby Van HornAbby Van Horn, BS, FTD
Program Concentration: TD
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren, New York, NY
Title: Home Design

As a Creative Intern in Home Design, I assisted and followed direction of Supervisor and Design Teams during the creative process, attended design and vendor meetings with teams to find new qualities and ideas to add diversity to lines, worked on layout concepts, scan, clean, color separate and create repeats in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, maintained fabric and product archives and had profound knowledge of the contents to reference as inspiration, managed samples for upcoming Spring 2014 Showroom launched in August 2013 and fulfilled other tasks on a need basis.

For my Creative Intern project, I created two concepts to expand the Ralph Lauren Collection Rug Line. This was an area of the Home Design department I worked with in depth and participated in much of the design process. I got to the experience the entire design process from start to finish (concept, design, presentation) and had the opportunity to work with all the design teams involved in that process.  I received a greater knowledge of the Ralph Lauren aesthetic and showcased my personal interpretation of the RL aesthetic through this project.

I gained a more in depth knowledge of how the design process is carried out in a large company, how many people’s hands one design passes through to completion. Collaboration and communication are vital components to a department to ensure they are meeting the needs of their customers, but maintaining the integrity of the brand’s aesthetic. My supervisor and the design teams I worked with this summer were mentors and helped me grow not only as a designer, but as a person. Because of this internship, I have found a passion for Home Textiles and can become a more diverse designer by creating with a different end product in mind.

Lindsey VereenLindsey Vereen, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Ross Stores Corporate Offices, New York, NY
Title: Assistant Buying Intern for Newborn Children

During my internship at Ross Stores, I utilized item sales reports of over 350 pages to highlight the best and worst selling products and to determine which fabrics, colors, and designs to go forward with.  I also attended market on a weekly basis and met with vendors to decide what items would be good for our product assortment.  In addition, I wrote purchase orders for thousands of units and performed comparisons (Comp Shopping) both online and in-stores to see what pricing strategies and products our competition offered. I performed white space analyses to find specific areas where we could improve our childrenswear business.  During the course of my internship, I also made presentations to Assistant Buyers, Buyers, and the Divisional Merchandise Managers.

Some of the main concepts I learned were that a lower the Stock to Sales Ratio and a higher Sell-through Percent makes an item a best seller.  Also, I discovered that Off price retailers buy less inventory and use little to no mark-up.  In the infant apparel industry, fluctuating cotton prices play a huge role in the success of a retailer. The internship provided me with the knowledge that the Off price business is driven by closeouts and that vendor relations are the cornerstone.  I learned that when communicating with vendors, you always want the right of first refusal.

Living and working in New York City provided me with access to hundreds of industry contacts and I was able to learn a business with people who were always there to sit down and help me.  It also enabled me to utilize my knowledge of textiles and what makes a garment a good quality product. There was one occasion where a vendor lied about the fabric content, and I was able to call him out on his mistake.  My buyer was very appreciative of my textile background.  Many of the business classes offered by my major (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and accounting) helped me to analyze numbers.  My brand management class taught me how to use a white space analysis which made comp shopping much easier.  Finally, my courses taught me how to speak well and give a professional presentation, something Ross places extreme value in.

Caroline WagnerCaroline Wagner, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: RSCM
Internship Site: Kohl’s, Menomonee Falls, WI
Title: Product Management Internship

As a Kohl’s intern, some of my job responsibilities included reading daily vendor emails and reviewing them with my internship coach to understand who to ask to get the information requested by the vendor. I also assisted in helping run submit meetings to review fabric qualities and colors with the design department. I reviewed pre-production samples and worked on progress charts to track styles through each stage of fabric production and garment assembly and call out any inconsistencies. I met and shadowed with other divisions within product development to learn about different product management roles.

For a competitive shopping project/presentation, I worked in a group who chose a private brand at Kohl’s and then shopped at the competitors’ stores. We looked at what the competition was doing and recommended what Kohl’s should do in the future. For a Trend curve project, we worked with the merchandise analyst interns to look at the best sellers from Q1 of a private Kohl’s brand and determined where the products landed on the trend curve (test, incoming, pre-peak, post-peak, and outgoing).  During a special size costing project, I looked at the current guidelines for petite, plus, and big and tall costing to see the increase/decrease from regular sizes. I also communicated with vendors to check how accurate the costing for these special sizes were and made recommendations to management based on the findings. I checked patterns and mini markers using OptiTex CAD to check if the vendors were utilizing fabric efficiently.

Some of the main concepts I learned were how to leverage partnerships with co-workers and overseas vendors while keeping the customer in mind throughout the entire development process.  In addition, I gained communication skills and learned some key phrases to use when speaking with international vendors.  I had to be prepared and focused for all meetings to help deliver strong results.   I learned time manage skills in order to get everything done with all the meetings that took place.

I had the opportunity to meet and network with upper management to explore multiple organizational areas within Kohl’s. I attended seasonal line reviews and milestone meetings with product development and the buying office.  As a culmination of my internship, I presented a major impact project to management (production manager, brand manager, senior vice president of production).
-Hands on experience with fabric/sample approvals by working with production, brand management and design.
-Understand /learn the entire production process from concept to customer in a department store.
-This internship related to my degree/concentration in that:
-I was placed on a production team, which monitors the products all the way through the supply chain; so I helped keep things on schedule by resolving any issues so production didn’t get behind at any point.
-I analyzed the cost of every component in a product to make sure we were getting the lowest cost possible.
-I researched competitors to make sure we were keeping up with their trends, presentations, silhouettes, colors, fabrications, countries of production, placement, promotions and prices (4 P’s).
-I looked at different knit fabrications to help determine which ones were the best for our customer and which had the lowest costs.

Katie WoodKatie Wood, BS, FTM
Program Concentration: TBMM
Internship Site: Springs Creative, Rock Hill, SC
Title: Intern

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included participating in multiple projects within the different departments of the company that included Marketing, Merchandising, and Product Development. I was also able to shadow different employees to see what their responsibilities were and how they worked. I was also responsible for taking notes during important meetings with buyers. These were major highlights because I was able to see the different aspects of the industry.

The key projects I completed were making pricing spreadsheets for the merchandising department in order to complete a product analysis of existing products. The main project I worked on was for a modern quilting line. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation as well as created trend boards and conducted research on the topic of modern quilting. I was blessed with the opportunity of being able to utilize this internship according to my interests. I was able to participate and learn from all the different departments as opposed to being restricted to just one. My internship was a great way to gain industry experience while still being in school.

This internship related to my degree because it was with a textile company that designs, produces, and sells fabrics and finished products. I was able to gain experience pertaining to merchandising, pricing, and marketing strategies as well as a little bit in designing. Having an understanding of how these departments work will be helpful for my career in the future. Sitting in on buyers meetings was extremely beneficial to me since I am considering a career path as a buyer.  All in all, this internship was a great experience and helped me achieve a better understanding of the industry.