Retail Merchandising Operations

Isabel Black
Emphasis Area
Fashion Studies

Isabel Black interned with Crate&Barrel and gained experience with retail merchandising operations.

How did you get your internship and what was the experience like?

As part of the requirement of PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness, I attended the University of Arizona Career Fair where I set up several one on one meetings with recruiters from different companies. I had a great brief interaction with the recruiter from Crate and Barrel who set up a first round Interview to happen during the following week. From here, I went through two more rounds of interviews and spoke to several different members of the Crate and Barrel team. The process took roughly around three weeks, and in the end I was given an offer to join the Crate and Barrel team as a summer Intern.

The focal point of my internship was to learn the operations of retail merchandising and leadership development. I was able to gain exposure to different departments that ranged from corporate to the store level. Along with collaborating with other interns, I also developed an individual project that was presented to members of the executive board on how the brand can ensure that they are operating in a way that is ethical and benefits society.

My favorite part of the internship was getting to work everyday with another Intern from the UofA. We went into the summer not knowing each other, and left the internship as great friends with a strong network to continue forward after graduation. It was meaningful to rely on each other and have a support system throughout the summer.

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you or give you unique insight for the internship experience?

The coursework in the Applied Humanities degree is wonderful because it is extremely applicable to many different industries. The courses I had taken leading up to my internship prepared me to work in a diverse environment with a wide variety of people. Studying Applied Humanities prepares you to enter the workforce with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to adapt to adversity. I was able to begin the internship confident in my ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with a team.

Also, my emphasis in fashion allowed me to have a unique eye for design when working with upholstery, furniture, and product placement. The coursework pertaining to fashion was easily transferable to home decor and gave me a head start.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

My advice to other students is to not feel discouraged or give up if they do not find an internship right away. It can be a long process that takes time, but if you are determined it will fall into place. It is normal to hear many no’s before hearing your first yes. It is not a testament to your abilities or value. You are a valuable asset and will find the right fit for your internship