Hello lovelies! I got sooo many questions from you guys asking if I would do a post on my summer internship experience in New York City! To begin, I thought I would tell you guys how I got my internship and what my actual internship was. I will also talk about the interviewing process a little bit too just to let you guys know all that I did in order to actually get an offer!
The Application Process
My internship this summer was with Ascena Retail/Ann Inc. as a Sourcing intern for Lou & Grey. Lou & Grey is a casual, streetwear brand that has capsule collections in LOFT stores, but also has 13 store fronts of its own! I’ll link the website (here). I love everything about the brand ESPECIALLY their signaturesoft collection (go check it out y’all).
I applied to 3-5 positions as an internal and eternal candidate. I had worked at LOFT in Augusta, GA for about a year and a half before I started applying and my manager was the greatest ever y’all. She worked with me so much to get my application in as an internal candidate while I was at school (which is very hard when your employee system cannot be accessed remotely) and I ended up submitting the application the LAST day possible.
I honestly didn’t expect to hear back because I had applied literally the last day possible as an internal candidate but on March 5th I received an email from HR asking me some preliminary questions as to why I liked the company, why I wanted to do Product Development/Sourcing, etc. I was so excited!! The next email came on March 13th and I found out I was getting a first interview!
This was where it became a hot mess (all because I overload myself with things always but you know #life). I was scheduled to volunteer at Charleston Fashion Week the EXACT time frame they wanted me to interview and I was staying in a shared Airbnb in the middle of Charleston. This is where my problem solving skills kicked into overdrive. I didn’t have any professional business-wear BUT I did have LOFT clothes because I worked there and it’s the majority of my wardrobe.
I had read online that for Skype/Facetime interviews you need a neutral background, no noise, and good lighting. I had none of these. I really had to finesse my surroundings. Luckily where I was staying it was super quiet so that was a plus. I took two TV dinner stands, set one up with a lamp facing me, and the second with my laptop in front of me. I then sat on my suitcase and put on a LOFT cardigan and tank and interviewed the crap out of myself.
Both of my interviews were only about 15-20 min long and I wasn’t really asked the usual “interview questions” that much in the second interview. My first interview was March 16th and then I got an email saying I’d received a second interview on March 22nd! My second interview ended up being on March 26th and luckily I was home and super prepared this time. I got a call on March 28th that I HAD GOTTEN THE INTERNSHIP.
Y’all when I tell you I have never been speechless in my life but I could not breathe and did not know what to say. I seriously had just started drafting a skirt to make because I couldn’t take the waiting any longer and I heard back and couldn’t believe it. In total the whole process took about two months!
Moving to New York
My internship started on June 4th and ran until August 10th. My FIRST priority was to 1) find housing and 2) get a flight ASAP! I found a round trip flight with Delta for a good price but make sure you look on your phone/computer with a PRIVATE browser! If these sites see you browsing they’ll raise prices all over the place. When it comes to housing, I have an entire post about that already! I will link it (here).
I am a notorious over packer y’all. For a weekend trip I’m that person with 3 bags and that’s all I was able to take for TWO MONTHS! I made sure to pack staples that I knew I would wear and that I knew I could mix and match easily. I also made sure to roll up all of my clothes so that they would fit better! A good tip as well is to stuff your underwear/socks in your shoes. It’ll make sure your shoes don’t get bent and it uses all of your space wisely.
I flew into NYC on the Saturday before my internship for the first time in my life. I lived in New Jersey for a third of my life and had never been before! I was lucky that the lady I was staying with for the summer was so gracious and met me at the airport and helped me get back to her apartment on the subway. It took literally forever (like an hour and a half) and then we had to walk four blocks from Times Square. New York blocks are very different than others by the way (SO LONG).
That Sunday I made sure I had everything good to go for my first day of my internship and then I went to Times Square for the first time! It’s very overwhelming but was really amazing to finally stand in after all these years.
Originally I was supposed to be with Lou & Grey apparel Sourcing/Product Development; however, there had been some recent turnover and most of that department was new. That is how I ended up with the Lou & Grey 3rd party team (which was amazing by the way) for the summer! The third party team handles all of the companies who aren’t internal with Ann Inc. but carry items in their storefronts and on their website and I even got to help search for some new ones.
When it comes to intern things, Ascena loved us! They even had an avocado toast bar our first day which felt so posh. Throughout the summer we had two things specific to interns. The first was that we had an intern project that we had the summer to complete and then we also had various touchpoints throughout the summer that told us the specifics of what each different team does on a day to day basis (i.e. Marketing, Merchandising, Planning/Allocation, Sourcing, etc.)!
Touchpoints were probably the best part of this summer. I loved getting to see the different duties that each different department had on a day to day basis! It also helped me realized that the area I wish to pursue most in a corporate environment is Marketing because I really love the creative aspects of it. I think more companies should do this for their interns because this is the time where a lot of students are trying to figure out their lives and what they want to do as a career.
My day to day duties for Sourcing included: creating style numbers, communicating with vendors (domestically and internationally), managing samples, writing PO’s (product orders), and tracking/processing shipments! My manager was amazing and my job was something I was able to get pretty skilled with. I was even able to expand on my Excel skills and make tariff and last charts (molds for shoes that factories use) for the accessories team.
My internship project was also pretty great! Our task was to come up with the “Store of the Future” and our concept was a showroom concept for our Flatiron flagship store. We also conducted market research in order to find what our target customer was looking for in a store and that was apps and rewards programs. After this realization my team and I created an app!
This was probably the fastest 10 weeks of my life and I swear it went by in the blink of an eye! I miss it more and more every day and I can’t lie, I miss the city as well (I don’t really want to LIVE there in the future though, but who knows).
I hope you guys liked this post and I also hope anyone applying to a corporate position can kind of see how the process goes! If you want to see some of the must-do items you have to have on your list, make sure to head over to my post linked (here)!
Thanks for reading!