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 about how I got my internship and what my actual internship was.
I will also talk about the interviewing process a little bit too! The interviewing process was a bit different than normal. I just want to let you guys know all that I did in order to actually get an offer! Since then, I actually wrote a separate blog post on this that I’ll link to at the bottom of this post too.
New York Summer Internship Recap
The Application Process:
Part 1: The Application
My internship this summer was with Ascena Retail/Ann Inc. as a Sourcing intern for Lou & Grey! Lou & Grey is a casual brand that has 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. Before this, I worked at LOFT in Augusta, GA for about a year and a half. This was 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! This proved to be very hard because our employee system cannot be accessed remotely. I ended up submitting the application on the LAST day possible!
Part 2: The Preliminary Emails
I honestly didn’t expect to hear back because I had applied literally the last day possible as an internal candidate. On March 5th, I received an email from HR asking me some preliminary questions as to why I liked Ascena. They also wanted to know 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. To make things worse, 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! The good news: I DID have LOFT clothes because I worked there and it was most of my wardrobe.
Part 3: The Interviews
I had read online that for Skype/Facetime interviews, you need a neutral background, no noise, and good lighting. Since I was in an Airbnb, I had none of these. That meant 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 and set one up with a lamp facing me! The next one I set up with my laptop closer to me. After setting them up, I sat on my suitcase, put on a LOFT cardigan and tank, and prayed! Both of my interviews were only about 15-20 min long and I wasn’t really asked the usual “interview questions.”
My first interview was March 16th and then I got an email saying I’d received a second interview March 22nd! The 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.
When I tell you I have never been speechless in my life I mean it. However, in that moment I could not breathe and did not know what to say! I seriously had just started drafting a skirt pattern to make because I couldn’t take the waiting any longer. Hearing back after this long process I seriously 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. My tip though is to 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! It’ll be linked (here). As I’ve said before, I’m 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’d wear and that I could mix and match easily. A great tip for packing is to roll up all your clothes so that they fit better in your suitcase! Another one 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!
Making it to NYC:
I flew into NYC on the Saturday before my internship for the first time in my life. When I was younger, I lived in New Jersey for around a third of my life! The crazy thing is that I had never been before! I was lucky that the lady I was staying with this summer was so gracious and met me at JFK.
She helped me get back to her apartment on the subway! It took literally forever (like an hour and a half). We then we had to walk four blocks from Times Square! New York blocks are very different than others by the way (AKA VERY LONG).
That Sunday, I made sure I had everything good to go for my first day of my internship. I then went to Times Square for the first time! It’s very overwhelming but was really amazing to finally stand in after all these years.
My actual position:
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. They carry these items in Lou & Grey storefronts and on the website. I even got to help search for some new ones! When it comes to intern things, Ascena took great care of 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. We then we also had various touchpoints throughout the summer! These explained the specifics of each department and what they do day to day (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 or e-Commerce.
I really love the creative aspects of it! More companies should do this for their interns. This is the time where a lot of students are trying to figure out their lives! Touchpoints like this could help them decide what they want to do as a future 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! Lasts are molds for shoes that factories use (these were for the accessories team).
My internship project was also pretty great! Our task was to come up with the “Store of the Future“! My team’s concept was a showroom layout for our Flatiron flagship store. We also conducted market research in order to find out what our target customer was looking for in a store. Through our research, we discovered that our girl loves apps and rewards. This prompted us to create a mock app and rewards program based off this info!
If you need tips on where to find housing for your internship, be sure to check out my other NYC post “How to Find Affordable Housing For An Internship in NYC” linked (here).
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 liked this post, be sure to head over to my home page (on desktop) or scroll down (on mobile) to subscribe!