Senior shares secret to landing internship
The path to Terra Carlson’s prestigious internship this summer was paved with perseverance.
Carlson, a senior Fashion Marketing and Management major, knew she wanted to conduct an internship with Victoria’s Secret corporate office in Columbus, Ohio, from her work with the company’s retail store in Columbia. She’s been a sales associate for two years and is passionate about the products.
Armed with skills learned from her Stephens fashion courses and advice from faculty, Carlson decided to bypass the general application process and began making her own connections with employees at the corporate office.
“They get a lot of general applications, so I didn’t think I would stand out,” she said. “So I began inquiring of my managers and district manager, ‘Do you know anybody I could contact?’”
She also tracked down a Victoria’s Secret employee who went to school with her brother. The two exchanged emails before Carlson’s information was passed along to a superior at the company.
In the meantime, Carlson obtained the name of the person in charge of the internship program and contacted her, as well.
A phone and in-person interview later, Carlson was notified in early March that she’d landed a merchandising internship. She will begin working with an assistant merchant this summer and expects to participate in tracking sales and trends meetings, visit stores and watch as the company selects its Spring 2014 collection.
Carlson’s commitment to Victoria’s Secret and the company’s mission is obvious.
“I’m passionate about the products and the people I work with,” she said. “Everyone has a story, whether she’s getting married or buying a gift for a bridal shower. Sometimes a customer has had a mastectomy and needs a custom bra. Some are military wives whose husbands are coming home, others just want to feel self-confident. I connect with them on a personal level.”
Carlson credits her Stephens faculty and classes with helping her learn the ins-and-outs of the industry, from deciding how to allocate clothing lines to retailors to learning how to market brands.
“In my capstone, we cover everything,” she said. “You are the decision maker; so for me, it pushes me out of my comfort zone.”