Beyond the Classroom
By going beyond the classroom CSR students become more engaged in their fields of study. They become citizens with a broader cultural sensitivity and they become leaders amongst their peers. CSR students actively seek study abroad opportunities, internship experiences, and other professional development activities that will lead them towards a better understanding of the ever-changing global and multi-cultural markets.
Professional Growth through Internships
Fashion Institute of Technology Visiting Student Program
I spent my junior year at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City as a part of the dual degree program with Purdue for my Retail Management degree. This is a program I strongly encourage every student in the Retail Management program, as well as the Apparel Design & Technology program to attend. You have the opportunity to study at one of the best fashion institutes in the country as well as earn an Associate Degree from FIT.
The Fashion Merchandising Management program at FIT enables you to carry 18 hours each semester while completing an internship in the industry. I was fortunate enough to use my professional network in order to earn an internship for the fall with The Hive Showroom. My position was within the public relations department of the showroom. My internship responsibilities consisted of assisting the PR manager by pulling pieces in the showroom for events, photo shoots, celebrity stylists, as well as for the celebrities themselves.
During the spring semester, FIT assigns their students to an internship supervisor to help guide them in their internship search. This is where I met my fantastic supervisor who knew my career path for than I knew myself. He introduced me to the product development field of the industry. I began applying and interviewing for various companies, such as Marc by Marc Jacobs. I spend seven months with the company as an intern and the experience is truly something I will never forget. This internship provided me with the skills and confidence to pursue a full-time position in this company after my senior year at Purdue.
This summer, I participated in the Fashion Campus NYC program at Parsons The New School for Design. This program is a three-day workshop, which consists of networking events, keynote speakers, and workshops with well-respected people in the industry. I attended Uri Minkoff's (The CEO of Rebecca Minkoff) keynote speech the first evening of the program as well as had the opportunity to speak with him later that evening. I also had the opportunity to view a private buying presentation by Durand Guion who is the Vice President and Fashion Director of the Men's department for Macy's Inc. By participating in this program, you have the ability to speak one-on-one with industry executives who are more than willing to provide insight for your future career in this industry.
There are many career paths available in the fashion industry. I am glad to have found an area I truly love. I look forward to continuing my career with Marc Jacobs or perhaps my path will lead me elsewhere. The connections and networking I have gained while at FIT is something I could never accomplish without completing my junior coursework in NYC.
If I have not stressed it enough, I highly encourage students to apply to the Fashion Institute of Technology's one-year visiting student program. It will be an experience you will never regret. Students may choose not to apply because of their fear of being away from Purdue's campus for their junior year. This is no reason to limit your opportunities in the fashion industry if this is a career path you believe to be your passion.
Katie Murphy, Retail Management
For additional information about the FIT Visiting Student Program: http://www.purdue.edu/hhs/csr/undergraduate/fit.php
London Internship Program
Traveling to London has always been a dream of mine, but one that never seemed tangible. Yet this summer, not only was I able to go to London, but I had the opportunity to intern with a financial planning firm. Through the London Internship & Study Abroad Program, I interned at Germain Financial Associates, a partner practice of Saint James's Place. As an intern, I was able to assist in rolling-out a new financial product called "Putting Your Financial House in Order". By creating this document, clients are able to tangibly organize their financial information in case of an death in the family. It felt rewarding to work on a product that will not only be a long-lasting financial document at Germain Financial, but also give a sense of organization and structure in a time of grief for the clientele. In addition to the rewarding work experience I enjoyed the friendships I gained at Germain Financial Associates.
There was no greater feeling waking up each day and going to work in a such a culturally-diverse city. I cannot explain how much living and working abroad changed my life. It will be an experience that I will continue to miss, but also cherish in the future.
Alex Colsten, Financial Counseling & Planning
For additional information about the London Internship Program and other Study Abroad experiences: http://www.studyabroad.purdue.edu/
Shell Oil Company Internship
My internship with Shell Oil Company helped me strengthen my professional skills in a wide variety of ways. This occurred by providing a meaningful work experience that challenged me to use concepts from learned through my schooling, managing my time effectively, and learning how to adapt to the culture of such a big and diverse company. Some of the industry observations I made through my experience range from oil based industry knowledge and the people and structure within it. Coming from the perspective of someone who knew very little about the oil industry, it was amazing how educated I became by the end of the summer which was due to how helpful the full-time employees were with answering questions and informing me with any relevant information. This industry is very competitive and Shell invests a lot in its employees to make sure that they are satisfied and are readily available to become a part of the solution to the world's energy needs.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when looking for a strong internship experience. One of the first factors is the actual structure of the internship. Shell held a variety of events for all of the interns across the United States which helped become acclimated to the company and help inform all interns of what Shell is all about. These events were headed by the HR department who were also extremely helpful with communicating the goals and objectives that Shell sets out for the internship process. A second factor would include the opportunity to network with such a wide variety of people. Shell has departments within the company that range from Sales/Marketing, Finance, HR, Supply Chain, Engineering, Trading, IT, etc. which puts you at a great advantage when you are trying to seek full-time employment in the future. A third and last factor that helps distinguish a strong internship is the compensation. A paid internship experience is very enticing because it not only helps pay for your living and traveling expenses but it also helps you save up to pay future educational expenses such as tuition. When a company is willing to offer a paid internship position it shows their interest in investing in you which could lead to a full-time position if it's available.
My internship was a positive experience because it challenged me as well as kept me engaged in my projects and tasks. I was able to work with a lot of different individuals who helped me out on projects and made encouraged me and made me feel comfortable with what I was doing. The opportunity to network with so many different people was also very valuable because it provide opportunities to see different perspectives on different positions within the company. Since this was my first professional experience it was great to be able to be a part of such a caring, organized, and successful company.
Mitchell Beerbower, Selling & Sales Management
I completed a retail internship at Anthropologie. I was a visual display intern at the Kansas City, Missouri store. I learned about store design and merchandising through this internship. This is an area of retail that many people who are in regular retail positions do not get to experience. As an intern, I created all the props and installed window displays as well as the floor displays. I learned the impact that merchandising has on the customer and how important it is to employ associates who possess a strong product knowledge.
My design skills improved so much with this internship. I learned about where my strength and weaknesses are and how to think way outside the box. Overall, my experience was very beneficial. I learned a lot about retail and merchandising. I know everything I learned from my internship with be very valuable for me down the road.
Katie Azzi, Apparel Design & Technology