This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Meredith Mitchell, COL ’19
This summer I interned at The Ralph Lauren Corporation in New York City on the Global Corporate Communications team. For as long as I can remember I have had a strong interest in fashion. I searched for an internship that would allow me to learn more about the fashion and retail industry. Ralph Lauren, an iconic brand with diverse price tiers and markets, merges the creativity of fashion with analytical business thinking. This internship gave me the incredible opportunity to immerse myself into the retail field. It was filled with learning, excitement, networking, and not a single The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly moment.
By working in Corporate Communications, I was at the center of the company. My team partnered with almost every sector of the business including Sustainability, Investor and Celebrity Relations Human Resources, and Business Strategy. My main responsibilities were developing content for the company intranet called RL Today, revitalizing the company’s social media policy, and event planning.
I was particularly fortunate to be part of the Corporate Communications team this summer because Ralph Lauren is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and Corporate Communications is planning a celebration for the company’s 23,000 employees around the globe. I took part in team brainstorming sessions and conducted event research to create a deck that was shared with leaders such as the VP of Corporate Brand Development, the SVP of Corporate Communications, and even David Lauren. It was really exciting to have my work shared with leaders in only a 10-week internship.
Another core part of my internship was collaborating with a team of interns to develop a way for the company to become more sustainable. My team created a product concept for an eco-friendly shopping bag. Through this project I developed a stronger understanding of the retail industry by researching competitors, delving into all business areas such as product design and consumer care, and meeting with Ralph Lauren employees working with denim, textiles, and packaging.
However, this summer was not all about work—there was plenty of fun as well. The office always had M&Ms—Ralph Lauren’s favorite candy—and almost every week the University Relations team planned group activities for the interns. For example, the intern class also had an event with Ralph Lauren’s CEO Patrice Louvet where he shared his background, gave career advice, and discussed the future of the company. On an equally exciting note, during my first week there was intern scavenger hunt around Manhattan and while searching around the city my team bumped into James Corden.
At our Intern Farwell event, a member of the University Relations team announced that our group of 48 interns was selected out of 4,000 candidates. I am honored have had the opportunity to take part in such a collaborative and exciting internship. Thank you, Career Services, for making this an unforgettable summer that has confirmed my interest in the retail industry and helped shape my career goals.