Our VIM Directors snag amazing internships, and they want to share their experiences and tips with you! First up in our Intern Diaries is Amy Cao, one of our finance directors.
Name: Amy Cao
Major/year: Senior Supply Chain Management Major
Company: The TJX Companies
Position: Planning and Allocation Analysis Intern
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
How did you get your internship?
I applied through Handshake through MSU, actually. I half applied and didn’t finish the application. I then got an email directly from a recruiter requesting to finish the application on their website. I then went through several forms of interviews, case studies, then traveled to Boston for final rounds and ultimately got it!
What’s an average day as an intern?
Everyday is honestly different depending on the season and the sales and what business is demanding. One day I will come in and work with merchandise and sort through samples and put on a display of just embroidery with leather jackets. Another day I will come in and collaborate with other interns to create data for the next quarter’s strategy. But a big part of it is keeping up with where inventory is for my specific department (Contemporary and Designer Collections) and allocating it to where I see fit. Where in distribution the product is currently and if I can ship it for this week as well as where do I want to ship it based on previous selling. For example, if I have Purchase Order of Rag and Bone Jeans, do I think our California stores want them now for the summer, or do I want to save them for New York in the winter.
What’s the most exciting part of your internship?
The most exciting part of the internship is being able to work with product all the time. Being with product, whether it be clothing or beauty products or gourmet skillets, I’m learning about a new fabric or a type of metal everyday and always being inspired by new and interesting trends and ideas.
What have you learned?
My biggest takeaway is learning to focus on the consumer and to think like a true merchant. I think many people have style or can appreciate creativity and fashion but being able to think outside of your own personal style or opinions is not an easy task to do. Sometimes you have to think from a different perspective to develop a merchant eye to see if a shirt would be appealing to a 21 or 60 year old. To think in all directions is also a huge learning technique I obtained. To be able to envision your upcoming trends but also to digest what your faults and successes were from your past decisions.