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College of Design

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Internships on the Mind

Hello Everyone!

I think a lot of us constantly feel pressure (mostly from ourselves) to figure out what we're doing with our lives. Undeniably, a huge part of that process is internships. It's currently that time of year where we're all starting to try and get our life together and make summer plans, and I for one am really stressed out!

An amazing (but random) photo of London 
The amazing thing about my program is that it's so broad. Half of my classes are business, ranging from marketing to statistics, and the other half are design-focused, with options varying from visual merchandising to toy product design. With my Retail Merchandising & Psychology degrees, I feel set up for a future in Human Resources, Marketing, Merchandising/Buying; the options are vast. It's awesome not to feel limited in my future career path, but it means I have to do more internal reflection and make more decisions about what I really want.

My point being, it's hard to apply to internships with so many end goals in mind. What if I do a merchandising internship but realize I want to have a career in HR? I'm running out of summers! I'm sure there are other people out there feeling the same way, but I've gotten some peace of mind after talking to older students that are either in my program or graduated, and my advisors.

Internships are about exploration, and they don't mean you're tied down to a job for years to come. The cool thing about interning for big companies is that there's often flexibility--you can potentially move around into different areas after interning initially. Companies want people who are flexible, well rounded and excited to learn more. After hearing some of these reassuring thoughts, now I'd like to think I'm more of an asset than anything else. It's still going to be hard to pick only ONE internship, but I'm less nervous about this internship deciding my future (I'm only 20!).

If you're also in the midst of applying for internships or jobs, check out this UMN guide to writing a great resume, and good luck!

Retail Merchandising