Retail Management Internship
The Retail Center has developed a unique retail internship program. Each summer, over 100 undergraduates receive internships with retailers participating in the program. The internship gives students an opportunity to assess their potential for a retail career in their participating firm.
Retailers involved with our internship program are: Dillard's, Walgreens, Target, Belk, jcpenney, Bealls, Brown Shoe, Macy's, PetSmart, Sears, City Furniture, Kohl's, BrandsMart, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Chico's, Hess, Mattress Firm and Firestone Complete Auto Care.
Internships are taken for course credit. Students produce and submit, to the Retail Center, a series of assignments intended to assure both the students and their retailer employers that that internship is a meaningful, educational experience.
Retail Interns are paid a salary and exposed to a variety of retail experiences as part of the management team.
The following information about the internship program is designed assist you before, during and after your internship, specifying important steps and offering helpful tips, suggestions.
Before Securing an Internship
Attend the fall Internship Information Meeting held in November.
Register with the Center for Retailing in Bryan Hall, Room 200. Complete an internship application, bring a copy of your resume, and a wallet size picture of yourself.
Register with Gatortrak at the Career Resource Center at the Reitz Union. Gatortrak allows you to sign up for interviews on campus - a must for finding an internship. It's free and puts you in their system for the rest of your time at UF.
Attend the Career Showcase at the O'Connell Center in January. Dress in professional attire, and remember to bring copies of your resume. You'll talk to a number of recruiters from an array of companies, so plan on staying for the entire expo. After the Expo, go through all the corporate literature and business cards you gathered, and decide which companies most interest you.
After the Career Showcase, you may be contacted with "Preselect" offers. Preselects are the students companies specifically request to interview when their recruiters come back to UF later in the semester. If you don't get a preselect offer, you can watch for open schedules and stay in contact with the Center for Retailing for more information.
Watch, research, and learn. Watch Gatortak regularly to sign up with companies that most interest you. Research the companies - find out all you can about their history, culture, and business. Check out the company web site, and get more information in the CRC library. Learn all you can about the art of interviewing. The CRC and Center for Retailing offer workshops on interviewing throughout the year to help you prepare.
Go to the interviews if you signed up for them. Be prompt and dress in professional attire. Don't forget to write thank-you letters to your interviewer.
Sit back, relax, and wait for the offers to come in. Make your decision, and let the Center for Retailing know which offer you accepted by the beginning of April. If you didn't get an offer, stop by the Center for Retailing for help finding an internship.
Register for the summer internship for either 1, 2, or 3 credits. Retail internships are part of an academic program and must be taken for credit. You cannot earn a Certificate in Retailing without this internship credit.
Enjoy your internship, and remember to contact the Center for Retailing at any time if you have any questions or problems. We are here to help you!
During your Internship
During your internship, you will be responsible to the company as if you had a "real job." The average salary for interns is over $10.00/hour, so earn it! Arrive on time, and stay late if necessary. You will have regular day-to-day duties at work, and you'll also be responsible for completing assignments relating to your experience back to the Center for Retailing.
The internship will show you all sides of retailing - many of which you may not have been aware of previously. You'll observe the buying process, selling, security, visual merchandising, management, distribution and information systems, and customer service in action; and get to see how they all relate to each other.
You won't just see retail in action, you'll be an active participant in retail. You'll learn ways to handle customer and associate complaints and conflicts, how to read sales managers' reports, and even learn about the systems they use for scheduling and payroll. It's likely your manager will go on vacation at some point during your internship, and leave you in charge of everything - the floor, the customers, the works! Though this may sound intimidating now, you'll be ready when the time comes. Every day in retail is exciting and different, and by the end of the summer, you will definitely know if retailing is the career choice for your future.
After your Internship
After the summer is over and you've finished your internship, there are still more opportunities for you in the retail industry and with the Center for Retailing. Many companies offer permanent positions to their interns upon graduation. Some students receive permanent job offers at the end of their internship!
Each fall, thousands of dollars in scholarship are awarded to outstanding interns in recognition of a "job well done."There are also opportunities to get involved at the Center for Retailing and spread the word about exciting retail internships. All interns are invited to apply for a position on the Center for Retailing Student Advisory Board. The S.A.B. helps promote careers in retailing based on the great experiences they all had with retail internships. S.A.B. members help improve the program and revise assignments to keep up with the retail industry. There are some great perks to being involved with the S.A.B. - members are also invited to attend the once-a-semester Executive Advisory Board meeting, and meet executives from major retail companies.