Retail Merchandising Required Internship

Retail student working with a professional on a project

The purpose of the required internship is to provide you with an opportunity to work in a professional environment under the guidance of design professionals. It is an important transition step between your education and your professional career.

Retail Merchandising Internship FAQs

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Who will be my major internship supervisor?

Peggy Lord, Assistant Director for the Center for Retail Design and Innovation, will serve as your major internship supervisor. 

Note: All internships or externships for course credit need to be approved by Peggy Lord before you complete the work and before you can register.

When should I do an internship?

We recommend that you do your internship once you have completed a minimum of 90 credits in the retail merchandising degree program, including the following courses:

  • Econ 1101 or ApEc 1101
  • RM 2215
  • Mgmt 3001
  • RM 3124
  • Mktg 3001
  • RM 3242

When do I complete the paperwork for permission to do the internship?

Be sure to carefully review both the Internship Checklist and the Internship Contract & Course Access Instructions (both located on the same page) to understand the overall internship process. 

After you have met with the major internship supervisor and your internship site supervisor to work out the arrangements of the internship, carefully complete the contract (or, “internship experience agreement”) and enrollment portion of your internship.

Fall term and spring term internships:

  • You must contact the major internship supervisor for approval.  
  • After you have met with your faculty supervisor and your internship site supervisor to work out the arrangements of the internship, carefully complete the contract (or, “internship experience agreement”) and enrollment portion of your internship. 
  • Important note:  Your contract must be completed and signed before you begin your internship hours.

Summer internships:

  • You must contact the major internship supervisor for approval of your proposal. Note: The major internship supervisor is on a limited contract over the summer. Please allow 5-7 work days for a response.
  • You must submit the documentation from your summer internship by the last day of summer term.  

 

How do I find a site for an internship?

It is your responsibility to find an internship. You should begin looking for an internship early in the semester prior to the semester in which you wish to actually do your work.

Your first step should be to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss possible locations that would fit with your professional goals. Note: Your faculty advisor may not be on staff during the summer to assist you in preparing for an internship for the fall semester, so you need to plan well in advance.

Your second step is to meet with a career counselor in Career and Internship Services. Refer to Internship Checklist.

Internship postings are listed in Handshake, although students frequently find an internship by contacting a work site directly to inquire about internship possibilities.  

Do I need to create learning goals for my internship?

Yes. Together with the major internship supervisor and your internship site supervisor, you will create your learning goals and include them as part of the Internship Contract. Refer to Internship Checklist.

What tasks are expected of me during my internship?

Internship tasks will differ from site to site. You should look for an internship where your tasks will help you meet your learning objectives.

May I use past or current work experience as my internship?

Past work experience may not be used to earn course credit. For a current position, you may only use it toward completion of the degree-required internship if your responsibilities would change or grow in scope and complexity. Consult with the major internship supervisor.

How do I get credit for the internship?

  • Complete the Internship Experience Agreement via your Handshake account. Refer to the Internship Checklist.  
  • The Internship Experience Agreement must be completed, including major internship supervisor and site supervisor signatures, before you begin your internship hours. Refer to the Internship Checklist.  
  • Enroll in RM 4196 for one credit. Refer to the Internship Checklist
  • The internship grade base is S/N, which means you must earn the equivalent of a C- or better in order to receive credit for the course. 
  • Complete a minimum of 200 hours of work.
  • Submit all required materials (see "Do I need to submit any documents during or after my internship?") to the major internship advisor by the last regular day of the semester before final exams.

Do I need to submit any documents during or after my internship?

You are required to submit documentation materials from your internship experience. You will organize and submit them via Canvas. The documents include:

  • A brief history and overview of the company OR a video introducing yourself and where you are completing your internship.
  • A self-evaluation report.
  • A written weekly journal, to include examples of projects completed during the internship, reflections on weekly tasks and accomplishments, and reflections on your progress in terms of your learning goals.
  • A written executive summary of an informational interview with one company executive.
  • A letter of evaluation (not a letter of recommendation) of your performance from your internship site supervisor.
  • An updated resume that includes your completed internship.
  • An updated LinkedIn account.