American Eagle Outfitters welcomed 60 interns for Summer 2013. Meet 11 interns currently working in AE and Factory Merchandising! Read on to learn more about the interns and what it’s like to work at American Eagle.
Why did you apply for an internship at American Eagle?
“I worked in a store for four years and the recruiting team came to my city to fill positions. At the time I wasn’t eligible — I wasn’t an upperclassman yet. I stayed in touch with recruiting for a couple of years and reapplied after learning more about the company and the position.” -Natia J.
“We had roundtables for the retail studies organization that I was part of and the recruiter came and talked about the internship. It sounded like a really great program, and I did some research on the company. They were doing really well. Robert Hanson [the CEO] seemed to be guiding them in a good direction, so that’s just kind of how I got into it.” -Kathryn M.
What did you hope to get out of this internship?
“Before interviewing here, I didn’t really know much about retail at all, so everything so far has been a really big learning experience. I’m really just hoping to learn more about careers in retail, what a buyer does day-to-day, and what personality type works well at AE.” -Natalia C.
“I was hoping to learn as much as possible about myself: leadership style, teamwork, communication, and presentation. It seemed to encompass all of that.” -Natia J.
“I kind of just wanted to be part of the corporate culture and work with people in a corporate environment. American Eagle seemed like a really cool place and everyone seems to have a very positive vibe about them.” -Nathan C.
What’s something about working at American Eagle that you didn’t expect?
“I definitely didn’t expect how much all of the employees and people on my team would ask for my opinion! Since I’m the target age for our brand, they always want my opinion when we’re deciding on new styles and things to put in the store!” -Grace B.
AE’s headquarters are in Pittsburgh, PA—what’s the coolest thing you’ve done in the city so far?
“The first Friday night I was in Pittsburgh I went to an arts festival downtown with a few other interns and saw Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s in concert for free! There were a ton of food carts set up and all different kinds of people, it was really fun.” -Grace B.
“I am from Pittsburgh but go to school in North Carolina. I plan to be in Pittsburgh forever. It’s the best city in the world. My favorite thing about it is the fan allegiance to all of the professional sports in the city. And that Pittsburgh is a closet foodie town – so many amazing places to eat!” -Brianne C.
“I went to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art and I thought that was really cool. I didn’t think I was going to have that much fun at the museum, but it was so great. They had so many cool things, and it was really exciting. And I loved the art museum, too— I love art museums. I think that’s been the highlight so far being in Pittsburgh.” –Natalia C.
“The view from Mt. Washington is one of the coolest views I’ve ever seen.” -Ryan Z.
“I feel like all of my defining Pittsburgh experiences so far have been with food. I didn’t realize what a foodie city it was, and I’m excited to keep trying more.” -Natia J.
“I went to Jam on Walnut, and that was really fun. It’s a street festival. They had music and good people watching.” -Kathryn M.
How do you “Live Your Life”?
“I love to go to sporting events, especially hockey and football. I spend a ton of time with my family when I am home. I also have a fashion blog that I keep up with, that’s my creative outlet while I’m at school.” -Brianne C.
“I live my life by taking it day to day, living every moment to the fullest and taking every opportunity as they come.” -Amanda T.
“I’m sort of always taking things I’m inspired by and applying them to my own life and trying to do them in my own way.” -Nathan C.
What’s your favorite AE or Aerie item?
“I’m loving the Women’s hooded denim jacket. I snatched it up the second it hit stores.” -Brianne C.
“I love that jeggings have lost their ‘joke’ connotation and become more mainstream and I think AE does them extremely well.” -Natia J.
What’s one aspect of Merchandising that surprised you?
“I work in AE women’s tanks and tees. I was most surprised by how much each product costs for us to make and how the little things that customers barely notice about items really affect our costing.” -Brianne C.
“There’s no typical day. I feel like that’s a pretty standard interview question and whenever I was applying for a merchant role and asked that they kind of laughed at me and now I know why they laughed. Every day is a new challenge and a new adventure.” -Natia J.
“Working in Factory is very eye opening. A lot of the American Eagle brand gets tested, and we have to make sure that we stay true to the integrity of the brand, so that’s really interesting.” -Amanda T.
What’s been your favorite part of the internship?
“I’m in sweaters for women, and when I got here we were kind of flat, but now we’re doing really well. It’s cool to see the action they’ve taken from that, going after different styles and increasing buys for the future based off of the current sales.” -Kathryn M.
“Getting that personal connection with the American Eagle brand outside of just being the consumer. You really connect with your customer, you connect with what the brand stands for, and you become a part of it. It’s really cool.” -Amanda T.
Did you receive any good advice during the internship?
“Network and meet as many people as possible. Getting your face and opinion known in a positive way can take you very far.” -Amanda T.
“Know where you are and where you want to move to, and know the people around you.” -Natalia C.
“Reggie C., a merchandise manager in men’s accessories, said to ‘dig into your business’, which means not just know what’s on paper, but dig deeper and find the meaning behind the numbers that are in front of you. Find the meaning behind the sales that are trending and what is hot in stores.” -Nathan C.
Any advice for future intern candidates?
“Go into everything in the interview process ready to have a conversation. Be yourself and talk as if you’re talking to a real person because that’s how everyone is here.” -Nathan C.
“Keep your ears open but also go in with an opinion. Make sure you are ready to absorb as much knowledge as possible and come back with ideas. Be as creative as possible. They appreciate that.” -Amanda T.
To learn more about American Eagle Outfitters’ internship program, please visit liveyourlifeloveyourjob.com.