By Andrew Aguilera,
Stillman News Editor
Melanie Manalo is a junior majoring in marketing. She is from Edison, New Jersey. The Stillman Exchange spoke with Melanie about her internship experience currently at Adidas.
Q: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
A: I’m currently an intern in the style collaborations department, so I work closely with their higher end lines such as Stella McCartney, Kolor, Y-3, Yohji Yamamoto, YY’s, Porsche, Raf Simons and the Kanye West Yeezy collection. The biggest part of my job is handling the samples for next Spring/Summer collections. I keep track of all the items when I send them out to retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks, Barney’s, etc. for their photoshoots. In general, I assist the marketing team in anything they need, from creating product knowledge packets for store employees to building seasonal recap presentations of the brands being mentioned on social media.
Q: How did you go about getting the internship?
A: I had previously applied to Adidas through their online portal, but with thousands of other applicants it’s often hard to stand out. One day at my summer internship, my friend who interned with me asked if I was interested in a marketing or sales position at Adidas. He went to LIM College and his professor sent out an e-mail for the open position along with the marketing coordinators direct contact info. I couldn’t meet in person so I had two phone interviews, one with the marketing coordinator and a final one with the marketing manager.
Q: What was the most valuable skill that you learned while interning?
A: Definitely communication and customer service skills. Building these skills have not just helped me in the work environment but in everyday life. Prior to college I was very soft spoken and I was always nervous to say anything, but since interning I’ve gained a sense of comfort talking to people.
Q: How was learning in a work environment different than learning in a classroom?
A: Everything is hands on, nothing I have done while interning could have been done in a classroom. There is a lot more to the fashion industry that meets the eye, for example I would not know who the buyers are at Bergdorf Goodman just from reading a textbook; this retail knowledge is built through experience.
Q: What was the company culture like?
A: The office as a whole is very comfortable and relaxed (and not just because everyone wears sneakers to work) but in a sense that I’m never scared to ask someone a question. My manager is always willing to walk me through a project if I don’t understand what to do, I work very closely with her and it’s a lot easier to get the job done when you’re not scared to ask for help.
Q: What were some skills that you learned at Seton Hall that you used in your internship?
A: How to properly work within a team. I’ve learned from past teams that I have been on, whether in the classroom or in extracurricular, that you need to do what’s best for your team even if it’s a little bit out of your comfort zone. This has not only pushed me to work better within a group but as an individual as well. Being comfortable working with others on campus have helped me also feel comfortable working with others in the workplace.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are actively searching for internships?
A: A friend of mine once said, “Allow the space between where you are and where you want to be inspire you, not terrify you.” So never feel discouraged or intimidated, keep your head up always. It may seem like a long road before you reach your end goal, especially when there are times that you don’t get the exact job that you want, but this just means that there’s something out there better waiting for you.
Q: What is next for you in your career?
A: I hope to work for a higher end luxury brand, I’m always looking for something new that I haven’t done yet. I’ve had a couple interviews for winter and spring, so fingers crossed!
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 20th print edition.
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