Summer Interns - there's me in the middle!

I had no idea what to expect from either of the internships I took on last summer. The only thing I knew for sure was that they would look great on my resume –so I was on board. At the time I really wasn’t very sure as to what kind of career I wanted to go into upon graduation –only that I wanted it to somehow relate to my two majors: Applied Visual Arts and Merchandising Management. After applying to about ten different internship programs, I was lucky enough to be offered three.

At first I was tempted to accept all of them and juggle my schedule as I went. Fortunately I saw reason and decided to accept only two of them. I accepted an illustrator position at a patterning company for spring term, and a merchandising position at a prominent retail chain for the summer.

In the illustrator position I worked closely with the designer to create visually accurate and compelling drawings of her clothing. I was surprised by how difficult it was sometimes. Communicating specific visual ideas can become very complex –and I learned a lot about myself during the process. Looking back, I’d say the most important thing I took away from that experience was that I do not want to be an illustrator. I didn’t like trying to create someone else’s vision –particularly when she didn’t like what I had sketched. This was actually an incredibly valuable thing to learn about myself, as this really helped narrow down what kind of career paths I would enjoy in the future.

To say the merchandising position was educational would be the understatement of the year. Having never worked in retail before, I had never been exposed to the retail culture –let alone the environment of salesmen working on commission. I was immersed in this very competitive field for three months, learning valuable customer service and managerial skills along the way. It was very interesting to work in such close proximity with such an individualistic group of people. There was this undercurrent of self-promotion and strategic thinking that I had never connected with retail sales before.

I would definitely say that this was one of the most important professional experiences I’ve had to date. From this one internship I learned: specific companies I do not want to work for, what qualities I need (and don’t need) in a manager, that sales is too cut-throat for me to enjoy it, and that I should look for careers involving the buying, merchandising, and trend forecasting aspects of retail –rather than those on the sales floor.

Overall I can’t emphasize enough how much you can learn about yourself and your future career field through completing a few internships. Not only do they look great on your resume –but they introduce you to the real-life workplace in a way that classes could never do.

Posted by Leah Anderson, Career Services Assistant

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Beaver JobNet  is a great way to get your job or internship search started. Meet employers from a variety of organizations as well as from locations around the country and around the world. This program serves students and alumni alike. Employers are seeking applicants for positions including full-time, co-ops and internships, summer camps, national parks employment, and volunteer organizations such as the Peace Corps. Students can access Beaver JobNet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Check out the Career Services website for more information about finding a job or finding an internship.

Job of the Week:

State Department Student Intern
Foreign Service

The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President’s foreign policies and representing the interests of the United States throughout the world. The Department carries out this mission at over 250 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and other locations in the United States.

Every year the Department of State hosts 2000 student interns during the spring, summer, and fall terms. About half serve in Washington, DC, and the other half serve in U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Our internships are great opportunities to get an inside look into the Foreign Service, the positions and the responsibilities that are possible. Deadlines are early – November 1, 2011 for the summer 2012 program!

For full information please see, where you can download this brochure about our internship program:

You can also attend an information session offered by the Diplomat in Residence for the Pacific Northwest, who’ll be on the OSU campus October 7th in Career Services (B008 Kerr Administration Building). There will be an information session at noon and another at 5pm that day.

Washington D.C.

Position Type
Internship – Paid, Internship – Unpaid
Desired Major(s)
All Majors
Desired Class Level(s)
Masters, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Job Function
Approximate Hours Per Week
40 hours over ten weeks
Contact Information
Name: Brooks Anne Robinson
Phone: 510/642-8125
Address: University of California, Berkeley
Career Center Room 212J
2111 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA
97420 United States