Work hard, play hard! This summer, American Eagle and Aerie welcomed some interns into the office for the summer of 2019. Aerie’s very own Social Media Intern, Sara, got #AerieREAL with some of them about their jobs and what they love about them.
Every day is a new opportunity. Sarah spoke about how her days normally start: “I have a gorgeous walk to work over one of the rivers of Pittsburgh. I grab a coffee from the cafeteria and get cracking on whatever projects I have that day. Some days we’ll have super interesting intern classes where we’ll learn about different facets of the company, like the product lifecycle or concepting and design.”
Even though the interns have tasks to complete each day, a lot of them said they really like that usually, their days aren’t the same! Lisa loves that “every day is different. Generally speaking though, my day usually consists of reading up on customer insight research, meeting people within the company that can help me with my projects, and attending weekly marketing meetings and intern classes.”
In addition to the little things, interns get some big projects, too! These projects are a great opportunity to be bold and even share their findings with their mentors and other department members. Caroline, explained: “We have several major milestones throughout the internship like competitive analyses and financial reports in addition to other intern projects like pulling sales reports and researching trends for upcoming seasons.”
Social Media Intern, Sara, has been hard at work all summer on her project: “My major project is social listening in which I’ll analyze what other competitors are doing on social media and see how they’re doing compared to Aerie. Near the end of the internship, I’ll present to the marketing department for Aerie to discuss what I find and help them decide where to go from there, whether that’s trying other things that have been shown to be great, or to avoid things. I really like that I can make an impact and grow from that.”
Adjusting from college to corporate office life can be tricky, but interns like Maddy quickly got used to our relaxed office: “The company culture is very relaxed and welcoming, which was reassuring for me especially during my first week (I was super nervous!). Everyone is very open and willing to sit down and chat with you, which is great. Employees are very eager to hear your POV on products, making you feel important and part of the team.”
It’s so important to do what you love and to love what you do. Travis talked about what makes him excited to go into work every day: “The thing that gets me excited to go to work is being given assignments that actually make a difference to the company, that isn’t just busy work. In addition, it’s amazing to work with other incredibly smart interns that go to school all over the country.”
To grow, sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone. As interns, there were different things each person faced that were new and a little difficult for them. For Sarah, “It took me a while to adapt to the 9-5 lifestyle compared to my crazy unpredictable schedule at college. At first, I would come home exhausted after working for so many hours straight, and I couldn’t believe I’d have to do it all again the next day. Now I get home feeling energized and I can’t believe all the free time I have.”
Out of all of their experiences, though, there are some stand-out moments that really benefited some interns. Some of those moments were when they got the opportunity to contribute to the conversation, like Sarah did: “I’ve loved being a part of the brainstorming aspect of projects. Everyone here really values the opinions of interns because we fall inside AE’s target demographic and can offer a different perspective.”
For many of our interns, the people really made a difference and impacted their experiences. For Maddy, it’s been one of the best parts: “So far, working as closely as I have with my mentor and her assistant merchant has been incredibly beneficial for me. I’ve learned more in three weeks here than I did throughout several months of previous jobs. Being able to constantly ask questions and soak up information has been not only beneficial, but enjoyable!”
For Caroline, the people have also helped make her summer: “My most beneficial experience has been having the ability to chat with people in different areas at the company. From Site Merchandising to Business Strategies to Inventory Planning, I have been so fortunate to get to talk one-on-one to people in these positions to see which would be the best fit for me. It’s so rare that people would encourage scheduling meetings to discuss my career, and I love that AEO wants me to do this during my internship!”
In the end, this experience helped a lot of the interns gain knowledge and new skills. For the future, each intern gave their last few gold pieces of advice for future interns, whether they want to work for America Eagle or other great places!
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I asked my recruiter questions on a weekly basis to make sure I was as informed as possible before making my final decision of where would intern this summer.” – Travis
“Be proactive! Don’t wait for your mentor to give you tasks—go out of your way to suggest doing them yourself. It is important to show initiative and passion, and being self-sufficient will help you do that. J” – Maddy
“Being a sponge is my biggest piece of advice for any internship or job experience. Soak up as much knowledge as you can because every person you encounter at a company could teach you something important. Stay curious and dive deep into your role to get the most out of the experience!” – Caroline
“Work hard, be yourself, and everything else will fall into place.” – Sarah
“My advice to any intern would be to ask questions and try to learn as much as you can, even if it’s not necessarily in your own department. Internships are all about exploring your interests and seeing what you’d like to pursue full time someday. Don’t think you’re stuck in a field just because you work in it for one summer.” – Lisa
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! I personally would feel like I would annoyingly bombard some people with my questions but really, these people want you to succeed and wanted you here in the first place. So they want to hear your questions and see your interest in whatever you’re working on! Also deep down, they don’t think you’re annoying. You’re here to grow and learn and be the best you can be and even try to figure out who that is in the process. It’s okay. You deserve to be here.” – Sara
Every day is a new chance and a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to be #AerieREAL and be the best you can be! If some of these things resonated with you, you can look into future openings here to learn more: https://aeo.jobs/ Whatever path you choose, your future looks bright!