The Internship Series: Meet Nick Sullivan
Updated: Jun 20, 2018
By Rachael Thomas
Photographs courtesy of Nick Sullivan, first photograph taken by Veronica Anderson
Welcome to the Internship Series, where for the month of June we will be highlighting several college students doing a variety of internships this summer. These students will give insight into what they do for their internship and tips on how to prepare for one. For many individuals, completing one is required as part of their degree program. But beyond the requirements, internships provide the opportunity for personal growth and to create professional connections while doing what you love.
In this week's spotlight, we're featuring our creative director Nick! A senior at Central Michigan University, this fashion merchandising student is completing a retail merchandising internship with a focus on management at Glik’s, a fast-fashion retail store selling men’s and women’s clothing. In addition to learning managerial skills and logistics, he is in charge of the store’s social media channels. Sullivan interns at their men’s shop in Holland and their Saugatuck location.
RAW Magazine: Why did you decide to pursue this internship?
Nick Sullivan: I decided to pursue this internship after hearing good reviews of the internship from students in my fashion program who have previously interned with the company. I decided to do research on Glik’s and was attracted to the aspect that it was family-owned.
RM: How is this internship aiding you in your career goals?
NS: This internship with Glik’s is teaching me valuable knowledge and hands-on experience with running a successful business as well as developing skills in visual merchandising and sales. Glik’s has a supportive and open environment that allows me to get creative when it comes to merchandising or creating content for their social media channels. My ultimate career goal is to become a buyer for a retail company, and through this internship I am able to analyze the sales of the store and develop buyer’s notes for the company’s buyers.
RM: What did you do to prepare for this internship?
NS: To prepare for this internship I had to dedicate a lot of time and effort into searching and applying for internships within the fashion industry. I also had to step out of my comfort zone and contact companies, even if they weren’t advertising an internship position for the summer. I consistently updated my resume and portfolio to keep it current and unique. I did my best to make myself stand out from the countless other students applying for the same internships as me.
RM: What are the three most important things people need to have prepared when applying for internships?
Resume: A solid and professional resume is a must when applying for an internship. It is important to have a resume that balances a professional and unique look that makes you stand out from the rest. It is also important to include skills and accomplishments that are related to the type of internship you are applying for.
Portfolio: Besides a resume, a portfolio is imperative to getting an internship today. A portfolio helps you stand out by showing your unique perspective in examples of your work. It should be straight to the point, yet show off your best work that is suited for that internship.
Authenticity: When interacting with potential employers for an internship, whether via email or in person, it is important to be authentic and true to yourself. This goes along with confidence, by showing off what it is about yourself that would perfectly fit the internship position.
RM: Any other advice you’d give to people trying to get an internship in your field?
NS: This is definitely cliché, but do not give up. I think it is easy to become discouraged after applying for internship after internship and not hearing back for a while. Or to become discouraged after getting a rejection email after an interview; however, landing a great summer internship in your field is possible with enough effort and patience.
RM: What is a typical day for you at your internship? NS: A typical day for me at my internship at Glik’s begins with morning paperwork. This includes tracking sales and productivity of the staff, new markdowns, and financial information. From there it is your typical day of retail, which includes a lot of customer service. When I am not interacting with customers, I am either working on creating content for the store’s Instagram account, or remerchandising the store from front to back. This includes changing out the mannequins, to rearranging the layout of the wall fixtures.
RM: What is the most exciting thing you’ve done for your internship so far? NS: Meeting the CEO of the company, walking the store with him and analyzing the merchandising of each section. He gave his opinion on what worked and what needed improving. It was a great learning experience to see his vision and how he would merchandise certain products to effectively increase sales. We also were able to discuss with him what products were selling and what products were doing poorly. The interaction with him showed me how much they care about their employees and that they value the thoughts and opinions of their employees.
We didn’t expect anything less from our creative director. RAW Magazine knows you’ll go on to do so many great things with your distinct, creative perspective in the industry, Nick!
Second photo on left: Sullivan modeling merchandise for Glik's Holland location's Instagram
Third photo on right: A flat lay Sullivan created for the store's Instagram account
Fourth photo above left: A table at the entrance of the store Sullivan remerchandised
Fifth photo above right: A section of the Men's department Sullivan remerchandised