Q: My daughter is interested in a retail manufacturing position. She is a third year student at Morgan State University and has clerical, customer service, and sales experience. She is in dire need of gaining experience in a buyer’s position. She really would like to see the back end of retail before merchandise comes to the floor. She’s curious about marketing and fabric designs. Can you give us some leads?
–R. ChessVia the Internet
A: There are many career opportunities in fashion retail and many retail outlets offer internships to interested students. One organization that gives students entrÃ©e into the field is the not-for-profit Black Retail Action Group (www.bragusa.org), which was formed in 1970 as a resource and advocacy vehicle for people of color in retail and related fields. Its internship program begins the first Monday in June and runs for 11 weeks. Candidates must have completed their junior year of studies toward a bachelor’s degree or be seniors who will graduate during the fall of the year they participate in the internship. The participating companies also pay interns a minimum of $400 per 40-hour week. In addition, mentors are assigned.
Another good resource is www.getthatgig.com, which under “Retail,” lists several companies offering paid and non-paid internships throughout the year. Among them are Liz Claiborne, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Guess.