Cancelled Summer Plans turned Opportunity for SAB Members in the Wake of COVID-19

Sept. 14, 2020

SAB Members Making the most out of a Summer in Quarantine

Around the globe, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the way we live, our plans for the year and how we will approach our future. Similar to the retail industry, Student Advisory Board members in the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing, had to pivot and redirect in order to achieve their summer goals, maintain motivation and find success. While their original plan for

in-person internships, summer classes and working in retail didn’t look exactly how they thought they would, they were still able to work on personal and professional growth and they made the most of their time as they social distanced and stayed safe.

A few SAB members focused on academics for their summers in quarantine. Claire Harders and Triana Doria took online courses to complete their minors in Marketing through the Eller College of Management. Claire shared that while it was all online, “it was a great experience collaborating with other students and learning more about marketing, which steers me towards my career goals.”

Grace Jacobson took three pre-requisite courses for her major in Retailing and Consumer Sciences to get ahead for the upcoming school year. In addition to classes, Grace responded to the needs of the pandemic by upcycling old clothing into masks for her family and for community members.

As the University decided to cancel in-person internships to keep students safe, SAB members took advantage of virtual internships and other retailing growth opportunities. Brett Sanuik completed a virtual internship for Nike, but decided to travel to Nike’s Portland, OR headquarters and still get to experience the city via social distancing.

Marianne Acuna and Brenna Doyle completed their internships with Ross Stores, Inc. virtually, rather than how they originally planned in New York City. Brenna was also able to partake in virtual learning offered through the Fashion Scholarship Fund, while Marianne successfully completed her minor in Business Administration.

When Bianca Perez learned that her internship with Macy’s was cancelled, she took advantage of the NRF Summer Experience and did some self-directed learning by reaching out to local companies in Tucson, AZ in hopes of shadowing/interviewing small business owners. Bianca found the outreach a success, sharing, “I was able to virtually meet the Director of Sales/Social Media Manager of Monsoon Chocolate and business owner of Thistle, Carly Wilson. It was a pleasure meeting and learning from her and her retail journey!”

Summer jobs and side hustles made for a great summer learning experience for SAB members as well. Stanley McBride continued his learning by working for US Bank over the summer and had a mini-internship with a start-up marketing firm called The Auxiliary. Chloe Caldwell completed her summer internship with PetSmart, but also partnered with her brother to develop their business, Kingdom Works, and helped to grow the company by 300%! Chloe said, “I learned about marketing, product management, customer service, finance, pricing, wood working and how to work with family.”

While these students’ summers didn’t pan out as they had hoped, they were still able to make the best of it through demonstrating flexibility and taking advantage of new opportunities to forge ahead! Like the retail industry, they were able to react to obstacles and have meaningful summers full of growth, discovery and community.