My internship at REI has been a great experience. REI is currently in a peak buying season, so there has been a lot to do, including. Some of the things I have been doing on weekly meetings with vendors, extensive training into all data systems (PO Maintenance, AO, SAP, PivotLink, etc.), final project assignments, lunches with leaders (CEO next week!), product testing, comp shopping, etc. My main mentor is the Category Merchandising Manager for Packs within the Camping department. One of my favorite experiences thus far was running a vendor meeting where I got to hand pick an entire line of women’s handbags for Spring ’15. We are also meeting with department heads from different areas of the company to get an overview on what they do and how their department works. It’s a corporate internship, the environment is very laid back and everybody is helpful, kind, and informative. It’s been an eye opening experience to see how a corporate merchandising department operates. There are so many different positions in merch besides an “assistant buyer” or “buyer.” I have also come to find out that it’s 100% true–it is absolutely vital to have Microsoft Excel skills in merchandising.
Intern at REI