Internship Experience: Becca Shepard, Retail Leadership Rookie Intern at Under Armour

In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.

Name: Becca Shepard
Graduation Year: May 2020
Major(s): Marketing / Retail Management
Hometown: Worcester, Massachusetts
Intern Company/Title: Under Armour – Retail Leadership Rookie

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
As a retail leadership rookie, I learned the three main components of running an Under Armour store, which was merchandising, operations, and talent. Throughout the 10-week program, I rotated which store manager I worked under each week and learned each of their responsibilities under merchandising, operations, and talent. Some activities included interviewing potential teammates, processing freight shipments, planning the layout of fixtures/what merchandise should be set on which fixtures, and marketing UA sponsored free fitness classes.

How did you land your internship?
I found my internship through Handshake, applied right away, and was quickly contacted by UA’s college recruiter. He invited me to take the next steps and I proceed to the first round of video interviews, which was soon followed by two rounds of phone interviews. A few days after the last round, I was offered the position!

What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned that retail can quickly become overwhelming with the number of tasks that need to be done successfully to run a well-organized flagship brand house, but if you prioritize your day and make the effort to be a positive team player, your teammates will thank you and you’ll be able to accomplish your tasks in a timely manner.

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you
leave college?
Yes! I didn’t ever really see myself going into retail store management, but the environment is very fun and active. I realized I enjoy being able to directly contribute to sales for the company and lead a team towards our daily/weekly goals. I’m considering retail store management roles alongside entry-level marketing roles upon graduation.

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
Under Armour extended me a job offer upon successful reviews from managers and completion of my degree, so I can say I already have a job offer heading into my senior year! From this experience, I made really strong connections with my general manager and district manager who are retail experts in the field, and they’ve assured me I can reach out with any questions/advice they can help me with moving forward.

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Whitman offered me the tools I needed to successfully position myself for this internship. I was taught how to write an effective resume, practice video interviews/in-person interviews and learn the lingo of retail through my classes, which aided me in having intelligent conversations with various employees in the UA company.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed the people I worked with the most. We worked long days with few days off, so we all became a small family and shared many laughs and fun memories.

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
I would tell retail management students to consider applying for a store management program, even though we are heavily pushed towards buying and planning roles. Salaries in these positions are just as competitive as buying/planning roles. You still get a lot of exposure to the merchandising side of retail in-store and sometimes have greater decision-making power over the merchandising of your inventory.

I would tell other Whitman students to just keep applying/searching for internships through Handshake! Don’t feel down on yourself if you don’t have a personal/family connection with someone in a big company/big city. Also, try your best to get your recruiter’s email address and send them a follow-up, if you haven’t heard back in at least two weeks. Just be persistent and your own advocate!

Karley Warden