A Summer Internship with Ralph Lauren – by Julia Zanzot
Hello! My name is Julia Zanzot and I am a senior from Huntersville, North Carolina. Along with my involvement in the Shuford Program from Entrepreneurship, I am an Advertising major in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and I have another minor in history. The past three years at Carolina have exceeded even my wildest dreams and I am immensely thankful all it has given me in these past three years.
I first discovered the Shuford Program my freshman fall when I enrolled in ECON 125 on a whim. As an anxious freshman, I added random classes to my shopping cart during registration, and happened upon ECON 125. What was originally a class to fill my schedule quickly became my favorite class that first semester of college. Each week I was inspired and challenged by guest lecturers and professors Buck Goldstein and Jed Simmons. From there, I applied for the program and have continued to learn, create, and be tested in each class of the minor. I went on the first Fall Break Networking trip to Atlanta last year and made so many connections with UNC alumni, as well as befriending other likeminded, driven, and passionate students in the minor – it was there that I truly experienced how special the Shuford Program is for students at Carolina.
This summer, I interned at Ralph Lauren in New York City as a wholesale marketing intern for the Men’s Polo division. Throughout ten-week program I participated in various intern activities, learned firsthand from the best of the fashion industry, and was able so many talented, passionate, creative individuals during my time at the company – it was an experience of a life time! A typical day in the life of a RL intern consisted of getting to the office, checking my email for any changes to the day’s schedule, and checking in with my team before a day of attending meetings, brainstorming for various brand initiatives, and sometimes even driving uptown for meetings at the other RL offices throughout the city. I was a part of an intern class of 60 highly motivated, talented, and incredible students from around the country and even outside the United States.
Throughout the summer I helped facilitate discussions and conversations between our team and our wholesale accounts such as Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, I created styling guides and I helped execute marketing brand activations across retail stores. At the end of the summer, I presented a complete business and marketing initiative alongside seven other interns to ten senior executives. My time at Ralph Lauren was unforgettable and pushed me to become a better individual and challenged me in so many different ways, growing my skills and motivating me to continue my career in the fashion industry after graduation.
I cannot thank the Shuford program enough for its advisors, its professors, and the endless opportunities it provides students. Although my internship this summer was not at a start up, I was able to integrate my skills and experiences from the Shuford program in tangible and relevant ways each day to my job at Ralph Lauren. My time in the Shuford program has been instrumental in preparing me for my post-graduation career aspirations and I look forward to giving back to the program in the years to come in many different ways.