Alexandra Makover

Internship with Global Brands Group
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Alexandra Makover

Paterno Fellow
Major: English
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Dix Hills, New York
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through a personal connection.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned with Global Brands Group in their New York City office. As part of the women’s apparel division, I worked within the production team supporting Jones NY and Ellen Tracy. Before beginning my internship, I had no experience in the fashion industry and had never heard of production as a department within a corporation. My team was so supportive in teaching me the nuances of the business, and I quickly learned that production is essential in making sure a garment’s journey from the designers to the showroom is smooth and problem-free. I was in charge of the product samples that go in and out of the New York office, ensuring that they are tracked accordingly between the U.S. and headquarters in China.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has enhanced my liberal arts education. As an English major, I am comfortable with reading, writing and communication, which none would doubt are all vital parts of a business. However, in terms of hard business skills, such as using and understanding Excel spreadsheets and navigating SAP and other systems, I am certainly lacking. My business minor has provided a base understanding of finance, accounting, marketing and other broad-based business functions, but I have not had a lot of exposure to data analytics. In addition to teaching intangible lessons of how to operate in an international corporation, my internship at Global Brands Group offered me training in various operating systems, which enhances my education.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

While I am unsure of what direction I want to head my career, my internship with Global Brands Group was great exposure to an industry and size of business in which I had no prior knowledge. My internship last summer was with a small haircare company in a downtown Manhattan loft-style office, which has proven to be a completely different experience from that at GBG. Global Brands Group is located in the Empire State Building, with thousands of employees and offices around the globe. While I am not convinced that I want to pursue a career in fashion specifically, I am positive that GBG’s fast-paced and internationally driven culture is the baseline for which I hope to find a future job. The relationships with my team, mentor and fellow interns will surely be of use as I enter the corporate world upon graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

While liberal arts majors are not vocationally-based, [...] a liberal arts education has provided me with the broad-based background to work effectively within a business.

While I am the only liberal arts student in the group of forty interns hired by Global Brands Group this summer, I would definitely recommend the program to other liberal arts students. My favorite part of the internship program was the summer-long project in which groups of seven interns, plus a mentor, developed a new product and presented a prototype and business plan to a panel of company executives in August. I felt that my liberal arts background and experiences within small, Schreyer Honors College classes prepped me well for this endeavor. The majority of this project was not about the specifics of design or financial spreadsheets but how to communicate one’s thoughts clearly, compromise ideas and collaborate effectively. All of these skills have been reinforced through countless of my discussion-based honors classes. Listening to my peers and respecting their opinions, even if I disagree, has been emphasized in so many of my English courses. I think liberal arts students have more experience with communication and team-work than those in many other majors. While liberal arts majors are not vocationally-based and direct translations into specific departments, like so many other domains are, I feel that a liberal arts education has provided me with the broad-based background to work effectively within a business.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I feel that the Paterno Fellows Program, and its subsequent honors courses, shaped me as a candidate for this internship program. Small honors classes that house room for group discussion and provide interaction with professors are such a step above regular classes. I feel the group work within small classes and an overall more intimate class environment has challenged me academically and prepped me well for business collaborative work. Additionally, the Paterno Fellows Study Abroad requirement changed my view of international business. I studied abroad in London, which was largely pushed by PFP. My experiences in Europe totally changed my perspective of culture and global relations. I love that Global Brands Group is in fact a global company in not only name but nature – its headquarters are in Hong Kong. Two of my coworkers were from Hong Kong and on a daily basis I was in contact with people in Shanghai and London. GBG provided such a culturally enriching experience that I so appreciated, especially after my semester abroad.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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