HDCS 4393 and 4394 are the capstone internship courses for graduating seniors in the Retailing and Consumer Science program. According to Levy and Weitz, "Retailing is the set of business activities that adds value to the products and services sold to consumers for their personal or family use." Sharing this statement about the impact of retailing, the National Retailing Association suggests that retailing is the nation's leading private sector employer with innovation that drives our economy by creating jobs for professionals across the country. Retail supports 42 million jobs in America, offering limitless career opportunities.
The RCS Internship sharpens the student's analytical skills through assignments such as a required vertical and horizontal audit of their internship organization that is due mid-semester. As students answer approximately 80 questions, with sources, they are often amazed at how they learn to systematically evaluate the benefits and performance of an organization and find ways to contribute to their management, merchandising, financial, e-commerce and training responsibilities.
Designing 10 measureable concrete objectives with the internship supervisor and university faculty member prepares each student for strategic planning and performance reviews. Building the professional resume encourages students to examine measurable performance results and, as an intern, recognize the importance of marketing their skills and performance for future managerial positions.
The research and demonstration project is a final assignment that encourages each student's creativity and research skills as they design, execute and report on a project done to improve a specific area within their internship company. Results are reported in an industry format, and as an executive visual report for the final exam.
The Intern Supervisor Evaluation, located on the Blackboard Course Website, evaluates the student's final performance on 10 measureable objectives and overall competencies expected of retailing and consumer science professionals. Additionally, each intern will conduct a self-evaluation of his/her performance.
Through the internship experience, each student should be prepared for executive-level responsibilities in the retail industry. Interns will gain valuable insight into how a successful organization must strategically plan, innovate, lead and sustain a competitive advantage.
Frequently Asked Questions
See the Frequently Asked Questions page to deepen your understanding of the internship requirements, expectations and guidelines that will contribute to your ultimate success. "May success dog your footsteps."