Kohl's internship helps Advertising Management student explore alternative paths

Advertising Management senior Alayna Seaberg tested the waters of the production world this summer as an intern at Kohl’s.

Seaberg worked on the accessories team, rotating between working at Kohl’s headquarters in Milwaukee and remotely from her home. Even though she worked in production, Seaberg credits her Kohl’s internship program with giving her a holistic view of the company and its many departments.

“Kohl’s is a company that’s very open to its employees switching teams, moving up and following their interests,” Seaberg said. “We got full visibility of all the different teams and what we could possibly be interested in.”

Seaberg’s role within the production team was to make sure the samples from the overseas vendors matched the company’s vision. Color, design and size were just a few of the many factors the team had to consider when analyzing these products. Aside from the technical aspects of her position, the internship helped her determine exactly what she wants from her career — and what she doesn’t.

“I came into Kohl’s thinking I was going to really like production and I didn’t actually know what it was until it was the end of the summer,” Seaberg said. “I’m interested in the creative side of things more than the supply chain — that’s something I found out during the internship. I loved sitting in on the brand meetings. I got to meet Lauren Conrad, which was amazing. We got to go through all the jewelry and figure out what the vision is; that’s what I really like.”

Through her internship, Seaberg explored technical design, sourcing, logistics and quality assurance. But her career end-goal is to be a creative director for a retail brand or her own brand. She’s open to exploring different paths, so long as creativity and travel are involved.

“I try to be very open-ended,” Seaberg said. “Even if I don’t become a creative director, I could be a buyer that travels around and visits different small designers. That’s really interesting to me too. Travel and creativity are my biggest things.”

An undetermined future might be nerve-wracking for some, but for Seaberg, it’s precisely what she’s used to and what she thrives on.

"I keep my options open and I really don’t know where I’m going to be in a year,” she said. “It makes life way more fun. I allow myself to live as big as a life as possible and that’s just who I am.”

Wherever she lands, she’s sure to use the soft skills she practiced at Kohl’s.

“It comes down to taking initiative, asking questions and making it clear what you’re looking for out of the internship,” Seaberg said. “Don’t take the experience you’re able to get for granted. Utilize every opportunity to give yourself a leg up, ask questions and be curious.”

By Stella Govitz