Subject: Meet Caroline McNamara

Name: Caroline McNamara

Location: Currently Richmond, Virginia, interned in Williamsburg, Virginia and Valencia, Spain

Age: 22

How many internships have you completed? I have completed 3 internships. 

Where have you interned and what was the role? I was a Business Merchandising Intern at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. There, I was a manager for the merchandising locations, 3 shops, in their Canada sector. It was a really great learning experience for me in merchandising and as a leader. I got to oversee 23 employees and work on scheduling and shop tasks. I handled customer service issues should they arise, as well as technical issues. I previously also interned for College Fashionista one semester writing content on fashion and lifestyle for them. however, this past summer I interned in Valencia, Spain as a Business Merchandise Intern for the company, Miquel Suay. I had an amazing experience there and got to learn so much about international business. In Europe, the business culture is so different. Being that the countries are smaller and more proximate, many businesses have an easier accessibility to be international. Miquel Suay not only sold clothes in Spain, but also Italy, France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. I had the opportunity of interacting with companies in other countries about selling our product. 

What surprised you about interning? My supervisor was extremely helpful and her English was very good. She was a lifesaver. I have been fortunate enough while interning to have had amazing supervisors who have been great role models for me in terms of my career and overall professionalism. I always learn so much from my supervisors and they give the best advice. Every time I have a great supervisor, I am surprised because I've been working since I was 16 and I've had varying experiences with my supervisors. However, my supervisors while interning in fashion have always encouraged me to do my best and have helped me grow throughout the learning process. 

What was your favorite moment in the role? My favorite moment was when I got to meet Miquel. It was actually quite awkward as I didn't recognize him at first, but he was extremely kind. Also, I love his designs, he is very talented, but also very down-to-earth. Even though there was a bit of a language barrier, we were able to meet each other halfway and converse in the office occasionally. 

Whats next for you? I am going to be graduating in May. I am currently looking for work, however I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. I have had great experiences in Business Merchandising, but I would love the opportunity to work creatively as well as use my business experience. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Hopefully, I will be successful in whatever it is I am doing. To me, this means potentially having a leadership role. I do not measure success based on the pay grade, to me, it depends on the experiences I've had, how much I've learned and grown. However, I would certainly like to put my Leadership Studies major to good use. I have had the opportunity to use various skills I've learned such as critical thinking, social analysis, and group dynamics in my internships. My Leadership Studies major has taught me great skills in order to be adaptable no matter what organization I'm working for or occupation I'm fulfilling. I would like to have a career in something where I can work creatively, create change and help people. Maybe I'll be working in fashion, or maybe I'll be working in public policy or in the non-profit sector. While it certainly is always good to have a plan, it's also important to remember that things do not always go to plan. I'm open to whatever comes, I believe that everything can be and is a learning experience. Although I'm not sure where I'll be or what I'll be doing, I'm excited for what the future holds. 

Where can people find you? People can find me on my on Instagram @caroline_mcnamara or LinkedIn

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