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Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on Feb. 5, 2014, at the 8th Annual IMPACT Awards luncheon. Though the event is over and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.

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When you think of the fashion world, Indiana is probably not the place that comes to mind. But that didn’t stop Sloan Jones from developing her business and industry skills with the J. Crew Factory in Michigan City last summer.

Sloan started out as a part-time worker at the store. The next summer, she asked the store manager, Mariceli Paz, if she could be the store intern. With the help of an Indiana State University professor and Paz, they designed a manager-in-training program just for her.

“The internship allowed me to get a taste of what it takes to be a manager of a retail store,” Sloan explained. “Customer service, register duties, store events, visual displays, roll-out of new merchandise, shipments, employee training, screening and hiring, new store openings – everything!”

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“I had considered going away for an internship to a different city,
but I am so glad I didn’t.”

Sloan Jones

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One of Sloan’s responsibilities was handling visual displays. One of her most intensive tasks, she said, was constructing the window display for summer, which involved making a six-foot long rainbow wave… completely out of drinking glass umbrellas!

Sloan also played a key role in training new hires. She traveled to other stores to help the new teams get set up for success and also assisted in the hiring process for a new store.

“Sloan is one of the most reliable employees we’ve ever had,” Paz said. “She leads by example and conducts herself in a professional manner, which makes her peers look to her as a mentor.”

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Sloan will graduate from Indiana State in May 2014 with a degree in textiles apparel merchandising and minors in business administration and marketing. She is currently interviewing with a couple different companies for fashion-related jobs.

“This internship taught me a lot about being on your toes and figuring out things yourself,” Sloan said. “I loved the days where my manager was very busy and needed me to do a new task that I had never done before, because I had to be on top of my game and sometimes get creative.”

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