Rachel Larkin planned to embark on a new internship this summer and because of the pandemic, plans have changed. Herself and 40 others have lost their internship in the merchandise department for Lands’ End.
“I was on the phone with the coordinator of Lands’ End when I received the news and understood the whole situation surrounding it,” Larkin said. “After I hung up, I broke down for a second, but I saw the bigger picture.”
Her duties would have consisted of preparing to buy and sell for men, women and children apparel, along with fashion forecasting and trends within the market.
“The best part I was looking forward to was making new friends and starting a little journey on my own,” Larkin said. “I’m most bummed about not being able to learn from everyone in the industry and working in the profession every day.”
With the economy in the current situation and the future unknown for businesses, they’re taking precautions. Larkin said she could tell the resources department felt awful delivering the news to her and those they offered internships. Through her eyes, they handled it to the best of their ability during this odd time.
“Lands’ End decided to pay their actual employees instead of interns,” Larkin said. “They’re concerned for their own.”
As an apparel, merchandising and design major, the program requires an internship in order to graduate. With the internship canceled, whether Larkin was on track for graduation was up in the air. After meeting with her adviser, she remains to graduate a semester early in fall 2021.
Since she won’t be working in Madison this summer, she’s searching for a plan B. As of right now, she will be going back to what she has done in the past — nannying.
“Being a college student and moving back home is not easy,” Larkin said. “It’s very weird and mentally messes with you.”
In her mind, there's always next summer. She hopes to apply again for Lands’ End and other internships to obtain the credit.