Meet Cristine Befanis, author of the blog post Interview Tips. Cristine is a May 2012 University of Miami graduate who majored in Marketing and minored in Accounting. She is interested in fashion and is about to begin two internships: Photography Intern with Mega Models and Retail Sales Intern with Nordstrom. We interviewed her to learn more about her internship search and how she became successful.
Why did you choose the University of Miami and your major in marketing?
I transferred to UM my junior year after two years at another university. I was originally premed, and after doing research and taking upper level classes, I realized I preferred the business track. Fashion had
always been a passion of mine, but I thought it was more of a hobby. I began to realize that I wanted to pursue it as my career, so I transferred back home to Florida where a better business program was offered. I transferred to UM and have loved it ever since.
How did you find out about the internships at Mega Models and Nordstrom?
I actively used the resources offered at Toppel to research jobs. I knew that I wanted an internship after graduation, so I met with my advisor to explore research tools. I first used HireACane.com
to search for internships which was where I originally found the Mega Models internship. I continued to apply to other internships and updated my LinkedIn
account where I also began searching for jobs. I found the Nordstrom position through LinkedIn and immediately applied.
What other jobs and internships did you have before applying for these internships?
I was working as a Sales Lead Manager at Ann Taylor LOFT at the time of my internship search, but I was prepared to leave the company should any internship offers arise. I was also working (and still am) as a volunteer intern at Dress For Success but planned to continue working a couple hours a week. I applied for all of my internships within the same time frame and was offered the Mega Models internship originally. I accepted and was offered the Nordstrom internship shortly after. Fortunately, it worked out in my schedule to accept both positions.
What was the interview and recruitment process like?
For the Mega Models internship, I submitted my resume and cover letter through HireACane.com
. I was contacted within two days via email about setting up an interview. I responded back, and we set up an interview for the following week. When I came into the office, the interview was very informal, and the interviewer used the time to tell me about the position and asked me what I could bring to the position. I was there for about 20 minutes, and he told me to email him my availability upon leaving and that he would let me know. I emailed him right away, and the next week, I was told I got the position via email.
For the Nordstrom internship, I applied through the company’s main website after being referred to it from LinkedIn. I received a call back the next day and scheduled an interview for the following week. I originally interviewed with an HR coordinator, and after the interview, she asked me to interview the next day with the Store Manager which was a good sign. The next interview went really well and I was told I got the position on the spot.
What made you choose the company?
I am very interested in the Fashion industry and knew I wanted to work for a large company selling upscale merchandise, including a major designer or department store. When I saw the model internship, I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn more about the modeling and photography industry. I was also happy when I saw the Nordstrom internship because that is one of my favorite department stores.
If you could give one piece of advice to other job seekers, what would it be?
I would tell other job seekers not to get discouraged in their job searches and always keep your head up high. There are so many opportunities out there as long as you are active with your job search. Don’t let one rejection discourage you.