Summer internship offers insight into the retail business

Michelle Petrie

Story by Christian Knoll

Name: Michelle Petrie, apparel and merchandising major

Internship Title: Store Management Coordinator

Company: HEYDAY

Michelle Petrie spent her summer working as an intern for HEYDAY, a popular Fort Collins-based women’s clothing store. Set to graduate this December, Petrie talked about her experiences with Colorado State’s apparel and merchandising program and her time with HEYDAY.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from?

Originally I was born in British Columbia, Canada. I moved to Washington when I was 5 and ended up in Colorado when I was 6. At the time, my mom was working for Levi’s as a district manager and she got work in Colorado. I guess you can say the whole fashion thing runs in the family.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Colorado State University? Was apparel and merchandising your first choice as a major?

I was not planning on going to college out of high school. However, my parents convinced me to go to community college for a year. After I agreed, I ended up at Front Range Community College and found that I loved it. I really enjoyed all my classes and instructors there. I really did not get into fashion until I got to CSU, though. I was originally going to major in business, but I met someone who was in the program and checked their website shortly after. The rest is history.

Michelle Petrie

Q: What are you doing at your internship and what are you learning from it?

I have done everything one could think of in terms of running a store. I have performed store operations, merchandising and, of course, sales. The store owner, Jennifer Little, has implemented a critical thinking mindset when it comes running HEYDAY. Mostly, I’ve learned about paying attention to the details, which goes beyond clothing. It’s about creating a community, but also a brand for people that is comfortable, welcoming and keeps them coming back.

 Q: What are your career goals? How have your internship and classes at CSU helped you get closer to accomplishing these goals?

I believe the classes offered at CSU are excellent starts for people to get into the industry. The classes I’ve taken have prepared me for real-life situations, which I am using with my time working for HEYDAY. It has also helped me meet a lot of people, because most of the time when it comes to this line of work, it is more about who you know. Through everything I have been taught, I would like to continue my time with HEYDAY. They are looking to expand in the near future and I would love to continue to be a part of their team.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

CSU University Communications Staff