Building Blocks of a Belk Intern

The Student Center served as the venue for an exciting employer presentation by Belk, the home for “modern southern careers,” Monday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. Campus recruiter Ashley Turner informed the audience of student hopefuls about the rich history of Belk.

On May 29, 1888, William Henry Belk launched his first store in Monroe, North Carolina. Belk’s core convictions include powerful keywords like smart, direct, creative, generous, warm, fun, and witty, which are held dear to the Belk employee as well as the target customer in 294 stores across 16 states.

In the future, Belk plans to focus on community outreach, capitalizing on private brand collections, and opening new stores. Two stores launched this month in Kentucky and Georgia and two more stores are projected to open next year in the southeast to emphasize Belk’s commitment to “southern heritage and hospitality.”

Belk has also recently purchased The Limited to join their repertoire of national brands full of heavy hitters like Kate Spade, Free People, and Ralph Lauren. Lisa Harper, the company’s first female CEO, aims to “reimagine the department store space” by improving the e-commerce experience between company and customer and venturing into reaching new audiences.

Turner explained Belk offers eighteen different positions for their two recruitment programs, the Retail Development Program and the Belk Internship Program. The Retail Development Program is available to graduating seniors. It is a paid 4-12 month course with positions ranging from design to supply chain and from human resources to store management. Department placement is based on business need. During the program, recruits will shadow a mentor in a balanced mix of classroom and hands-on style training, which could lead to an entry level position with the company at the completion of the course. Harper sums up the work environment of Belk in her notable quote, “Work hard. Play hard. No drama.”

The Belk Internship Program is available to juniors and takes place over ten weeks in the summer. The intern will go through an engaging experience and be exposed to valuable senior leadership. Responsibilities include AI sketching, product development, managing samples, competitive research, seasonal analysis projects, along with dabbling in just about anything else. The importance of proactiveness was stressed throughout the presentation, as Belk prefers interns that offer help to coworkers outside of their department during down time without explicit instruction to do so.

Saturday, Nov. 4 was the resume deadline for the Retail Development program and Friday, Dec. 15 is the resume deadline for the Belk Internship program. When asked what the ideal portfolio looks like, Turner and SCAD 2008 alumna Laura Tomhave emphasized the necessity for organization, correct grammar, and articulation. They also accentuated how crucial it is for students to be able to effectively market themselves and persuade employers to believe in their vision. According to Belk recruiters, these skills, above all else, are what set apart the cream of the crop. So, are you built for Belk?

Written by Ka’Dia Dhatnubia
Cover image by John Greim for Getty Images

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