vineyard vines: Alexa Benk’s Dream Internship

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Name: Alexa Benk

Year: 2016logo2

Major: Applied Psychology & Entrepreneurship

Internship: Wholesale Intern at vineyard vines

How did you get this internship?

I got this internship by applying online. A few months after I applied I received a phone interview and then an offer. Throughout the application process I took full advantage of the Amica Career Center. Amy Weinstein was a great resource and helped me edit my resume, cover letter, and internship questionnaire.

What were your daily responsibilities at your internship?

My daily responsibilities varied each day. Each person in the Wholesale Department involved me in their tasks and taught me valuable information. I created Buy sheets, Hot sheets, prospect lists, OTS packets, and a master list of all of our buyers. I helped the team prep for and even attended MRket show to show off the upcoming collection to buyers in NYC and shadowed all of the territory reps for a day. I also attended numerous meetings and line reviews. Throughout the internship there was an intern group project. This project was very intensive and challenging. My group’s task was to create an extension of the Fall 2016 Performance Line. Before even designing the clothing, we had to do a lot of research on our competitors, trends, pricing, fabric technologies, etc. I worked on the project each day while juggling other tasks within my department. There was never one time in which I had nothing to do, I was always very busy and I enjoyed that.


What was your favorite memory/experience at your internship?

I had many amazing memories/experiences at vineyard vines! Some of my favorite memories was having lunch with Shep and Ian, the founders, on the first day, having unlimited access to free coffee and healthy snacks daily, Ice Cream Truck Wednesday, Bagel Friday, the company golf chipping contest, the employee discount, and the presenting our group project in front of the entire company. I also enjoyed vineyard vine’s company culture and the people that worked there. The people I met were very friendly, sharp, helpful, and innovative.


What was the most challenging part about your internship?

The most challenging part of my internship was the commute. It took me about 1 to 2 hours to drive only 18 miles to work. Basically, my commute was roughly 2 to 4 hours of driving a day. I loved my internship so much that I was happy to make the long commute.

How will this further your career?

This will further my career because I would like to work in the business end (wholesale, marketing, finance, e-commerce) of the fashion industry upon graduation.

What is your best piece of advice for underclassmen?

My best piece of advice for underclassmen is to take full advantage of the Amica Career Center. The vineyard vines intern acceptance rate was 5% this past summer, and without the help of having my application reviewed and edited I may not have been given the opportunity to intern there.

Junior Tim Levene Represents Bryant as Changemaker Fellow

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Tim being inducted into the Changemakers. From left to right: Representative from Mayor Elorza’s office, Janet Raymond, Senior Vice President of Economic Development and Operations, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Between his involvements in Bryant Ventures, CEO, and the Archway and his position as founder of two companies, Bryant junior Tim Levene is extremely busy.  It’s hard to believe he has time for one more commitment, but Tim is currently making Bryant proud by representing the university as a Changemaker Fellow for Social Enterprise Greenhouse and the Founders’ League.

The Changemaker Fellowship is a “program for undergraduate student leaders in Rhode Island who want to change the world through entrepreneurship,” according to the SEG website.  For the first time, a Changemaker Fellow has been selected from each college and university in Rhode Island.  Together, they are tasked with “engaging their fellow students in entrepreneurship and connecting them to local resources to help them succeed.”

Tim’s responsibilities as Changemaker Fellow for Bryant University include supporting Bryant’s entrepreneurs, helping students get legal/networking help with their endeavors, and attending weekly meetings with the other Rhode Island Changemakers.

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From left to right: Diwas Puri, Professor Sandra Enos, Tim Levene, and Spencer Bratman.

As a part of the program, Tim and the other Changemakers get excellent benefits from the SEG and the Founders’ League.  Both companies are co-working spaces – offices where new businesses can pay for a monthly pass, desk, or office.  Tim can use the offices in downtown Providence whenever he wants – for meetings or for his own entrepreneurial activities.

Tim has been an entrepreneur since high school.  He’s started three businesses – starting with a Minecraft video game experiment in high school.  This venture involved creating a server for players to get together and rent pieces of land with virtual money.  While this wasn’t a for-profit endeavor, Tim accepted donations for certain in-game perks.

His second business was a grocery delivery service for college students in Hall 16.  The project lasted only one semester, but was successful.  He waited until snack food and drinks were on sale, purchased them through Peapod, and sold the items to students at regular price with free delivery.  He had over 25 regular customers.

His third venture includes a startup holding company for aspiring entrepreneurs named The Levene Group.  So far, the Levene Group includes TraffikSEO – Tim’s newest endeavor.  The company helps businesses “do what they do best,” by using digital marketing to achieve business goals.  His interest in analytics, SEO, and digital marketing began last summer during an internship with Stacked Agency which led him to be a freelance website designer for companies as close at Connecticut and as far as Australia.

While Tim is extremely involved on Bryant’s campus and with his own ventures, he still has big goals as a Changemaker.  He wants to become more involved in entrepreneurship at Bryant and in the state of Rhode Island, to bring ideas that are working at Bryant to other local colleges, and to help students get internship experience with startups.

Bryant students interested in being a Changemaker Fellow can learn more and apply on the Social Enterprise Greenhouse website.

Written by Shannon FogliaShannon Bio