Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
To succeed in the business world, it is essential to have a variety of dynamic professional abilities, and Zachary Day '15 spent his summer honing many of those skills as an intern for luxury retailer at DFS Group in Hong Kong, China. The exciting position offered Day a chance to gain experiences to draw from in his future career endeavors.
At DFS Group, Day participated in an immersive training program set in several different locations. He had the opportunity to shadow numerous company managers, including product sales managers within one of the four luxury retail stores in Hong Kong and a merchandising manager who works in an office setting. Day often interacted with store clients and associates, a responsibility that requires his proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.
"During these shadows I learned about the ins and outs of the company and role from that employee's point of view," he said. "I was able to get an immersive and valuable experience with a varied environment on a week-to-week basis."
Established in 1960, DFS Group's network consists of store locations in major international cities across the globe. The company is recognized as a leading luxury shopping destination for the world traveler and has adapted to the changing travel retail industry. Employing more than 9,000 associates, DFS presents the world's leading brands to over 200 million world travelers each year at its 14 downtown Gallerias and across major international airports.
Day first heard of the internship opportunity through the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development at HWS. After several rounds of interviews, he was selected to work for the company in its Hong Kong locations, which include many Galleria department stores. Following his internship, Day would like to pursue a career in international business.
Academia at HWS has helped Day throughout beginning his career in the industry. As a junior, he studied abroad through the Colleges' global education in China. An Asian studies major, he says that his time studying in the country "really prepared me for living in a foreign country and being able to adapt to many different experiences thrown my way." He also credits the HWS curriculum as another source of his foundational skills.
"Most of the classes that I have taken at HWS are very participation-oriented," he says. "I think that being able to cohesively contribute to a classroom environment is extremely relevant in my position. On a daily basis I have to interact with people, from customers to management, and because I am used to having to speak out in front of a group of classmates, conversations flow extremely easily for me."