Mentoring Student Interns at RPG

Posted by Eric Williams

After being in business 24 years, we at RPG have learned and achieved invaluable experience in our core specialty of retail display and environment design and manufacturing. With so much expertise, we strive to share what we have learned with our clients as well as students, who are the future of our industry.

As part of our efforts to give back, we are engaged with several local schools with their internship programs. Through these programs, we offer mentorship and provide a “real world” environment for the students to learn and gain experience. Several of these students have been offered employment by us and others have gone on to good roles within the retail design and merchandising industry.

Our two recent interns hail from F.I.T. and we sat down with both for a few questions on their experiences here at RPG.

 

First, is Miranda Erin Hurwitz who will be graduating this spring with an AAS in Fashion Merchandising and a BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.

Miranda

Miranda, How did you come to choose the field you’re studying?

Although I’m interested in many fields of work, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an obsession with cosmetics. With my mom being a makeup artist and esthetician, I was constantly surrounded by and able to experiment with products and I knew that one day I would want to have some form of beauty industry career. I chose the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing major because it allows me to really use both sides of the brain, as beauty is not only an art, but also a science. Studying this field, I was given the opportunity to learn all about the industry and its practices, whether it’s formulating cosmetics, rebranding and marketing, doing visual merchandising, product development, or even packaging design, we got to dip into a little of everything and I love to do it all.

What can you take away with you from your internship?

I learned a lot from my time at RPG but the thing that sticks out most in my mind about what makes RPG so special is its corporate culture. RPG showed me that one of the most important factors to running a successful business is not just about how well you treat your clients but about how well you treat your employees. Everyone is down-to-earth and friendly to one another making the environment an all-around amazing one to be apart of. Furthermore, I believe that their visually appealing workspace is also what makes RPG such a great place to work in, and that it helps boost creativity and productivity around the office. RPG also taught me that in the real world, you need to work in teams to get things done and that no one can properly do things alone.

What is your favorite memory while working at RPG?

While at RPG, I had the opportunity to attend the annual CEW event along with other employees in the office. We got to spend a lot of time bonding with each other and I had fun in helping with our booth’s installation and in running it. And, by the end of the night we all got to go home with a huge goodie-bag full of cosmetics. My time at RPG was definitely well spent!

What’s your next step?

Following my graduation, I will be getting married to my high school sweetheart and will be moving to College Station, Texas, for 2 years, while my fiancé finishes up his degree and where I hope to find a job doing something in my field. After that, we will be relocating to Charleston, South Carolina for 5 years before settling down permanently.

 

Brianne Becker is graduating this spring with a BS in Fashion and Textile Technology and an AAS in Advertising and Marketing Communications.

Brianne

Brianne, How did you come to choose the field you’re studying?

I picked the field I am studying by luck. I first attended Buffalo State College and entered their 3-1 program. Three years at Buffalo State in design, and my last year at FIT in advertising and marketing communications.

What can you take away from your internship?

There isn’t just one skill that I can take away from my internship at RPG. Everyday there was something new I learned, for instance, completing order forms, developing an understanding for materials, or comprehending the cycle of production. There are tiny little details that go into designing retail displays that I was not aware of beforehand.

What is your favorite memory while working at RPG?

My favorite memory while working at RPG was being able to assist the designers in any way I could, and then seeing the final display in stores. Even though, I may have not of had a big part in the project, I still enjoyed seeing the end result and knowing the people who designed it.

What’s your next step?

My next step is to graduate. Then, hopefully to continue designing.

In addition to FIT, we have hosted interns from the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons, Pratt Institute and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. While we have formal intern placement relationships with several of these schools, RPG is committed to helping students no matter their school affiliation.