Chaifetz School Senior Katie LaMarca Applies Business Concepts to Her Internship and Beyond
From a bottle of shampoo to a box of tea, you have probably noticed a little blue 'U' on the back of many products. Katie LaMarca, a senior marketing major at the Chaifetz School of Business, secured an internship with Unilever, a global consumer company behind the mark, in the summer 2018. Her internship helped her gain the skills she needed to land a full-time position in the rotational assignment program at Medline Industries after graduation.
Working for The Right to Shower Brand
As a marketing intern in Unilever's headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey, LaMarca developed potential ideas for the brand, The Right to Shower. The brand contains a variety of cleansing products, the proceeds from which go toward building mobile showers for the homeless.
In preparing for the brand's official launch in February 2019, LaMarca conducted research on consumer preferences and the six Ps of marketing: passion, product, people, place, price and promotion. She also executed growth strategies, competition comparison, website design, social media ideas and more.
"By working at a huge corporate company at their North American HQ, I learned not to be afraid to take initiative," LaMarca said. "Even as an intern, I had full autonomy over my projects which was hard for me to grasp at first, but my manager was always encouraging."
How She Landed the Internship
LaMarca's curriculum at the Chaifetz School of Business provided a foundation of useful skills for her to use and build upon in her internship with Unilever.
"My intro to marketing and consumer behavior classes prepared me a lot for my internship," LaMarca said. "A lot of the case studies I’ve done in various courses helped with analyzing my projects and coming up with new ideas and plans."
More than 85% of the Chaifetz School's graduating class of 2018 completed an internship like Katie's before graduation.
By encouraging students to get a head start in the internship process, SLU's Career Resources Center assisted LaMarca in finding her internship.
"I worked with Alison Roba [in the CRC] to perfect my resume and learn how to navigate Handshake [an interactive tool in matching students to internships]," LaMarca said. "After finding Unilever, I met with Alison again to prepare for a long interview process. Meeting with her made me feel confident and definitely helped with my nerves and ability to interview."
The business curriculum and Career Resources Center at SLU prepared LaMarca with the necessary tools to be successful at Unilever and allow room for growth.
"From my internship, I learned a lot of great communication skills, organization skills and how product management works. I learned to not be afraid to ask questions, and everyone was always willing to help me get started on any ideas or projects," LaMarca said.
Gaining experience in her internship at Unilever, acquiring business knowledge and improving her interview skills equipped LaMarca with the necessary foundation to kickstart her career, she added. Medline Industries Headquarters in Northfield, Illinois offered LaMarca a full-time position in their rotational assignment program before graduation.