How Internships Help the Future of Our Industry

BLOG (17).jpg

It’s Intern Season! If you’re not welcoming in the newest members of the home furnishings family, you’re missing out. At Amber Engine, we welcome interns every year. Not only do we introduce them to multiple parts of the home furnishings industry, we find that we are learning new things and gleaning inspiration from them and their enthusiasm.  The right intern is a win-win for business.

Find the Right Intern

If you’re looking for a home furnishings intern, it helps to have a relationship with local colleges that offer design, manufacturing or business degrees. When they’re ready to host a career fair, you’ll be on the call list. In addition to searching for full-time employees, you can advertise your need for interns, too. Collect names and contact information, conduct short interviews and go about the hiring process as you would any staff member.

Let Your Intern See Behind the Green Curtain

As a home furnishings expert, it’s tempting to limit the access an intern has to your business function. After all, you don’t want them sharing trade secrets. The flip side is that you can’t introduce them to all the paths available to them in the home furnishings industry if you bind their hands. You see, you have a unique opportunity to make an impression on someone’s involvement in our world. Show them the ropes and let them chart a course that could, ultimately, end up benefitting your business in the long run.

Is It Business as Usual with An Intern?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a worthwhile task and busywork when it comes to your intern. Here are a few suggestions to help you maximize their efforts and potential:

  • Marketing - Let your intern help with marketing your home furnishing business. This includes both advertisement and analytics.

  • Online Presence – Help your intern learn about keywords and content strategy with research and blogging for your business. They can also update product data or learn how to manage enhanced product data from a service like Amber Engine. 

  • Social Media – Building graphics and creating a social media calendar helps interns understand that there are options beyond retail in home furnishings. Your intern may be a promotions dynamo!

  • Customer Engagement – Include your intern on business initiatives like customer engagement. Help them understand the importance of relationship building and let them try their hand with a few techniques.

  • POS Systems/Managing Inventory – It’s essential for every budding retailer to understand the way POS systems work and how they interact with inventory. Let your intern have hands-on experience in your system and in the warehouse.

As a business owner, it is immensely rewarding to make a difference in the life and career of a budding professional. Whether they move towards a creative or business path, it’s important that we all work to shape and strengthen the future of our industry.

Now, we’re interested in hearing about your experience. How do you use interns in your business? Do you find that it’s an energizing addition to your staff? What tips do you have for other furniture retailers, manufacturers or decorators on best-engaging an intern for the summer?