Photos provided by Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Students at A&F Co. seem to have it all figured out
As well as being an internationally-known retailer, the Columbus-born Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is home to the perfect volunteer and internship opportunities for Ohio State students and alumni. Recent spring ‘19 graduate, Lainey Colaiacovo, details her experience interning with the company as integral to her professional success.
“I acted as a sponge and learned as much as I could from my peers, supervisors and colleagues,” she says. “Being successful was largely attributed to learning from others’ diverse backgrounds, learning how to work with various personalities, and seeing different perspectives.”
In terms of undergraduate preparation, Colaiacovo advises current students to “network with recruiters whenever they come to career fairs on campus” to start building a solid foundation for yourself before graduating.
She also stresses the importance of getting involved with student organizations while at Ohio State. Pairing her business administration major with her entrepreneurship and fashion & retail studies minors, she also relied on her involvement with a fashion organization on campus as a foot-in-the-door to securing her internship.
“I was heavily involved with FPA,” –The Fashion Production Association– “[and] it gave me exposure to professors who had great past experience in the retail industry. I was able to apply this background knowledge to my internship.”
She now combines the knowledge from OSU and her internship experience to guide her in her new position as a merchant. Transitioning from student, to intern, to employee, Colaiacovo has never stopped learning and evolving her personal growth.
“The culture at A&F Co. has taught me to always be open to new ideas, and how to bring entrepreneurship to a corporate setting, which is something I don’t think you can get any- where else.”
When transitioning from student life to “real life”, two Ohio State alumni felt right at home with Abercrombie. Anna Ankenbauer, on A&F’s Home Office Development team, says that working with the company feels like an extension of college.
“The transition from OSU to A&F was an easy one. OSU set me up for success.”
Not only does she think of Ohio State as a Columbus staple, but she considers the A&F campus to be “Columbus’ best kept secret.”
Ankenbauer and Grant Zwayer, also on A&F’s Home Office Development Team, both graduated from Ohio State a little over five years ago. Ankenbauer majored in hospitality management while Zwayer majored in psychology. Beside majors, the pair agree that your student involvement plays a large role in getting you where you need to be.
“Columbus and OSU are ingrained in each other,” Zwayer believes, which is a great thing to note for students looking for their next step to make.
He thanks proximity for OSU students being so well-equipped for Abercrombie’s internships. Alongside staying in college (of course), Zwayer also advises current students to put themselves out there and make sure they’re being as involved as possible. The Abercrombie & Fitch recruiting team is always bringing opportunities to interested students, such as hosting summits and inviting students to visit the A&F campus.
With their work organizing the A&F Challenge throughout the years, the pair have been impressed by Abercrombie’s commitment to philanthropy and giving back to the community.
“I’m proud to be a Buckeye. I still come to campus on the weekends in the fall,” Ankenbauer explains. “And I feel incredibly lucky to work at A&F.”
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. will present their Annual A&F Challenge on Friday, September 6 in New Albany from 5 to 11 p.m. The camp-inspired music festival and fundraiser teams up with SeriousFun Children’s Network. This year’s headliners include Galantis, Misterwives, Arizona, and Greyson Chance, with supporting acts Tae and the Wave, Bummers, the Mighty Troubadours, and Whiskey Business. Tickets can be purchased online here.