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Gifts to the Student & Auxiliary Services Experiential Learning Endowment provide salaries for student interns. Contact Student Affairs Advancement to learn how to make a gift.


Stepping Stone

Student & Auxiliary Services internship provides hands-on experience

Published Nov. 13, 2015
Story by Christine Jackson
Photo by Tiffany Melecio

Allison Ray stands in The Mizzou Store

An internship at The Mizzou Store gave Allison Ray a chance to apply lessons learned in the classroom. "I feel so much more confident walking into a department store and applying for a job," Ray says.

When textile and apparel management major Allison Ray applied for an internship with The Mizzou Store, she didn’t know quite what she was getting into, but she did know what she wanted.

Ray previously worked in a small boutique in her hometown of Chesterfield, Missouri. It was the kind of store where “you could stand in the center and touch all four walls.” But that experience wasn’t what potential employers were looking for, so she went searching for something that would help her stand out in the retail world.

As a general merchandise intern at The Mizzou Store, Ray got the experience she needed, and more. She studied sales and merchandising in classes, then headed to the Student Center for time in the ultimate learning lab. 

“I took a branding class this past semester, and my supervisor, Levi, asked if I was learning anything in class that I wanted to apply,” says Ray. “As a student you don’t often get that opportunity. I got to compare Nike and Under Armour and look at the sales for both of those.”

Along with the branding project, Ray worked the sales floor, helped with visual merchandising in the store’s “hot spot” and analyzed sales data to help the store better understand its tent sales.

By the time her internship ended in May, Ray had completed three projects for the store instead of the required one. Now that it’s over, she’s staying on as an employee for the store, hopefully until she graduates in May 2016.

“The best thing about this is that it was a kind of bridge for me,” says Ray. “I feel so much more confident walking into a department store and applying for a job. It’s the perfect stepping stone. This was the perfect complement to my major.”

This story was originally published in the division annual report, 2015 Student Affairs Highlights.

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail:

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Last updated: Aug. 15, 2017