The Coffee Run: And Other Internship Need-to-KnowsIt’s been said over and over again that internships can open a world of doors for a recent graduate, and even more so the earlier you begin the interning process. University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences alum Sydney Fulkerson can surely attest to that. Sydney graduated in December 2014, a semester earlier than anticipated, with a B.S. in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles and a Minor in Business Administration. She has authored a what-to-do and how-to-do-it guide for students titled The Coffee Run: And Other Internship Need-to-Knows. After the book’s publishing in August 2015, the buzz on the street reached as far as The Today Show and The Huffington Post with mentions of the book being a favorite and “mandatory read for all upperclassmen.”

During Sydney’s college career, she had two high-end fashion sales internships in New York City and a marketing internship for a designer in Los Angeles. Sydney mentioned that her first two internships were more so the stereotypical “intern” tasks: running errands, making coffee runs (obviously), and administrative duties. “It wasn’t until my third internship where I discovered what I truly love doing, which is marketing,” said Sydney. Because it took Sydney until her third internship to discover this, she believes one of the most important things to keep in mind during your internship program is to never get discouraged. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in college or even after college, what’s most important is putting yourself out there and learning from the process.

Sydney recommends that all students, Merchandising, Apparel and Textile (MAT) majors specifically, explore and intern in various roles of their industry. “It’s difficult to figure out what you actually like and don’t like unless you put yourself in positions that provide hands on experience in that particular role,” said Sydney. “Why do people tour colleges before they apply? Why do people try on clothes before they purchase? Why do people date before they get married? It’s to see if it’s a good fit,” Sydney added. It’s the same with internships, which is why fully utilizing an internship program can turn out to be so beneficial. During your internship, it’s important to learn from your experiences and figure out your strengths and weaknesses along the way. Sydney mentioned, “The more opportunities you can have to do those things before you commit to a career after college, the greater the chances will be that you’ll be doing something you love—which is more important than people think.” She added that it’s important not to get stuck thinking of your internship as just an internship—think of it as the chance to grow your network, learn a ton, go out of your comfort zone and discover more about yourself. “Internships are what you make of them, so I advise you work hard and ask a lot of questions,” said Sydney.

With her college career internship experience, Sydney learned a multitude of valuable lessons that she shares in her book. The Coffee Run had raving reviews from multiple authors. Jack Myers, author of The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century, said “College students should not even think about starting their careers—or even an internship—without first reading Sydney’s important guidebook. Plus it’s a fun and entertaining read!” The Coffee Run can be purchased on Sydney’s website as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, and Baker & Taylor books. 

Author: Cara Croley
Contact: Cara Croley,
Terms: RTM