How to Get an Internship with Nordstrom


Founded in 1901 in Seattle, Washington, Nordstrom is a high-end specialty retailer focusing on outstanding customer service and cutting-edge fashion. The retail giant now operates 118 full-line stores as well as some reduced-price stores like Nordstrom Rack. The company’s paid nine-week (June-August) internship is a great opportunity for students considering a career in fashion and/or retail.

About Nordstrom internships

Nordstrom internships are listed online in the Student Center section of the Careers page. There are five types of internships listed for college students:

1. Retail management internship

The retail management internship, designed to move interns directly into assistant department manager roles, combines on-the-job training with classroom learning.

2. General headquarters internship

A General Headquarters Internship offers a glimpse of the work that takes place in Finance, Marketing, Product Development, and E-commerce. It’s a great opportunity for students to learn about everything that happens behind the scenes. Interns work on strategic projects and get the opportunity to meet company leaders.

3. Merchandising and planning internship

In a Merchandising and Planning Internship, students learn how merchants decide what products to buy (and how much of each one) as well as the ins-and-outs of negotiation and logistics – in a nutshell, everything that takes place before merchandise hits the sales floor.

4. MBA internship

This internship exposes MBA candidates to the business end of the fashion industry. Interns work directly with company leaders on strategic initiatives that affect sales, profitability, etc.

5. Technology internship

Technology interns learn things like coding, automation, and troubleshooting. Projects include things like system infrastructure, website development, and mobile app development.

All applications are made online. A cover letter isn’t necessary, but there is a place for you to include one if you choose. If your application makes a good impression, the next step is a phone interview. That’s followed by an in-person interview, either one-on-one or with a panel.

Tips for success

In an interview with Penny Loretto of About, Maureen Tryon, Northwest Regional Recruiter for Nordstrom, shared some insider knowledge on how applicants can land an internship with Nordstrom.

  • Her first tip is to take the internship seriously as both a learning opportunity that’s as important as any college course and a stepping stone to a career. Don’t treat it like a summer job.
  • Recruiters rely heavily on the online résumé/application. Tryon encourages applicants to list every job they’ve had and to include a lot of detail about their accomplishments and experiences.
  • Tryon says the applicants who impress her the most share common characteristics: eagerness, conscientiousness, open to learning, excellent sales skills, quick to take advantage of opportunities, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, competitiveness.
  • Regarding the possibility of interns moving on to full-time employment, Tryon says that students should consider their internship as the first – and most important – part of the application process. Interns who work hard, perform to the very best of their ability, ask questions, network, and stay in touch after the internship is over are the most likely to be considered when permanent positions become available.

Students considering careers in fashion or retail can find few better internships than those offered by Nordstrom. The current application cycle runs through January 15.