A Day at Abercrombie & Fitch

On May 2nd, myself and 6 students were welcomed into the Home Office of Abercrombie & Fitch for a corporate site visit.

photoA&F, founded in 1892, has called New Albany, Ohio it’s “home” since 1988. Driving up to headquarters, I felt like I was driving into a state park. Beautiful trees everywhere. If I hadn’t just come off of Route 161, I would have thought for sure I was about to go camping in the wilderness.

Melissa (2011 graduate from Fisher and Honors Cohort alum) was there to greet us and provide an overview of our day. It began with an introduction to the Home Office and the company. A&F is a powerful company with revenues of over $4 billion that also owns Abercrombie Kids, Hollister Co, and Gilly Hicks. They see themselves as a “Casual Luxury” lifestyle brand, and I could see that brand embedded into every aspect of the Home Office. No detail was left unnoticed – the structure, the design, even the lighting embodied the brand perfectly.

From there, Melissa and 3 other campus recruiting representatives gave the students an overview of their internship programs. During their 10 week program, interns gain exposure to the multi-billion dollar retail industry through Merchandising, Inventory Management, Finance or IT. I highly recommend that Fisher students check out these unique opportunities! I could tell a great deal of thought and careful planning went into the design of their internship programs. Though competition is fierce for these highly coveted positions, working for such a well-known brand would be a great way to kick start your career.

From there, we met with 3 Fisher alumni who came through one of A&F’s Leadership Development programs, specifically Merchandising, Inventory Management, and Finance. It was so fascinating to hear first-hand how these Fisher graduates have taken their education and training and turned them into rewarding, fast-paced careers.

A&F Leadership Development Program from AnF Careers on Vimeo.

Then, we went on a tour to different parts of the campus, which included their IDC and a mock Flagship store. The IDC had me pretty geeked out, because I loved learning about the different ways they make their clothing, and all of the details that go into making every single garment. And touring their mock Flagship store, designed to be a reflection of their Flagship store in Milan, was was a truly unique experience as well. The company also has exclusive Flagship stores in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo.

After the tours, A&F kindly treated us to lunch in their AH-MAY-ZING cafeteria. I will try not to put all of the focus on this aspect of the tour, but oh my goodness… talk about a perk of working there. (For those curious, I had Creole Crabcakes and they were delicious). If I worked there, I’d probably go overboard in that cafeteria, but mercifully, there’s an on-site gym for employees. Good call. We had lunch with a few other Fisher alums who helped explain the corporate culture to the students. From what I gather, employees at A&F have a unique combination of drive, attention to detail, and optimism. The alumni we spoke with gave us a very positive impression of the company and their individual roles.

Finally, we gathered together to wrap-up and discuss the day. The students on the tour were all sophomores, so they will be candidates for the internship program interviews this fall. I would like to think these students will have a great advantage in the interviews, since they’ve been on site and know some great insider details now!

photo1Thank you Melissa and A&F for having us – it was a great day!

To learn more about corporate site visit opportunities for Fisher students, contact Audra at fry.272@osu.edu.