Mini-internship with Vans presents Zoe Hazel ’22 with opportunities

A mini-internship at Vans headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, opened a world of opportunities for Zoe Hazel ’22 of Friendship, Wisconsin. She worked at Van’s during the week of Sept. 23.

Hazel applied for this internship through the clothing store Zumiez at the beginning of the summer of 2019. She then put it out of her mind to avoid potential stress. By the time that she finally heard back from Vans, just a few weeks before the internship was set to begin, she had almost forgotten about applying and had a moment of confusion upon answering the phone and being told she got the position.

Get Schooled by Vans required an application asking for strengths and qualities as a worker and two essay questions about the applicant’s favorite Vans collection and sponsor.

The two selected interns worked with Steve Van Doren, CEO of Vans and son of Paul Van Doren, founder of Vans. Hazel’s big project for the internship was designing a video for Steve Van Doren to post on his social media to display his Vans collection. A few days were put into the planning of the video, and on her next to last day in California, the video was filmed.

The final video can be viewed here.

“We also got to learn a lot about how the design process works for their shoes and how they do collaborations with other brands,” Hazel says.

For fun, she also was given a surfing lesson, a trip to Disneyland and the opportunity to see a stand-up comedy show featuring Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live.

“It’s really hard to choose a favorite part, but it was probably just getting to meet so many amazing people and to work so closely with them,” Hazel says, plus the fact that the people she was working with were friendly and open made it feel like her projects were not actually work.

She also got insight into possibilities for her future by meeting with a member of the communication department so she could learn more about what she can do with her communications major from Ripon College.

“Overall, my experience with Vans was absolutely amazing,” Hazel says. “It was my first time in California and my first time flying, but it was definitely worth it. I loved getting to know everybody that I worked with, and I definitely plan on applying for another internship soon.”

Jillian Heidenreich ’22
Monroe, Wisconsin


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