Internship empowers junior Addison Bauer to begin her career a year early

Tractor Supply started out a mail-order catalog business in 1938. Since then, they’ve grown to become one of the largest rural lifestyle retail stores in the United States. They sell everything someone may need to maintain their farms, ranches, homes and animals.

As a merchandising intern for the company, junior apparel merchandising major Addison Bauer was able to attend vendor meetings, be trained on company software, and work on product assortments.

“It has been an amazing experience,” she said.

Addison picked up hard and soft skills that will benefit her in the long run.

“I have met so many people, gotten to have individual conversations with the CEO, and grown as an individual into a much more well-rounded human being,” she said.

Interning at Tractor Supply has allowed Addison to feel confident that she can graduate from IU a year early and begin her professional journey. However, she had already gained many skills from her studies that translate directly to the workplace.

“Some of the most rewarding parts of this internship was being able to take what I have learned in the classroom and been able to have in-depth conversations with buyers and vendors and actually be taken seriously,” Addison said. They were fully anticipating me not to understand all of the terms used in meetings and when I could participate in the conversation it made me being here that much more worth it.”

Addison learned “how cross-functional retail is” and how the process behind releasing a product in-stores involved many people working together. She worked hands-on with Ridgecut, a new line of outdoor wear that Tractor Supply Company recently released.

“There is so much to retail than the average store you see every day,” she said. “It is such a process to even get one little sign changed in the store.”

By Kiki Lin
Kiki Lin Peer Coach