Nordstrom's Retail Management Internship Program

Inside this program for students pursuing retail careers

View of busy Nordstrom store from outside
••• Donato Sardella/WireImage

Nordstrom is one of today's leading fashion specialty retailers. It was founded in 1901 in Seattle as a shoe store. As of 2019, Nordstrom operates 380 stores located in 40 states and Canada: 115 retail stores, plus 250 Nordstrom Racks, six Trunk Club personal stylist clubhouses, three Jeffrey boutiques, two clearance stores, and four Nordstrom Local service concepts. Also, Nordstrom has additional outlets through its online presence and catalogs.

Nordstrom is in direct competition with other luxury retailers such as Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Landing a career with Nordstrom means working for a major global player in retail. The company also offers students a great opportunity to learn—and potentially get their foot in the door—through its internship programs. In this article, we'll look at the retail management program specifically, with some highlights from the program's former northeast regional recruiter, Maureen Tryon.

Working for Nordstrom

Nordstrom has been named among Fortune Magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work For." Additionally, Nordstrom's internship program has been rated as one of the top five programs in the country by Glassdoor and received a three-and-a-half star rating (out of five) in a poll of 1,307 past interns. One of the reasons Nordstrom ranks so highly as one of the top "100 Best Companies to Work For" is because of its commitment to empowering its people to take ownership of their success in the company.

The Internship Experience

Tryon described the internship program in this way:

"Our internships have been a great program for us. We enjoy finding interested students who excel in their performance and see Nordstrom as home. Our internship program runs June through August, and each year our successful interns make up a large number of our new hires."

Here are some of the details of the program:

  • Nordstrom's Summer Internship Program is open to college juniors and seniors who possess a passion for a career in retail.
  • Interns will be mentored and learn from highly experienced and dedicated professionals who portray all that Nordstrom is about.
  • The program provides nine to 10 weeks of hands-on, meaningful work experience.
  • Responsibilities involve selling, serving customers, and participating in a variety of program activities and events.
  • Participants will be exposed to a wide range of management responsibilities by meeting key leaders and seeing many aspects of the business.
  • It offers interns first-hand insight into Nordstrom's culture, which will prepare them to consider the company as a potential career after graduation.

Program Qualifications

Nordstrom seeks applicants for its internship program who possess the following qualities:

  • Passionate about the retail industry
  • High-achieving
  • Strong team players who will work collaboratively

Candidates must check each individual listing to find out the exact requirements for each position.

Retail Management Development Internship Program

The Nordstrom Retail Management Development Internship Program (one of four programs available) allows students to learn the retail business in one of the most important jobs in the company—sales. Interns will spend time on the selling floor in a specific merchandise area, work with many levels of management, and gain exposure to different areas of the retail business. They will also work closely with department managers and other interns on assigned projects and attend management meetings and training seminars.

Retail internships are available at Nordstorm retail stores throughout the United States. Corporate internships are available at the company headquarters in Seattle.


An internship at Nordstrom allows students to explore the retail industry and learn more about the various aspects of running a major retail business. Internships focus on store management, product design and development, and buying, which gives students a wide choice of experiences to explore. Internships offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, vision and dental coverage, a fabulous merchandise discount, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, and more.

To Apply

To learn more about internships and careers with Nordstrom, you can visit its website and enter in your criteria. When you're ready to apply, take a look at a sample resume and other advice for landing an internship.