The Ultimate Summer Job in “Hollister, New York”

Craving crop tops and beach vibes while working long shifts at your vanilla retail job? Can’t relate! I spent the last two summers soaking up the sun (that is, the nearly identical fluorescent lighting) in Hollister Co! Based off of its parent organization Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister sells youthful, trendy attire for all genders, starting at tween age. There’s pretty much something for everyone at Hollister. Whether you’re into floral patterns or solid clothing, crop tops or sweatshirts, there’s a wide variety of clothing that showcases who you are- inside and out. 

I worked at Hollister for the past two summers, and can’t wait to go back for a third. Hollister is a unique company to work for because, unlike others, they are willing to accommodate college students’ schedules. Those who go away to school have just as good a chance at getting hired as their counterparts who stay home. Students can work summers, holidays, and breaks, then close out their availability when they’re enrolled in classes. It has meant so much to me to have a job to come home to when I finish a semester. While I’m getting back into the groove of helping “guests” find the look they want to achieve, everyone else is home stressfully filling out job application after job application. Hollister gives employees the ability to plan their lives around work by allowing them access to a scheduling system. Requests for days off are submitted online as opposed to begged for in person, which is the status quo at most part-time jobs. This gives students the chance to participate in activities outside of work, including internships and summer classes. 

Sadly, women in the United States are still fighting for equal pay and equality in the workplace. When discussed, most people picture corporate settings and full-time careers, yet gender discrimination commonly occurs in part-time job settings as well. Many of my female identifying friends come home with horror stories of having been touched sexually or harassed by male coworkers and managers. For those women seems like a nearly hopeless situation in which they can’t even turn to a manager for help. Fortunately, I have never had any of these experiences while working at Hollister. In fact, I feel that Hollister fosters an environment where men and women can grow together professionally and equally. Whether my managers were male or female, they always kept employees safe and were on the lookout for inappropriate guest behavior.  Having almost no dress code was amazing! There were very few attire requirements and those that existed mostly centered around accessories and tattoos. Employees can pretty much wear anything that makes them feel comfortable and confident! This meant that instead of sweating in conservative, long sleeve button-ups on hot days I could wear a tank top and not be viewed as unprofessional. Dress codes are a huge topic within the realm of gender equality and feminism. In most cases, their strict regulations sexualize women’s bodies and make them feel ashamed for even having skin. I’ll never forget my first day at work at another retail establishment where I came in wearing a floral romper that came halfway down my thighs and nearly up to my neck. They told me I was dressed “inappropriately” because my straps were too narrow and threatened to send me home. Even female coworkers made comments on how inappropriate my outfit was. Anyone’s first day of work would be anxiety-inducing, but being made to feel ashamed and embarrassed by my own body was overwhelming. Luckily,  I never had such an experience at Hollister. Instead, I felt empowered to be able to choose outfits that were comfortable to work in and made me feel good about myself. 

Hollister is progressive in so many ways, especially in its huge support for the LGBTQ community. During pride month, the store released a line of clothing that was LGBTQ inspired with bright colors and positive quotes. The store is decorated during pride month with LGBTQ pride posters and floor stickers. I was in charge of  “stickering” the floor during this time, which was one of the craftiest moments in my retail career. Sold merchandise is given to customers in special limited edition pride bags. Throughout the year, salespeople ask customers if they would like to round their total up to the nearest dollar for charity. The proceeds from this donation go to GLSEN, a charity that creates safe spaces for LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools. 

Thus far, working at Hollister has been the best work experience I’ve ever had. The company is trendsetting, progressive, and above all, chill. I met so many fascinating and hard-working people during my time there. My managers were bright people who never failed to put a smile on my face. No matter how many questions I had, they were always happy to guide me. They helped me grow professionally and personally. It was nice being able to work with people that were my own age because there was so much to relate to and connect about. I made some really great friends that I will never forget. In the past, there have been many negative rumors surrounding Hollister stores, but I’ll put any of those to rest. Hollister hires a diverse array of people and carries sizes for everyone. It's a positive environment that promotes gender equality, LGBTQ pride, body positivity, happy lifestyles, love, peace and more. I absolutely love my job. It has taught me so much about myself and shaped who I am becoming. So, next time you’re looking for an awesome summer job, hit up your local Hollister!