- Girl: “Sooo, how many internships have you done?”
- Me: “Um, only one. Why?”
- Girl: “What JUST one? I’ve done six already!”
This was only sophomore year and this girl (which is almost every girl at FIT) has worked for six different companies already and counting. I suddenly freeze and my brain in matter of seconds is clouded with self-doubt, I mean what had I been doing for the past two years (studying, volunteering, working, enjoying life, traveling). Quickly, I (very much) lost interest when she started bragging about all the designers she (supposedly) met.
In your freshman year (and so forth) you will encounter this situation over and over again. The good news is that when it comes to internships it’s not about the quantity but of the quality (what you learned, how long where you there, did they slave you). To ensure that all of our students at FIT have amazing internships and career outcomes we have the Career and Internship Center. This valuable resource is located on campus in B-202 (or should I say in the Business and Liberal Arts Center) and available to the Students, Alumni and Industry.
Almost every major at FIT requires a credit-bearing internship during their AAS which you can choose to do in your 3rd or 4th semester. You can also do more than one internship and some of them might even be payed (just remember NO free labor, no matter how bad you want to work for that company or how big that designer label is). Prior to any internship there are orientation sessions which you have to attend and you will be guided through all the steps. In a nutshell:
- You get assigned a counselor which works with you through self-assessment and resume development.
- You get access to our Online Job Bank (which has been pre-screened to ensure fair labor and +), where jobs from the fashion industry get posted directly to us before going public.
- You choose your top 5, do your research (hand-in-hand) with you counselor and write cover letters, thank you notes and much more.
- You get a call-back and have a mock interview at the CIC (you go over work etiquette and what the industry requires) and finally go out into the real world (definitely beyond 27th and 7th) and get interviewed.
- You get a yay or a nay, and then select who you want to work with (keeping in mind that this is a binding contract you will be making)
- Next semester, you have an IC class 6 times where you report in with your professor and evaluate your internship, and get tools to further develop yourself in the workplace.
The CIC, also offers our students the opportunities to assist to On-campus recruitment events (the A-building lobby is usually lined up with tables where you can see Guess, Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren and +), Job and internship fairs, and Company information sessions (Macys, Kohl’s, Tommy Hilfiger and+) . Even after you graduate, alumni get Lifetime job search support and individual assistance from our career counselors.
So just remember what matters; that you get an internship where you are happy. A company that you like and admire and that values you as a human being, and prioritizes your knowledge (you are not there for fetching coffee). That girl might have done six, but I did the ONE I had always dreamed of doing. I got to work at Oscar De La Renta HQ directly with Senior Vice President Merchandising & Sales and the Senior Merchandising Manager for Childrenswear. I got to see firsthand how you start a collection, market and sell it. I could continue bragging like that girl did, but what’s the point? (you get me, it was AWESOME, every Dominican Girl in fashion’s dream). The connections I created are priceless and all I know is that if it wasn’t for FIT I would’ve never thought I could get there.
PS: How I wish I could find that girl and shove this pic in her face I’d take this 6 to 1, ANYDAY (booyah!)