Recently, I went through a very difficult decision process to sort out my summer plans. For context, I am a junior soon to be heading into my senior year, and I am originally from Washington state. I have been working as a production intern at Tory Burch since the Fall semester and was offered an opportunity to stay with them as a product development intern over the summer. I have yet to stay in NY over the summer, and I always miss home this time of year since I’ve been away for so long. There were many things to consider when debating to accept this offer from Tory Burch. I wouldn’t be able to see my friends and family from back home over the entire summer, I wouldn’t be back in the PNW during one of my favorite seasons, and I wouldn’t be saving money from not paying rent. It is also my last summer as a student and I wanted to be very careful with how I used this fleeting freedom. On the other hand, if I stayed with Tory Burch, I would be building my resume and developing more skills and experience to further my career and eventually achieve my long term goal; I eventually want to move back to the West coast and work for iconic outdoor apparel and lifestyle brands, with one of my top picks located in Seattle, WA. If I stayed in NY over the summer, I would be helping my future job search when applying for positions back home, but was this worth not seeing my friends and family? In the end, I chose to take the internship with Tory Burch with hopes that working towards my long term goal would be best for me. There was really no right or wrong decision in this situation for me because I could see myself being both thankful and regretful at the same time for making either decision. Sometimes, you just have to push aside your critical analysis and just make a decision when one is needed. It made me realize that I’m at a point in my life where my choices are going to have direct consequences on aspects of my life, and that real planning needs to be put in place if I don’t want to lose control of my life. One thing I did to sort out my decision was I put together a 5 year and a 10 year life plan for myself, mapping out different aspects of my life, including career, health, and relational. These things are important to think about and develop an understanding of what you want. It’s never too early to start planning.
Being a student at FIT has enabled me to work a variety of internships, which has truly enriched my understanding of the topics we cover in our classes. While internship are billed as a way for you to learn, they do not teach you in the conventional sense. The things you will learn might be more about how to function in an office, not so much about what you might learn in school.
Today I thought I would share my top tips for making a good impression during your time at a company!
When given a project, make sure to listen carefully and takes notes if you think you need to. Sometimes someone will come over with one simple project and then think of a third, so no matter how simple a task is it always helps to write everything down. Also, if later on they have a revision or a question about what they assigned, you’ll have a written record.
Be Neat and Respectful
As an intern, you are a temporary part of a company. Keep a tidy desk (as best you can- sometimes things really pile up!) and be polite. If your supervisor is busy, or seems focused on a project, try emailing them instead of interrupting to ask questions or to let them know you finished a project. It might seem strange to email someone you are sitting next to, but ultimately when you leave the company, you want to be remembered for your contributions and not your detractors. Also, when it is your last day, clean out your desk! Do not leave anything for them to clean up after you. I’ve seen other interns depart without completely finishing projects and cleaning up, and it does not leave a good impression on their supervisors.
All Projects are Important
No matter how small or large a project is, give it the same attention. Scanning samples might seem completely irrelevant, but sometimes it is a test to see how well you can complete a task. No company will onboard you and immediately give you massive projects without first seeing how you handle the small tasks. Do everything as if it is important, and bigger responsibilities will follow.
At the core of being a good intern is having an attitude of service. If you notice your boss always staples her documents and highlights the date, do this for her if she asks you to print something! Simple favors like this show you are paying attention to what they are doing, and are often met with increased mentorship and attention
Leave on Good Terms
No matter what your internship is like, you are likely to see the people you work with again. Keep any negative opinions you may have to yourself, and maintain a professional attitude in the office. Even the best of internships will have moments that will make you want to vent, but leave it until after you leave for the day.
Those are a few ways I like to optimize my time as an intern. Keep an open mind at an internship and pay attention, and you’ll do great!
In my time at FIT, I have done four internships at fashion companies of all shapes and sizes. A question I often get asked is “what do you actually do?” This post is a bit about what my experience has been like interning in Production Management and Product Development.
There are usually some things you will do every day you come in, whether it is checking all the DHL shipments or filing paperwork. They seem insignificant but learning how to maintain simple office tasks is really helpful for when you have larger projects in addition to these small tasks. Busy work doesn’t disappear when you graduate!
I put this in quotes because organization can take all forms, whether it is cleaning out the sample closet or making a reference binder. I personally enjoy organization projects, as it gives you a chance to see a lot of documents, samples and information you might not otherwise have access to as a student.
Making the Most
When you are at an internship, you might have downtime. This is a good chance to ask around to other people if they need help! Sometimes someone who is not your direct supervisor might need help with a project, and you asking what you can do to help them might really improve their day!
Throughout the day you will get a variety of tasks, from small to large, projects you can complete in a day or that might take a few days to work. I’ve done all sorts of things, from logging all the cut tickets for a given season to making digital sketches of garments for a line sheet.
This varies from company to company and program to program. During my summer internship at Guess? (read more about that here) they organized special events for us to go to
I’ve also gotten to go to holiday parties, received unused samples as gifts, and made great friends with the fellow interns.
You never know what little perks will brighten up your day! When you come into an internship with no expectations, you will always be surprised.
Every internship is really different, and I have learned so much from each. No matter how simple or trivial a task may seem, there is always something to be learned from it.
This week I will continue to share with you the trip of Fashion week in Milan!
On our second part of the trip, there was still so much to discover. We made a stop at La Scala Laboratories, located in the Zona Tortona. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan is among the world’s most famous opera houses. At their Laboratory we were able to see where the magic begins and moves along onto the stage. Most of the handmade works for the production of stage design emerge from there. From set design, sculpture, carpentry works, mechanics workshop, set assembly, costume design, laundry, etc.
The next day we visited S2B press office specialized in public relations towards the fashion design industry. We had a very informative tour in their loft office about a few of the rising young designers they are working with. Some of their services include advertising planning, events production, product placement & celebrities, social media management, and image consulting!
The last two days were a dream come true! Our final stop was at Pino Grasso Atelier, a master of embroidery for the most renowned haute couture and ready to wear fashion houses. Some important clients include: Givenchy, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana. I was mesmerized by all the handmade work and countless number of hours put into a garment. There are many countless possibilities when it comes to embroidery and materials, from beads to sequins, feathers to fringes. They even work with designers to create innovative solutions for design requests, like flowers from plastic bottles!
Our trip to Milan was so rich of adventures with enriching information for the student’s fashion career start!
During my time at FIT I have had the pleasure of interning for several great companies! A lot of people coming to FIT have questions about how the whole process works, so I thought I would write some blog posts on how FIT can help you start your career while you are still in college.
When Should You Start Interning?
I would recommend completing at least one semester of college before applying. This gives you experience in your chosen major before you jump into a company. While internships are a learning experience, they are better for learning about industry and office applications of your education, not to learn the nuts and bolts of your field. FIT students start in their major-related classes from day one, which gives them a head start to learn as many of the basics before they begin interning!
Looking for an Internship
I have gotten internships all sorts of ways, from cold-calling companies by emailing a copy of my resume, to the FIT Career and Internship Database, to LinkedIn, to a referral from a friend. Keep an open mind, your first internship will likely be a smaller company and not a big brand name! This gives you the chance to refine your internship chops before growing into a bigger company. Also, smaller companies give you a wider range of tasks, which can help you decide what area your might like most.
The Application Process
When it comes time to apply, put your best foot forward! Fill out the application as wholly and truthfully as you can, and make sure to proofread everything. Use your school email, and make sure to check it frequently. If you get a message from a company, you want to reply as soon as possible!
The Waiting Game
When you apply, it’s likely you won’t hear anything back right away, or ever. Don’t take it personally! Companies get many many applications for each position, and they have to sift through everything. You might have a sparkling resume, but they might be looking for someone who is focused on a different area. I personally have applied for more internships than I can count, and only a few have panned out.
Relax, and put your best foot forward by being on time, dressed appropriately, with a few questions ready to go. Sometimes all the questions you have will be answered during the interview, but if they ask if you have any, enquire about the interviewer- why do they like working for the company? What do they enjoy about their job? Interviews are just as much an analysis of you as a potential employee as it is a chance for you to assess whether or not this is a place where you are willing to spend 10-20 hours a week.
Send a quick thank you note (I usually just sent an email expressing gratitude that they took time out of their day to speak with me) and hang tight. The internship application process generally has a lot of waiting time. People are busy, and while it might seem like they forgot about you, they might also be speaking to other candidates as well or have a big deadline approaching. If it has been over three weeks, consider following up with a polite inquiry if they have chosen a candidate yet. Even if you do go through several rounds of interviews, there is no guarantee they will let you know if you did not get the internship. The important thing to remember that for every job interview you go on, you get better at being interviewed and more confident.
Overall, persistence in applying for internships, patience with the review and interview process, and peace with the results will get you far. Like I said, I didn’t apply for four internships and get all four. Along the way there were many many failed interviews and ignored applications. Never take it personally!