Intern Series 4 – What if I Don’t Like my Internship?

Hey Everyone!

This is the next installment in my internships series – and an important one to consider. Not every internship is going to be what you imagined, and it’s important to still act professional even if the company isn’t!

As tempting as it is to quit, or just completely go ghost and never show up again, honor your commitment to the company and stick things out. Internships after all are temporary, and poor experiences teach you a lot more than you would think. Learning how to work in a situation you wouldn’t prefer is a valuable experience- in your career there will surely be positions and companies you do not enjoy. You might not have a choice but to stick it out for one reason or another, so you might as well start practicing doing your best in a poor circumstance.

Talk to Your Supervisor
If something is bothering you, for instance you need some time off to work on homework or you feel you aren’t being given appropriate work, ask your supervisor if you can talk. More often than not, whatever is bothering you can be addressed by just talking to your supervisor. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them directly, maybe a coworker can offer advice or help to get you what you need.

You are a student
Not all classes are enjoyable, but you will always learn something from them- for example I learned from pattern making class that I am not well suited to ultra precise tasks. Internships are like a class in the “real world” and the same rules don’t always apply but see your office as a classroom. Be on time, be present, and be okay with it not being a perfect subject for you. School is trial and error. Through internships I’ve found I don’t like small companies, and also love offices that have a lot of fun. This has helped me in my job search. Now is the time to learn what you like and sometimes that means doing stuff you don’t like.

Look at what your boss does, and not just what you do
As an intern, you’re likely not going to be doing the exact work you would be after graduation. You do have a window into what your boss does, and that can help you decide if you like the career choice or need to pivot. I’ve had internships where I found my work to be a drag, but for the most part I thought what my bosses did was interesting. Know that your work as an intern likely won’t be the same as that of a graduate.

Soak it all up
Like it or not, might as well get something from your time. Read reports, ask to sit in on meetings, and try to master the photocopier. Everyone at FIT has a crazy internship story- and we all survived. Some of the worst things I’ve had to do I laugh about now. It’s all temporary.

Have you ever had to stick it out at an internship? What helped you get through it? Leave a comment below!

Sam

Alternative Thanksgiving Plans in NYC

Now that Halloween has passed, we are onto the next holiday…Thanksgiving! I myself am not from the East coast and can rarely go home for the holidays, so here are some things you can do to celebrate the festivities while away from home and family.

FIT Residential Life Thanksgiving Feast

Res-life always hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for students that stay in the city for the holiday. Take advantage of a free meal and hang out with friends on campus.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

This Nov. 28th will be the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebration. Come celebrate an iconic and historic NYC event along with the rest of the city either in person or live on TV. If you want, you can go the night before to watch the balloons get inflated as well.

Bryant Park’s Winter Village

Bryant Park is a wonderful place to stroll through and take a look at all the holiday gift and food shops. This is a great place to look out for that perfect present or to get a cheap bite. There is also the the skate rink which as free admissions but costs $20 to rent skates. It gets cold on the ice so make sure to bring gloves and a jacket.

Friends-giving

Gather a group of friends to have a home cooked (or ordered out) “family” meal. You can make it a potluck to make the menu easier on whoever is hosting, but make sure to contribute something to the group.

(Window) Shop around on black Friday

There are so many online and in store deals to take advantage of. Check off all your Christmas list items or just peruse. You can also stop by the famous Macy’s window displays at Herald Square along your way.

Volunteer with New York Cares

New York Cares is the largest volunteer network in NYC that has opportunities in all 5 boroughs. It requires a quick and simple orientation but after that you are free to sign up for as many volunteer opportunities as you’d like, spanning from gardening to child and senior care to tax prep.

Explore the changing season at Central Park

Get a breath of fresh air at one of the many parks around NYC. Central Park will be showcasing the full force of Autumn with its beautiful foliage. Grab a bite to eat and walk around to one of the many locations in CP, such as the skate rinks, the CP zoo, the boat launches, or the Bethesda fountain.

Visit a Zoo

Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Central Park Zoo are all open the day of Thanksgiving. Tickets for all three locations are $13 (unfortunately they do not offer a student discount). View animals such as exotic birds, sea lions, red pandas, grizzly bears, and snow leopards.

FIT Career Fair

Hi Everyone!

Career and Internships fair in full swing!

This week FIT had its biannual Career Fair, hosted by our Career and Internships Services!  This was my first time going but I was surprised by how many employers were there, and by the amount of students as well.  It was totally worth going to, and I wish I had printed more resume copies to take with!
I found that while booths like Micheal Kors and Saks 5th Avenue got long lines, it was a great chance to talk to companies that are more “behind the scenes” in the industry.  I enjoyed speaking to Haddad Brands, Centric and Li and Fung, all companies that produce products for major brands like Nike and LEVI’s.  The list of attending companies gets sent out ahead of time, so it is a great chance to look up companies you might not have heard of before.
FIT gives a great education, but opportunities like this are what makes attending here really worth it!  Getting to speak to HR recruiters for your field is a great chance to hear about opportunities and internships you might not have otherwise.
What companies would you like to meet at our career fair?
Sam

Production Management Club Guest Speaker

Hi Everyone!

One of the cool things FIT offers are our many clubs. Students can easily join a club, or even start their own! My major, Production Management, has its own club, and this past Thursday had a guest speaker. G-III is a massive and successful player in the apparel manufacturing field, and we were lucky enough to have one of their Vice Presidents of Sourcing and Production.

She shared with us her usual day to day responsibilities, and what a business trip typically looks like. Production Management can involve lots of travel, especially to Asia, and she walked us through the process of visiting up to three spread-out factories in a day! She also shared photos of the manufacturing facilities, and the sewers working on goods.

Another part I found helpful was her discussion of what can help propel an intern/student/new graduate. She emphasized the importance of taking things off your bosses plate, instead of adding to their work. Anything you can do to help those above and around you will help you work your way up in a business. As a student, hearing from someone so advanced in their career is incredibly invaluable, as one day I want to be like her! She was also generous enough to share her business card and email for if we had further questions.

Clubs at FIT are a great way to get involved, network, and meet great people. I would really encourage checking them out during your time at FIT!

Sam

College Application Tips

Hey everyone,

As it comes time to finish up college applications (good luck seniors and transfers!) I thought I would give a few tips for the college search process. These don’t just apply to FIT – use them anywhere!.

Email Address

When you fill out info cards for schools, or admissions applications, I would encourage you to use a professional email. Make one that is your first and last name, and if it is taken try and find a way to adapt it. Not only will having an email that is your name be good for college applications now, but in the future when applying to jobs it will come in handy. If your name is typical, you might need to get creative with periods and underscores but I think having a good email is so important. Even if you have one with your high school, consider using a generic hosting service. You won’t always be a student at that school, and this is a great way to start branding yourself!

Check Your Email Often

To go along with the above point, check your email frequently! You never know what important emails might be sent your way, whether from admissions or asking for additional information. A daily glance should be plenty, but don’t ignore it in case something important is sent your way.

Neat Handwriting

This may sound silly but if there is any part of your application that is hand written, or if you fill out a card at a fair, use your best penmanship! If admissions counselors and those that work in the office cannot read what you wrote, it might hold up the process of getting you in the system or be misread. If you’re at a college fair, I have seen some students come with “business cards” with information about them, or even stickers to put on info cards. Get creative!

Talk to Current Students

If you can, see if you can meet current students at the schools you’re interested in. Ask them about stuff like the campus, food, student experience, things you won’t learn about on the website or a tour. Another thing I love to point students to is YouTube. FIT students especially love to vlog and show their lives and dorms. It’s a great way to see what student life actually looks like on a day to day basis, the struggles and the fun stuff.

Visit During the Semester, on a Class Day

If at all possible, visit a school when class is in session. FIT is a very different place Tuesday at 1pm and Sunday at 10am. While visiting during summer or winter break may be the only time you can come, I would really recommend trying to be here when the majority of the student body is here to see what the student body and campus culture is really like. When the weather is nice, loads of people hang out in the breezeway and we have fairs and flea markets.

Writing Your Admissions Essay

Make sure to really read the prompt. FIT has a specific question they want you to answer. Your admissions chances will greatly improve with quality essays instead of quantity. Take the time for every school you apply for to tailor your response to their prompt and their mission as a school.

Good luck in your applications process! Take a deep breathe and trust the process.

Sam