I began my endeavor of obtaining an internship six months prior to actually having a face-to-face meeting with any individual in the industry. Knowing that I wanted to get the most out of my experience, I defined my career goals so that I knew exactly what I wanted the internship to provide me. Those career goals ended up being broken up into two different categories, which are as follows:
· Visual Merchandising:
o Fashion Director
o Creative Director
· Textile Product Development:
o Forecast Analyst
o Trend Specialist
The after extensive research of the above goals, I concluded that the skills needed in order to obtain a job in these areas are as follows. Be able to:
o Keep the company updated on latest fashion trends.
o Direct company/retail storewide visual merchandising in creating overall theme.
o Create window displays and outfitting of mannequins according to these trends and themes.
o Work closely with entrepreneurs or market researchers in developing products keyed to specific end uses.
o Utilize high technology fabrics and processes in engineering products with special performance features.
o Feed a constant stream of fabric, color, texture, pattern, and product style trends to designers, merchandisers, promoters, and advertisers across the textile and apparel industry.
After I had established exactly what skills I needed and wanted to obtain, I began to research what companies in the industry would best satisfy these needs. Apart from my career goals, I knew that obtaining an internship in New York City was a definite. With that in mind I knew that the University offered a Study Tour to New York City during Spring Break. I contacted the advisor over the trip and obtained a list of contacts and their information and began to narrow down the companies I wanted to contact and initiate a relationship with. After the process I had decided on two companies in which I would pursue: Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger.
Over the next six months I established and maintained a dialogue with the two companies. Doing this allowed for when a meeting in person took place we knew whom the other was and then only needed to put a name with a face.
Simply gaining contacts in New York I knew was not all I had to accomplish before my arrival in New York for the study tour. With strong encouragement and guidance from one of my professors I created a professional portfolio along with business cards and a pristine resume.
In New York I was able to obtain an in person analysis of the companies I found an interest in. A new company, Bagir international, caught my attention when we visited their office. They were one that I had never heard of before and I found what they did to be astounding so I added them to my list. During our visit I made sure to ask as many questions as I could in regards to their company so that way I could possibly add them as a candidate. Upon leaving their office I made sure to exchange business cards with both the President of the company and the Fashion Marketing Specialist.
By the time I had left New York at the end of the week I had accomplished obtaining three interviews with two different companies. Upon returning to Washington State, I hand wrote and sent off thank you cards of my own design to all the companies that had shared their time and that I had an interest in. Within the next two weeks I had two offers for internship: Bagir International and Tommy Hilfiger USA.After being offered the internships, I sent each company the Internship Agreement Form pages to obtain the specifics that either internship would entail. When I had reviewed what each company was proposing, I made my decision on what company would best fit my career goals, interests, and the environment I would feel the most comfortable working in. The company that I chose was Bagir International.