Design / Handbags / Interns / Summer

Expectation Vs. Reality

When applying to design internships, you start to build a sense of curiosity as to what you believe and imagine your everyday life would be like. However, the reality of accepting a design internship was nothing as I expected. This internship was different than my expectancies in many ways and in most cases for the good.

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I imagined an internship would be completely office structured. I based this off of previous family and friends’ daily jobs and various internships. Nevertheless, in the hectic fast paced fashion world, it’s not case. This did not apply to my design internship because it ended up being much more than just sitting in an office cubical from the typical nine to five job. My whole week is rarely consisting of being in the actual office every single day but more so on the move to contractor meeting, events, photo shoots, and other miscellaneous places that take us well beyond a crammed office space.

Prior to this internship, I never imagined sitting in on a contractor meeting and seeing all the ins and outs of a product lifecycle. I pictured a design intern to basically have self-explanatory duty which would be ‘an intern who designs and sketches new product ideas’. Although this was applicable in some scenarios, this internship has taught me much more. I’ve learned what exactly is needed to go into production from the first step of coming up with inspirations & a seasonal color scheme, to actually preparing tech packs for production to begin, of which I had no idea was a necessity (see image below).

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I appreciated learning all of the factors it takes to run a business and to prepare for the production season, and along the way it lead me to pick up new vocabulary. As an apparel student at a strictly handbag company’s internship, I didn’t realize how some terms were not also relevant to handbag terms. It took some time to get use to the lingo, as the first contractor meeting I had ever sat on I was puzzled on what they were referring to half the time. What I would call a basic ‘pattern’ for garments, was not the correct term to used in the handbag vocabulary. The more appropriate term I learned is a ‘die’. It’s been intriguing learning more terminology throughout this internship as well as teaching Brynn a couple of apparel terms along the way!

Working in a small business, you are always learning from the other people around you regardless. When taking on an internship, I pictured a large company where everyone does their own daily work and living their own lives. This was completely different in my eyes. Although, us interns all have different tasks to complete, we are always asking each other’s opinions, asking for help, or even just sparking up friendly conversations. You can rarely catch the office quiet, which to me, helped me grow as an intern.

Socializing with the other interns and helping them out has actually opened my eyes to want to drift more towards a marketing perspective in fashion and I would have never gained this insight if it weren’t for working for a small and uprising company. It’s crazy how inspired I have grown just from the people around me!

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