Internship Diaries Week 2: Is Anyone Sane?
Real Talk |  Source: www.ladolcevitablog.com

Internship Diaries Week 2: Is Anyone Sane?

Another week in retail!

The answer is no. No one is sane, at least no one that I came in contact with this week. Don't believe me? Let me start with a story that will surely capture the tone of my week.

Monday morning I get into work and I'm informed there is a message from a customer that I need to attend to. I'm a little frustrated before even picking up the phone to listen to it, I've been at work for 10 minutes and already there is an issue. Little did I expect that the message was from someone's whack-job grandmother. Her request will frustrate anyone who's ever worked in retail or customer service.

She wanted me to help her locate a tee shirt she purchased two years ago. Two fucking years ago. Stellar. The chance we still sold a product from two years was slim. I called her back and after a lot of rambling she finally told me what she was looking for. I asked her to please read me the style number in the tag so I could see if we still had it. This was a process in and of itself because she literally read me the whole entire tag, washing instructions and all, before finally giving me the style number.

When I searched it I was relieved it was one of the basics we always had in stock. I thought my job was done and she could hop online and order it. Little did I know I was also going to have to teach this woman how to use the world wide web. I literally had to tell her everything down to putting ".com" at the end of the URL. I also had to tell her at least 35 times the name of the website.

Once we were there it was a struggle explaining how to shop by category and where to find the tee. Much more went into this conversation, but eventually we got the job done. She then spent five minutes telling me what a great employee I was and asking if she could talk to my boss to tell me that. Sweet, but I just wanted off the damn phone.

The rest of the week consisted of absurd tasks like:
-Tracking down the UPS man and convincing him to give us a package my boss wanted NOW.
-Completely reorganizing an entire showroom only to be told that they actually liked the original way better - so then reorganizing it.
-Spending a whole day running around town searching for chicken noodle soup. Seriously. Not kidding.

That's the thing with interning, especially in the fashion industry, and especially for free. There is no such thing as a typical day. You go into work every morning without a clue what the day is going to hold. Sometimes you end up helping a lunatic work the internet, and sometimes you get to spend the day dressing and undressing models. It's really just a gamble.

So that, my lovely readers, is exactly why this week is entitled "Is Anyone Sane?" because no one is. This week was strange and busy and stressful and the only thing getting me through is knowing that next week will be spent showing the brand's latest collection to boutiques around the city. AKA shopping days!

See you next week (send good vibes, I need them).

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Real Talk |  Source: mrs.kohanova

Why Every College Kid Should Work In Retail At Least Once

Who doesn't like discounts?

The dreaded retail. Everyone who has ever worked retail probably utterly despises it, and for good reason. The pay sucks, the hours suck, you get crappy, snobby customers, and sometimes even crappier coworkers. Even though these are all legitimate reasons to never work retail, there are so many reasons why you actually really should.

Every day is a networking opportunity.
Working in retail means you are constantly driven insane by the hundreds of needy, whiny, usually rude, customers that walk through your door. But you never know who that 35-year-old acting like a 10-year-old could be. For all you know, he could be the head of a huge company, or even your company CEO.

You never know who you're going to help, and who will remember you, and this not only teaches you patience, but how to pretend you like someone when you actually despise them--a very useful tool when going into the workforce.

Discounts, discounts, and more discounts.
Retailers always offer their employees discounts. And, as ridiculously in debt, poor college kids, we can use any discount we can get. My first job in retail was at JCPenney, and they gave their employees 25-percent off of all merchandise. Period.

The best part is, it could be combined with rewards, coupons, sales, anything. You could get a $30 shirt for $10. You'll end up spending almost all of your check there, but hey, you have cute new clothes to keep you warm and happy while you go into more debt!

You don't have to rearrange your class schedule.
Most jobs, besides retailers, aren't very cooperative with schedules. And if they have set hours, you're royally screwed and have to rearrange, drop, or work around all of your classes. Ain't nobody got time for that. So go grab a job with Macy's and keep your perfect schedule along with it.

Bonuses and performance rewards.
Free stuff is a college student's wet dream, and with a retail job, you get bonuses and free stuff up the ying yang--bonuses for meeting goals, contests, etc. Plus, sometimes they have parties with free food.

There is a job for you almost everywhere you go.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of retail stores across the U.S. alone, maybe even more. If you have any experience with any retail store, it's almost guaranteed another one will hire you if you move. So bounce around all of the United States like the hippie you know you want to be; you just won't be as poor as one.

You will learn valuable skills.
Retail teaches you a lot of lessons besides how to use a cash register and fold t-shirts like a boss. While working in retail, you're definitely going to learn how to work on a team, how to communicate effectively, how to control your feelings (trust me, the crappy customers teach you how to deal with the real world better than any therapist ever could), and generally, it just makes you a better, more rounded person.

If you're looking for a side-job during college, look into retail. You never know where it could lead you.

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Real Talk |  Source: goodluz

Internship Diaries: Week Three

Chicken with its head cut off

The subhead of this one is so lame, I get it. Who even says "chicken with its head cut off" anymore? Here's the thing though, there is literally no better way to explain how this week has felt. I have spent the last few days not only running around the city, but also running around Long Island and New Jersey.

Between dealing with closed tunnels imperative to making it to meetings on time and dealing with a two-day heads up that shit needs to get ready and organized for a shoot, it's been quite a week. Although I don't want you to be misled into thinking that means it was a bad week. It was actually a fantastic one.

Let's start with the Jersey and Long Island thing, so I can explain to you why being stuck in NYC traffic for a good chunk of my day was worth it. I work in an industry that offers internships that are a complete gamble. I have no idea if I'll spend the week packing boxes and reorganizing closets, or if I'll find myself with a little more hands on responsibilities.

For the fashion industry, it's currently buying season. We have our Fall/Holiday collections ready and it's time to start selling the line to major department store and boutiques. While major department stores always come into the showroom to buy, small independent boutiques don't always have the time or money to come into the city. So that means we go to them.

So for two days this week my boss (who I think is totally cool) and I rented a car and headed out to sell our collection. Meetings for this typically only take 20-30 minutes, which means plenty of time to take advantage of the day. So when we were finished with the meetings, we shopped and ate and enjoyed not being in the office. We also stopped for donuts on the way back. Both days. I highly suggest you work for someone who likes to eat as much as you do.

I'm now in the process of running around in complete chaos getting ready for a shoot we have tomorrow. A shoot that the not-super-stellar-at-communicating head of the company told us about yesterday. Which essentially leaves a day and a half to get everything organized and errands run to prepare. The shoot is for a men's spring collection, which typically happens the summer before.

The day before the actual shoot is always spent steaming, taking care of catering, making sure people are where they need to be, running and getting various snacks and random other items we'll need throughout the day. The day of the shoot will require an early call time to re-steam the clothes and get everything set up so we can start shooting the second everyone's there. Days like this tend to be 8-7 p.m. rather than 9-6 p.m.

But trust me, if the excitement of being on set isn't enough to help you through the day - helping dress a model will.

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Real Talk |  Source: wrangler

Internship Diaries Week Four: Bullshit on Bullshit

I'm not a magician for God's sake

If I haven't already mentioned in a previous installation of this series, I work for free: $0 a day, every day, all summer. I'm actually totally fine with this. You've got to pay your dues in this industry and I knew going in that no fashion internship was going to pay me unless I was in the merchandising or retail side of a big name company (and I'd rather die).

But I do think that you can only ask so much of an unpaid intern. For example, the fact that I worked from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Friday is absolutely insane, even more insane when you consider the fact that I worked a solid two hours longer than the company's actual employees. I was excited for the weekend to refresh and come back to a hopefully much less chaotic and much more smooth sailing week. That didn't happen.

Let me just say this: I absolutely love my boss. She's funny and bitchy and cool as shit. The owner of the company, however, I'm not such a fan of. This company would be great to work for and going into work everyday would be something to look forward to, if it wasn't for the "King of Bullshit" himself, aka my boss.

I'm not being dramatic or playing this up for the sake of this article; he is the most unreasonable man I have ever met. He's the kind of guy who, if he asked you to walk on water would expect you to literally walk on water.

This week was filled with unreasonable requests, even more than usual. Monday started off with the request that the other intern and I deliver a package 20 blocks away in less than 15 minutes... walking. Now I know I failed a math class or two in my day but I do know that that is absolutely not possible. Of course he was mad when it was 5 minutes late, which is absolutely absurd. Sorry I'm not fucking magic.

Then there was the request to fit a whole shipment of clothes, which is normally about 30 pieces, into a closet that was already overflowing to the point it would not shut. That took a solid hour to figure out. And lastly came the shit storm that was yesterday's sample closet debacle. The other intern and I were asked to stay late and refold a closet that holds samples for the current live season, which was no problem. Like I said, in this industry, you pay your dues.

We spent a solid hour and a half, sorting, steaming and folding pieces to get this already packed closet to look as neat as possible. Even after all of that work, we still received a screenshot of an email he sent to my direct report later that evening complaining about what a shitty job we did and the fact that he had to spend an hour of his time redoing the closet. When I got in this morning, I checked the closet to see what he thought it should look like: It looked nearly identical to the way the other intern and I left it. I think it goes without saying that it lit me up.

I'm going to wrap up with this: As soon as he starts calling me by my name, I'll start putting a little more effort into bending over backwards to accomplish the impossible. And for any of you dealing with bullshit bosses, I get it. Just remember that you're building your resume and as cheesy as it sounds, you're also building your character.

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Real Talk |  Source: Tintim

Tips for Getting an Internship in Fashion

The Devil Wears Prada?

The fashion industry is ROUGH. I mean, really rough. It's hard enough to learn about it in school with all-nighters and studio classes, none the less actually live it when it's time to be a real-life adult. It's a difficult field to enter, and to anyone up for the challenge, I salute you.

I study fashion design and merchandising, so I'm learning both the creative and business sides to the industry. My school requires us to participate in a "co-op," which is essentially a six-month internship at the business of our choice.

I just began the application process, and was not sure how to get a college internship, or how to get college jobs. As soon as I started applying to places, I realized how tough the application process can be. Finding the right job in the fashion industry is difficult, not to mention extremely competitive, especially if you are wondering how to get a job in college.

One of the hardest parts about applying for fashion internships is getting your name out there. You need to build yourself up as much as possible whether it's through a retail job, social media, etc. You also need to apply to the right section of the industry, whether it's e-commerce, styling, graphic design, or merchandising. Here are few tips on how to make your internship application process a little less stressful and actually land a college internship.

1. Check online for companies that are hiring.

Believe it or not, some companies use websites to post their applications. I know when I started to look, I didn't know how to get a college internship, let alone where to find one. I ended up using FreeFashion Internships.com because new jobs are posted almost daily!

2. Amp up your LinkedIn.

If you don't have one, get one. Nowadays, so many companies are using LinkdIn as a source to find new employees, and we can use it to find them! You can "search" for your company of choice, and get in touch with people who already work there. It's also helpful to send other interns a message and ask them advice on how to apply.

Believe it or not, companies actually use them as a resource to learn more about you. Make sure yours is updated and looking good when you start applying! This is the easiest way to find college internships!

3. Do a social media clean up.

Your parents and teachers constantly nag you not to have inappropriate photos on your social media, and they're right. Even though you're not applying to the average business, suit-wearing internship, it's still a good idea to delete the pictures that may be questionable.

4. Stand out from the rest of the applicants.

Do something that makes you unique! Add a pop of color to your name on your resume, or create an online portfolio of all of your work through PortfolioBox.com. You're not applying for just any job, so it's OK to get a little creative. You can also create a fashion blog, or give your employer the link to your Instagram page if you think that will help you.

5. Always include a cover letter with your resume.

A lot of people forget this step, but it's extremely important to show your potential employer your level of interest in the job. It can't hurt you, and it can provide more personal detail than your resume will.

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Real Talk |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

The Case For Emotional Support Animals

Helping college kids succeed.

There has been a change in the world of animals used for medical reasons. Traditionally, one has service animals, which are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit an individual with a disability. There are also animals that are referred to as support animals or emotional support animals. Instead, support animals provide therapeutic benefits to their owner through affection and companionship. A support animal will often be a cat, which may seem strange to some considering that many cats are not social animals. I know a girl with an emotional support chinchilla.

Support animals are becoming more common throughout the United States. So much so that support animals are protected under certain laws, such as the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) and the Fair Housing Authority (FHA). Even though support animals are not as protected as service animals, more and more colleges across the country are allowing students to have support animals in their dorms.

To many, emotional support animals seem like a joke. They do not perform tasks. They do not alert others of a medical emergency with their owner. They do not have to go through any training. However, they can make the difference between life and death.

I don't want to sound like a person that doesn't appreciate what they have, because I do. However, I also recognize the daily struggles that millennials are facing. Through personal conversations, I have learned that more of my classmates are paying their own ways through college than I ever expected. I am thankful that I get some help from my parents, but that is not the case for everyone.

As a millennial, my entire high school career was full of teachers telling me that I had two options if I wanted to make it in the real world: college or military. That choice alone can be stressful. To people paying their own way through college, which will likely leave a student in thousands of dollars of debt, getting an education is extremely stressful. My college also requires everyone to do an internship in order to graduate. Internships normally take up the same amount of time as at least a part-time job. That adds more stress onto a student. College isn't just about the grades anymore; it's extremely competitive, which causes everyone's stress levels to rise.

This is where colleges acknowledging the benefits of emotional support animals is extremely important. Support animals can save lives. My cat has prevented me from even acknowledging suicidal thoughts for over two years now because I am the only person responsible for taking care of her. She is my responsibility, so I have to stay alive so that she can have a good home.

That might seem ridiculous to many people, but this is what support animals do every day. There are times where I can't put gas in my car because I have to buy my cat food. That said, I would never give her up to save 20 to 30 bucks a month. My cat saved me.

There are other animals saving other people by just existing in their homes. College kids may be broke, but we need all the support that we can get. A personal friend of mine, Kayla, also has an emotional support animal. Her animal is also a cat, but where mine helps with my depression, her cat helps with her anxiety. Kayla said that her cat seems to know when she gets shaky, and although her cat doesn't stop the anxiety attack, "she makes it easier". Kayla recently graduated and lives alone. Her cat helps her stay in a more positive mood by making Kayla feel worthwhile by having something that relies on her.

Self-worth is extremely important for everyone, but even more so for recent college-graduates of a major that does not have many job openings for people with less than five years of experience. Kayla's cat is a prime example of what emotional support animals can provide. More and more college graduates it seems are facing financial struggles due to a lack of jobs in their career fields. A retail job just doesn't cut it when it comes to paying back loans.

Some people get emotional support from friends. Some people get support from family. Some people find self-worth in getting good grades. Some people find a way to keep fighting just to prove someone wrong. However, these things don't cut it for everyone.

If support, self-worth and a desire to keep living come in the shape of an animal, colleges need to recognize that. Kayla and I are extremely lucky that our college cared so much about our mental health and accepted emotional support animals as an integral part of students taking care of themselves.

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