Internship Diaries Week Four: Bullshit on Bullshit
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

Internship Diaries Week 1: Back at It

A behind the scenes look

This week has me thanking the powers that be for two reasons:

I'm back in the city and out of the midwest

I'm back working in the industry I love - fashion

While I'm going to keep the name of the company and the people who work here out of these posts, for the sake of privacy (and also in case I have negative things to say), my goal of this series is to give you a peek into my life as an unpaid intern taking on the real world.

Let's first get started with a little background information as to where I'm at and how I got here. For those of you who look at who these posts are by, I'm currently a student at Indiana University studying Fashion Editorial Arts, which is ironic because I'm actually not working in the editorial world at all.

I've always known the fashion industry was apart of my future and before creating my own major, I was going down the merchandising path looking for any internship I could find. So I hopped on (take note fellow fashion students) and started applying to random companies. Long story short, I got an interview at the place I am at now and this is my second consecutive summer with the relatively new high end contemporary brand based in NYC.

The first week is pretty much always focused taking care of shit that the company was waiting for an intern to show up and get done. I spent the first couple days consumed in bitch-work. However, I feel like I should point out that I love the company and I'm totally fine with busy work and sometimes menial tasks. I did everything from update stock on the website to delivering cupcakes across town to my boss's friend for her birthday (seriously). Luckily though, I have a fellow intern to help get shit done.

Sorry if I'm putting you to sleep, I promise from here on out the weeks will get much more exciting. I just wanted to start this off with a basic introduction and get the boring shit out of the way. If this summer is anything like last, stay tuned for crazy client drama, male model castings, and rooftop photoshoots. Also a lobster roll or two, we're really into those here.

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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: N. Leeper, FlockU

5 Ways To Be The Best Intern You Can Be

And the most memorable.

Scoring an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door and impress future employers in whatever industry you're going into. However, nowadays everyone is an intern.

Just getting the job isn't enough, you've got to make yourself an intern worth remembering. Make yourself the person that people want to have working for them.

You never know what impressing your boss could mean. Perhaps it means they want to hire you on or take you along with them to wherever they end up next. If you want to be the best intern you can be then follow these five pieces of advice.

1. Don't ask questions until you've tried to figure it out yourself.
The purpose of your internship is to learn and grow in whatever field it is that you've chosen to go into. However, your other purpose is to lend an extra hand to the people you're working for.

While questions are totally acceptable and even expected, bombarding your boss with them every time you are assigned a new task is going to make them wish they'd hired someone else. A good intern and a good employee is someone who is given a task and can figure it out on their own.

Everyone at the office has their own jobs to worry about. Try to really think through an issue before you bother someone else about it.

2. Always be doing something, even when there's technically nothing you need to do.
While I can't tell you exactly what this task could be, as that will vary internship to internship, I can tell you there is always something you can be doing.

If you've wrapped up what you've been asked to do don't just sit around on your phone or on your laptop, do something productive. Whether that means organizing a sample closet or doing some market research. Find something productive and beneficial to your employer to do.

3. Don't rush out at the last minute.
You don't need to be out the door the second the clock strikes five, unless your boss has already excused you. Stick around to make sure there is nothing that needs done to wrap up for the day.

Just staying an extra five minutes to finish something up or help out will show your employer that you actually want to be there. People like people who care.

4. Help with small tasks.
This is a great way to stand out amongst a sea of other interns the company does have or has had.

If you see someone higher up than you making copies on the copier, offer to do it for them and bring them over when you're done. If you see them scrambling to find something in the supply closet or taking out the kitchen trash, offer to do it yourself.

Showing that you're willing to pay your dues and help out with the small tasks will really impress those you're helping out.

5. Never look bored.
I don't care if watching grass grow is more exciting than your day at work, don't show it. A good intern is always engaged and awake. Looking bored will come off as you not caring. If you look like you don't care, people are going to wonder why you're there in the first place.

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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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Your Internship as Told by Harry Potter

You're an intern, Harry!

It's finally July, and that means that if you haven't already begun your summer internship, it's probably about to start. No one understands being thrown into a strange world more than Harry Potter. He thought he was just a boy, but he was actually a wizard.

You thought you were just a college student on break, but you are actually a college student interning for little or no pay. See? Lots of similarities.

When you walk into the office on your first day.

When you meet your fellow interns.

When you get (and nail) your first assignment.

When your boss yells at you for the first time.

When your boss yells at you for the fifth time.

When you finally hook up with the intern you've had crush on all summer.

When you make it to the end of your last day.