By Catherine Civgin
Photos: Sarah Darrow
On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, Northeastern’s Haute Fashion club hosted four students who have worked co-ops and internships in the fashion industry. The four students shared their experiences and offered prospective co-op candidates advice on working in the industry.
Erica Bonkowski, Brides Magazine
Erica worked as a graphic design intern at Brides Magazine. Her responsibilities included prepping photo shoots, creating Facebook graphics, and completing photo research for the magazine. One of Erica’s favorite experiences working at the magazine was going on two different cover shoots and getting to work with the Editor-in-Chief of Brides Magazine, Anne Fulenwider (who is now the Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire). Her advice for students applying for fashion industry co-ops: “Definitely over-apply. Apply for everything you’re interested in.” One last piece of advice Erica emphasized was the importance of doing research on companies prior to going on interviews!
Michelle Sarfati, Enter: New Media, Kleinfeld’s Bridal
Michelle Sarfati has completed co-ops at social media agency, Enter: New Media, as well as Kleinfeld’s Bridal. She secured her co-ops through helpful websites like Craigslist and Freefashioninternships.com. At Enter: New Media, Michelle worked closely with the company’s CEO and was the “go-to marketing person for random tasks”. At Kleinfeld’s she was assigned to a different consultant each day, and tasks included taking measurements, pulling dresses, and wrapping up appointments. At Kleinfeld’s, Michelle also had the opportunity to work at trunk shows, where she got to meet various bridal designers. One of Michelle’s favorite parts of her co-op at Kleinfeld’s: “I had lunch with Randy from ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ every day. He’s really down-to-earth.” Michelle’s advice to students looking for fashion co-ops: “Apply to everything. There are so many opportunities.”
Natalie Wells, Zandra Rhodes
Natalie, a communications major at Northeastern, completed her co-op with English fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. She worked with sales, but also had the opportunity to offer opinions on Zandra’s designs. A quirky skill that came in handy while on co-op was Natalie’s ability to sew. Some of the headbands that Natalie sewed even ended up being sold at one of Zandra’s trunk shows. One struggle Natalie found was finding the balance between her co-op job and the paid, part-time job she got in addition to working with Zandra. With many fashion co-ops being unpaid, this is an important aspect for future co-op employees to consider.
Shaila Parashar, TJX
Shaila is currently completing her first co-op in the marketing department of TJX in Boston. Her most important responsibility thus far has been managing the company’s sample closet. “One of my favorite things is working with the samples and seeing the stylists coming in.”, Shaila says. While Shaila is only two months into her co-op, she is looking forward to the opportunity to attend fashion shows in the upcoming months. Shaila’s advice on how to interview well: “Take whatever skill set you have and use it.”