By Elise Borja
Photos: Katie Emerson
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, The Fashion & Retail Society hosted the bi-annual Fashion Co-Op Panel. Each panel is comprised of four or five students who used their co-op opportunity to jumpstart their career in the fashion industry. This semester’s panel consisted of Malina, a footwear merchandising co-op for Puma; Linda, a fashion editorial intern for Vogue; Kim, a public relations co-op for TJX Companies; Sarah, an associate buyer for TJX Companies; and Sophia, a PR & artist relations co-op for NARS.
Each student found their co-op opportunities through the NEUCool system, an online job finder through Northeastern, but the experiences were not as easy as logging onto an employment database. For Linda, 60-hour workweeks were the norm, comprised of coffee runs, errands for Anna Wintour and running across Manhattan to meet with fashion houses and PR agencies. As a co-op for NARS, Sophia had the opportunity to be backstage during three shows at New York Fashion Week, the busiest and most hectic time for the fashion world.
Although these five ladies had to deal with typical intern work, their experiences were worth it all. Malina helped design hundreds of shoes for merchandisers before their trips to Germany and had the chance to see some of her work in stores worldwide. Additionally, Sarah had the opportunity to help purchase over a million dollars worth of sterling silver jewelry for TJX Companies. Also as a co-op for TJX, Kim had the chance to help create outfits and market the company’s brands in magazines and other media outlets.
These five driven students show us that, despite the typical “intern work,” co-ops allow students to get their feet wet in dream industries before diving in, which can lead to many rewarding experiences.