Merchandise Product Development Student Kelsey Farrer transferred to FIDM after her first year of college and was excited to immediately start working in the industry. With several retail jobs and experience working in a New Mart showroom under her belt, she began researching internships with the Career Center.
"It wasn’t until the incredibly eye-opening FIDM Denim Tour that I realized what I wanted to do. Throughout the tour, ten students, including myself, were exposed to the insides of several LA-based denim companies. We were able to see what an actual design room looks like, learn about what merchandisers really do, and so much more. During our visit to the GUESS World Headquarters, I learned about the company’s ten-week paid summer internship program.
I decided then and there that I had to apply, even though it would be a full-time 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job that would not only take over my summer, but also my plans to continue with classes during summer quarter. I have to say that this was the best decision I have ever made. The things I learned as the young contemporary (YC) women’s design intern are invaluable lessons. Interning has given me the opportunity to truly immerse myself into the world of fashion, and to apply all of the things that I have been learning in my Product Development classes at FIDM to a real-world design room.
The designers use me to their advantage, giving me daily tasks such as creating color palettes, researching upcoming trends, crafting together mood boards, assisting with CADs, building line sheets, and eventually making collection packages that consist of all of these key items. By allowing me to truly participate in the design process, the designers are not only using me to their benefit, but also teaching me things that in my past were unimaginable. Here are some activities I participated in:
Denim Day: All of the interns were taken to an offsite wash house where we were each given a pair of raw denim in our own sizes. At the wash house we were able to physically make the jeans our own by using various tools to add a destroyed look, sandpaper to lighten certain parts of the pants before they were washed, and potassium spray to add highlights. We then got to choose which wash we wanted and if we wanted any coatings added to them. It was a very fun learning experience and in the end, one of the pairs of denim was chosen to be considered for possible production in the GUESS line!
Charity Bake Sale: Since there were about 40 interns onsite for the summer, we were broken up into groups of six and hosted a charity bake sale and raffle in the guess courtyard during lunch on a Friday. We were able to collectively raise a over $1,000 to go towards the CASA charity (court appointed special advocates), which we chose in the beginning of the summer as a group.
Weekly Brown Bag Lunches: Each week "brown bag lunches" were held, in which we got to listen to speakers from various departments and hear about their different jobs within the company. From product developers to denim designers, each of these groups of speakers had a lot of interesting information that helped us get a better grasp of which departments take care of what. I learned a lot about the various positions that I am studying as a product development major, which was very helpful as I am testing the waters to see where I will end up one day.
Throughout my ten weeks at GUESS, I learned the importance of enthusiasm. As simple as it may seem, being enthusiastic and having a good attitude about the projects that are given to me can make all the difference. This is the true determining factor of whether or not the project will turn out carefully and beautifully crafted, or quickly pieced together. It is clear that my manager and co-workers can tell when I am enthusiastic about something, which I believe is a reason that my manager asked me to extend my time as an intern, part time through December. Interning for GUESS has been the best experience I have ever had, and I would highly recommend taking advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities that the Career Center has to offer."