What All Designers Can Learn From Fashion Interns
Many fashion companies offer internships during the summers. We all know that for a student, landing that coveted summer internship is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn new skills, add experience to their resume, make new connections, and get a taste of what their future day-to-day work life will be. Most companies think of their interns as extra help during these busy months. We give them tasks to complete and we try to teach them some basic skills along the way. However, designers are busy. They have deadlines to keep and they are usually working on multiple seasons at one time. What many leaders and senior design staff sometimes overlook is what they can actually learn from them.
“What many leaders don’t realize is that millennials can actually inform business decisions and teach current employees and executives a thing or two about growing their brand. Today’s young people are brand savvy, voracious consumers of media, and can provide valuable insights as to how the world sees your brand.” – quote by Mia Pearson
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of the fashion internship saga in just one post! This article is part of a 6 part Fashion Rockstar Internship Series. If you want to learn how to go from fashion intern to full time check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page.
3 Ways To Involve Your Interns
Here are three easy ways to involve your summer fashion interns and get meaningful feedback and engagement from them.
1) Practice Reverse Mentoring
Reverse mentoring is not as complicated as it sounds. It is when the design staff involves their intern in normal everyday conversations asking them about their life, what they are listening to or reading. It is important to show them what you are working on and ask them their thoughts. Ask your fashion intern what they think and what they would do differently.
Through normal conversation, one begins to get a sneak peek behind the scenes of this young demographic. Today’s millennials have a unique way of looking at the world. The information they share can be applied to the organizational structure, marketing plan, or new product innovations.
2) Use Them As Sales & Market Research
Your new junior staffer grew up in the digital age. How they take in information and how they share it is valuable information. Design teams can learn a lot about how to style and market their new products by inviting their interns to share their thoughts. How they communicate tells you how you can reach and communicate with your customers.
A great way to do this is to have a design team roundtable brainstorming session. This gives them an environment to feel equal and give them the confidence they need to offer their opinions.
3) They Are Quick To Simplify
Thanks to technology millennials have a unique way of learning new skills. Yes, you will have to show them the ropes when it comes to working in a design team. But these young go-getters are quick to YouTube something they want to learn how to do or Google the answer to any questions. They are super quick to simplify things and get what they want fast. These bright-eyed staffers might have great ideas on how to streamline your processes and actually get things done faster.
Fashion Rockstar Internship Series:
Now that you know what an intern can teach fashion industry professionals to read the rest of this 5 part series for valuable tips and action steps.