Kaylee at Javits Center

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Modern Era Interning: Gaining Virtual and In-Person Experience

Kaylee at Javits Center

My name is Kaylee Naedler. I’m a junior at LIM College, majoring in Fashion Merchandising and double minoring in Buying and Planning as well as Sustainability. When making the important choice of where I wanted to study, LIM was an easy pick—their curriculum focused on finding internships that would help me launch my dream career. In my past three years at LIM, I’ve completed two corporate internships. I am currently completing a third in-person at a showroom in Manhattan.

When we switched to remote learning in March 2020 due to the pandemic, I was faced with so much uncertainty about my future.

How will I get hired if nobody can work?
When will I be able to get industry experience again?
How do I personally get through this?

When LIM came back in-person in the fall, I was lucky enough to secure a remote internship, which was certainly something new. At the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, I started as a Merchandising Intern at the menswear catalogue The Territory Ahead. I met with my boss weekly via Zoom, where he taught me the ins and outs of being a merchandiser. I completed new tasks each week, including:

  • creating pagination plans for their monthly catalogue
  • emailing vendors about new products
  • analyzing sales and inventory data to make markdown decisions
  • scouting new brands and items to add to the current assortment

You name it. Even though I was interning remotely, I was learning something new each week and got a full experience wearing the many hats of a merchandiser. 

When this experience ended in December, I decided to go on Handshake (LIM's job and internship search platform) and start applying for new internships, where I was able to land an interview for an opportunity where I would be working in-person!

I currently intern at Apropo Studio, an international showroom in Manhattan. I work in-person three days a week, 9-5. I haven’t had professional experience in a showroom before, and it really helped me dive back into the fashion industry after feeling out of it. My roles include:

  • unpacking and inventorying new collections
  • photographing and uploading samples for sales
  • assisting buyers with sales appointments (whether in-person or on Zoom)
  • and more

I’ve been able to learn so much about how the business operates. I’m seeing how the buyers do their jobs, which is valuable to me, considering I want to be a luxury buyer in the future. I missed the personal connection that came with physically working with a team; it’s harder to get to know someone through the screen.

Apropo studio

However, I am extremely grateful for having a remote internship amidst the pandemic. It helped me to adapt to the new way of business and gave me skills I’ve been able to transition to my current internship with Apropo.