At Dominican, each apparel student must complete at least one internship to graduate. When it comes to gaining this vital on-the-job experience, students have a lot to say:
“My internship at a clothing boutique gave me the opportunity to take what I had learned in my classes and apply it in a real-world setting. I was able to set up window displays and help buy clothing and accessories, as well as get a firsthand look at what it takes to run a small business." - Linda Bevilacqua ’10, Apparel Merchandising
“I think that hands-on experience in the field is the greatest opportunity a college student can have and since doing my internship with Lidia Wachowska of Evil Kitty, I feel more confident and even more passionate about the apparel design field.” –Amanda Pena ’10, Apparel Design & Apparel Merchandising
“During my internship at Enzee Boutique, I was able to obtain hands-on experience that is unattainable in the classroom by assisting customers, learning buying strategies, attending a trade show and creating visual displays.” – Cristina Peri ’10, Apparel Merchandising
“I challenged myself to figure out who I really am as a designer during my internship at Pamela Penney Textile Arts in Oak Park. I was able to create unique accessories using recycled fabrics, and I realized that I love the idea of making something out of nothing.” – Jackie Turmel ’1 0, Apparel Design & Apparel Merchandising
Because an internship is a requirement, students should allow plenty of time to find, apply for or create the right opportunity for themselves. Starting the process near the end of sophomore year should allow students ample time for two or even more internships if they choose.
The more an internship meshes with a student’s interests and long-term goals, the better its chances of turning into a permanent job at graduation. Some successful apparel internships are posted at Dominican’s Career Development website, some come from faculty connections and some come from the student taking the initiative and contacting the sponsor directly.