Interning is Beneficial Whether You Get Paid or Not

Alexis Gaskin, Staff Writer

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This past semester, I interned with one of my all-time favorite fashion designers, Christian Siriano. This internship was unpaid, but offered college credit.

Unfortunately, since I am a sophomore, I couldn’t earn credits for my time at Christian Siriano.

However, it was completely and 100 percent worth it.

As a plus sized girl, it’s really hard for me to find clothes that fit, from finding jeans in the store for everyday wear, to finding a prom dress for that special day in high school.

It’s hard.

Fashion is steadily evolving and it’s because of designers like Christian Siriano that I get to have more choices in fashion and in stores.

So when I got the chance to work with him, I didn’t care that it was unpaid and that I wouldn’t get credit because this was the chance of a lifetime.

In the fashion industry, it’s very hard to get internships without prior experience, so I saw this as my chance to add my voice to the inclusivity of size, gender and sex.

Christian Siriano has always been such a huge inspiration to me. When I first found his designs, I was blown away by his masterpieces and the diversity of the people that he was designing for and dressing. Top celebrities such as Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and Leslie Jones are only a few of the amazing women that he’s designed for.

When I decided I was going to be a PR major, I knew that I wanted to work in fashion and that I eventually wanted to work with Christian Siriano.

I was thrilled when I was offered the internship.

It was scary though. I had to balance school and this internship, but I gained better time management and organizational skills.

My time at Christian Siriano was priceless. I was surrounded by beautiful dresses everyday that came from his different collections and were worn by celebrities.

I was able to help with the packaging and care of these dresses while they were being sent to celebrities, stylists and magazines.

Working in-house gave me the chance to be a part of the everyday work environment. Since I was an intern for the PR/Sales department, I got to see the business side of handling clients and celebrities.

The PR/Sales department consisted of some amazing and strong women, who I aspire to be like in the industry and worked on specific areas of the business.

These women, who I worked with three days a week, made me feel welcome and helped me make the best of my experience in the office.

They always kept me on my toes and pushed me to be better at whatever I was doing. If I did something wrong, they were sure to let me know and help me fix it. I wasn’t afraid to ask for help.

Of course, being in the same office as Christian Siriano himself was amazing, being able to work alongside him and assist him in whatever he needed.

From the random fun facts about some celebrity to the knowledge I learned on different fabrics, most importantly the difference between tulle and chiffon.

The lessons I learned from my time at Siriano’s will follow me to other jobs and in life.

Most importantly, working in a business that is thought to be ruled by small sized women, as a big girl, I never felt out of place; I felt beautiful.

Models would come in and tell me they liked my hair, celebrities would smile at me and above all, I’d look at the showroom full of gowns for all sizes of people and think “I could wear that, I can feel beautiful too.”

I’m coming out of this internship with a lot of memories and new skills in the industry.

So was it worth it? Absolutely.

If you get the chance to work for the people or company that you want and it’s unpaid, take it.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and the experience is priceless.

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