The conversation was a part of Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska‘s course Conversations with Industry Experts offered by USI – Università della Svizzera italiana and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne’s Master Program in Digital Fashion Communication.
The article was written by Cheyenne Culiersi, Eglin Laika, Rugen Grace and Yadav Shiny – Master’s students in Digital Fashion Communication and edited by Alice Noris – PhD student and Teaching Assistant
This month the first year students of the Digital Fashion Communication master’s program are wrapping up their last semester in Lugano before they head to Paris for the next chapter of their studies. For the last session of class, Digital Fashion Communication: Conversations with Industry Experts, they were able to virtually connect with the first generation of DFC students who have now started their internships and are diligently working on their theses. The conversation afforded them the opportunity to hear about what it is like to be working in the field allowing first-year students to dream of the possible avenues they can explore in the fashion industry.
The three students that represented the second-year class were Lucrezia Guidato, Vivien Schmidt, and Rea Stambuk. Lucrezia is a marketing intern at Capital Investment Corporation in Italy. Vivien is a sales intern at Nike in the Netherlands and is roommates with Rea, who is a digital marketing intern at inSided. After short introductions of who they are and what they are doing, the first-year students were able to appease their curiosity by asking all of the pressing questions that only their colleagues would have been able to adequately answer. Lucrezia, Vivien, and Rea all explained the trials and tribulations of applying for their internships, imparted wisdom and tips on how to secure their dream position, and inspired the students to start thinking about their master theses. They emphasized the importance of searching for the exact position and roles you want, rather than the company when looking for an internship and that persistence and quantity of applications is vital. Although COVID has dashed all the expectations they had for their daily lives as interns, they described what the office culture, work-spaces and best parts of their jobs are with excitement and positivity. Rea, in particular has been able to enjoy the “start-up” office culture at inSided (although the company is already 10 years old) with the usual perks of employee events, a non hierarchical chain of command, and a beautiful work space. Vivien instead, has been able to take-advantage of the rich internship community that Nike cultivates.
Students also asked what specific classes they have found to be the most useful in their internships, and although they said all of them have been helpful, some that they highlighted were Information Management Retrieval, Online Communication Design, Usability and Digital Analytics, and Intercultural Communication. Beyond talk of internships, they were apt to discuss their theses, who they chose as advisors, their progresses, and how to manage the work/university balance. Their biggest points were to start early, decide on a topic before next semester, then begin talking with professors to see which would be the best match, and finally work a little bit each day while interning to stay on track for graduation. They also wistfully talked about their previous semesters when first-year students eagerly asked what tips and suggestions they had to make the most of their time in Paris. While they all said they loved Paris, Lucrezia reminded the first-year students to enjoy their last bit of time in beautiful Lugano and said once in Paris they all looked back on their time in Switzerland with nostalgia.
As this semester is coming to a close this was a welcome reminder to the first-year students to stay present and focused and grateful for the opportunity to study in two incredible places. DFC: Conversations with Industry experts, as a course really offered an incredible insight into budding and highly experienced varied industry professionals, alike.
Additional educational sources searched by students and related to the topics discussed by Lucrezia Guidato, Vivien Schmidt, and Rea Stambuk during the interview:
- The Academic Value of Internship: Benefits across disciplines and student background – an academic article that explores the academic value of internships
- Tips On Landing You Dream fashion Job – an article by Fashion United that share tips on how to optimize the chances of landing the fashion job of your dreams
- How To Write An Amazing Cover Letter – a LinkedIn article that explains how to write a successful cover letter
- Five Internship Stories To Restore Your Faith In The Fashion Industry – an article about 5 inspiring internship stories
- The Vogue Team And What They Look For In An Intern – A Vogue article that explains which are some of the characteristics that make a good intern for the Vogue Australia team