Internships: A leap into the real world

Third-year students Lisa Hupe, Isabel Jelli and Susanne Maier allow us a glimpse into their lives as interns at three different companies: VICE Media, Calvin Klein and Raf Simons.

Why did you approach VICE Media for an internship?
Lisa (Int. Branding): ‘I really like the magazine; I read it all the time. VICE represents the voice of youth and knows what is happening in the real world. I think traditional publicity will die at some point, and I wanted to learn about other ways to reach an audience.’

What are your daily responsibilities?
‘Very diverse: I have to create concepts for clients, so my boss and I come up with the creative input, or big ideas. We also develop marketing campaigns for our clients. I help with the creative direction, meaning I get to direct teams and manage all the creative processes, trying to keep them in sync.’

Lisa Hupe international Fashion & Branding

Lisa busy at the VICE office.

Which were the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
‘It took some getting used to, the fact that AMFI gives you three weeks for deadlines while here you only get three hours. The company gives you a lot of responsibilities if you do well. If you don’t deliver the work on time, it really is a problem as the client and the money are real. I had to learn to think more commercially in general. Clients have to click with my concepts, so they need to be concrete, while at AMFI I was more of a “free spirit”.’

What are the perks of your job?
‘I got to take some pictures for VICE’s i-D magazine at the Pitch festival in Amsterdam. I selected some people for straight-ups and did some interviews. Afterwards, I received free tickets for other festivals, which was really more for fun!’

What would you advise future AMFI interns in order to “make the most of it”?
‘Talk to people who had their required internship in the company you’re interested in. All my friends are doing theirs right now, and while some of them are having a great experience, a few others are disappointed. I talked to a girl about VICE beforehand and she told me what I should expect from my role and the company culture.’

Isabel Jelli in CK.

Isabel Jelli in CK.

Why did you choose Calvin Klein?
Isabel (Int. Management): ‘Last year AMFI took us to a lecture held by Alice Sheriff, Senior Director of the Visual Merchandising Department at Calvin Klein. Her talk blew everyone away and I was very inspired by her ideas. After talking to her in person and doing some research, I applied there for an internship.’

What are your responsibilities within the company?
‘I’m assisting the Windows Coordinator. We develop windows for all stores across Europe and the Middle East. In order to achieve consistency across those stores, we develop guidelines that help the markets set up our ideas. I also do everything from 2D Design and creative thinking in the Amsterdam Office to 3D installations in actual stores. If time allows, I will assist guideline photoshoots or create Point of Sale artworks.’

What was your biggest opportunity so far?
‘To work with experienced people who have been successful in the fashion industry for years and reestablish the image of Calvin Klein in Europe with them. Right in the beginning of my internship I also had the opportunity to travel to London and Milan to set up Fall/Winter ‘14 windows in the flagship stores.’

What are your tips for future AMFI interns in order to “make the most of it”?
‘Start early to look for a good internship, It can take ages until a company decides to hire an intern. Grab all the chances you get to talk to people from the industry and create a lot of connections. If you work with passion, people will recognise your efforts!’

Susanne Meijer International Fashion and Management

Susanne in Amsterdam.

Why intern at Raf Simons?
Susanne (Int. Management): ‘Raf is an aspiring and highly influencing Designer of today. I was attracted to his work in changing the perception of determined sexes by experimenting with female influences in shape, colour and fabrics within menswear. The company is quite small, so I work with eight people and the designer himself. It is very personal and I get the chance to see every little step of creating an entire collection.’

What is your role within the company?
‘I focus on development and production. At this stage, all the fabric samples are coming in and we need to contact the suppliers for more information about prices and minimum quantities. I’m also assisting in the quality checks for production. I work along with another intern, so whenever we need extra help, we team up.’

Raf Simons pop up shop

The Raf Simons pop-up shop in Antwerp.

What was your biggest opportunity so far ?
‘A few days after I arrived we had to build up his pop-up store in Antwerp that presents Raf’s collaboration with the popular artist Sterling Ruby. At the opening party I had the chance to meet many famous designers, models, DJs and photographers. Our next exciting event will be a trip to Paris in January for Fashion Week. The whole team is going together to help set up the show.’

Any advise for future interns?
‘Every internship has its advantages. In a bigger company, you might have a your own desk, phone and computer, but the way of working will be more specialised than in smaller brands where you work on several levels. There are many great opportunities… so try to explore them a little bit before you settle on one!’

Text by Naomi Pire, second-year International Fashion & Management student.

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