In the past months our statement store byAMFI went through big changes. We interviewed one of the reasons behind that. Denise Admiraal is a third year branding student from AMFI and she was the first intern at byAMFI. We had a chat about her internship and asked her an important question: what does it take to become the new Denise?!
Article by Celia Marie Freiling (second year int. Fashion & Branding). Photos by byAMFI
How did you end up doing an internship at byAMFI?
“I was asked by Xandra Manuputty at the moment when byAMFI was going to change and needed more attention. The idea was to attract more students to the store, so I was asked to figure out how to make that happen. There has never been an internship before at byAMFI, but it’s being realized now to include the students more and make it their own place. byAMFI should become more accessible and welcoming for them and I’m really happy that this is already happening!“
What were your responsibilities?
„It was quite spread out, from organizing events, coaching students, developing concepts, to selling the Individuals collection. Beside running the store of course!“
How did you come up with a plan to attract more students to byAMFI?
“I started to think about what I am interested in and what kind of events I would like to organize in order to attract people to visit the byAMFI. Xandra agreed on it. We only get a little budget to work with, so I needed motivated students to work voluntarily. I fixed sponsorships, thought about how I want to communicate the event through social media, I did the graphic design and organized photographers. byAMFI is meant to become a meeting point where you have a coffee, relax in the window or work together on (study) projects. It is also about learning to chill while working hard at school.“
What were your experiences and what did you learn?
“I experienced what it’s like to be responsible for the whole operation, which almost felt like running my own business. I learned how to realize something that I consider interesting and turn that into an event or concept that is also appealing to and others. Sensing what is interesting for other people and what is happening around the students is really important. Coaching people was a big part of my task, giving them feedback but also accept feedback from others. And I learned how to network and make loads of connections, what I think is really important in the fashion industry. As an intern at byAMFI you learn about the whole process of managing: from concept to realization, the communication that goes with it and the final execution.“
How did the store change while you were there?
“When I started byAMFI was more an actual store, but now it is more a studio to meet and work together. We made the plans for this change a long time ago, but the time when it really changed was for me the Unplugged event. AMFI students came here to pitch the idea for this event. They were surprised that I agreed and let them do their thing, of course with some restrictions. The event was a huge success -it has never been that crowded before! A lot more people have been coming to the stores since then and everybody was talking about the event. I think if we want byAMFI to become a student place we need to let the students decide on what they want to do with the space and make them responsible instead of controlling them.“
How would you like to see it change in the future? Will you still be part of it and contribute to its development?
“Yes, I would like to still contribute in the future in any role. I still want to organize events and already have some plans in mind. What I would like to see in the next years is that byAMFI becomes the voice of the students and more accessible for them and for others. It should be a bit of a rebellious place where it can get crazy sometimes. I want the students to step out of their comfort zone and start experimenting to realize their vision.“
Why would students want to intern at byAMFI? What qualities and skills do you need?
“You need to have a little life knowledge and good social competences. It is important that you are a responsible person, because you become more of a manager instead of an intern. You have to dare to speak up, even to people that might be teachers. You have to represent and back up your opinion to gain respect. Having a vision and being involved is a huge part of this internship because it will become your life in these months – like any other good internship. The new intern needs to be a good socializer and networker to reach students as well as interesting professionals for events and sponsoring. You have to be creative, but also rational in order to realize what you have planned. It is about learning not to be perfect and daring to make mistakes in the process. Be a personality and don’t be shy!”