Interning in The Fashion Capital of The World

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Max Leo
November 12, 2018

When I decided to come to Milan, I also made the choice to participate in an internship. For the last five years, the fashion industry has fascinated me. I read about it in my free time and look at the new collections when they are released. As such, I asked for a placement with a fashion company, if possible. I was lucky enough to end up getting an interview with a luxury menswear accessories company called Sera Fine Silk. I had a conversation with the founder of the company later that week and ended up arriving in Milan with an internship already set up.

The company is very small and simply consists of myself (I’ll talk about what I do in a little bit) another IES Abroad intern who handles a lot of photography and social media, my Boss who is the founder of the company and who handles almost all of the managerial and design tasks, and a photographer who comes as needed to photograph our products for the website. As such, it is a very personal and laid-back environment which facilitates the open expression of ideas. Our office is one room, which has a table in the middle that we all sit at. We face each other and work together to solve problems as they arise. I feel like I am truly integrated into the company.

I work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I work from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM and on Tuesday I work 3 to 6 PM. Overall, I end up spending about 18 hours a week at the office. While my schedule is set, my tasks are not. The only set thing I have to do is help create a newsletter every week. This will get sent out to our 1,000+ subscribers. I also oftentimes write blog posts to go with the newsletter, to make it more substantive. Most of the time I end up writing blog posts about things I have learned over the years, such as different tie knots. Just last week, I filmed a video to be featured in a blog I wrote about how to tie a bow tie. I am able to have a lot of creative freedom which is really nice.

I also help make managerial decisions. I have helped to choose how many and which items to restock, which items to send to e-commerce retailers, and which designs should actually go through to production. This ability to have my voice heard and recognized is really unique for an internship, and so I have been lucky to have this responsibility.

I have even gotten the ability to model our products. Our policy is to post on Instagram twice a day. This, however, requires a constant inflow of content that we simply don’t receive. Thus, we have to create our own. My boss will borrow suit jackets from her friends who own tailor shops, and then I will style the products so that we can show off as many as possible in our photos. It’s a fun time and something that I never would have imagined myself getting to do in Milan. Plus, I’ve ended up with a ton of photos to choose from for my LinkedIn headshot.

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about pursuing an internship abroad to look into it. This is my second time interning abroad, and it has been a drastically different experience than the first. If you have a good idea of what kinds of tasks you will be expected to complete, the work environment and the company culture, then you will be sure to have a great learning experience!

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Max Leo

<p>Hi, I'm Max! I am studying Real Estate and finance and have spent all of 2018 traveling. I began domestically, visiting St. Louis, Charleston and NYC in January. Then in February, I headed to China to spend the semester at Fudan University in Shanghai! I got to travel to over 15 different cities in China while there. Next, I spent a few days in Hong Kong as a tourist before heading to Mumbai to spend July and August working for a real estate development company. I have a passion for cross-cultural interaction and this year has truly allowed to explore that.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
George Washington University, The
Boiling Springs, PA
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