Where in the World is VCU? Interning in New York City for Crescala

Can you start by telling me your name, year and major?

Maddy Murrow, fashion merchandising, senior

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Where in the World are you this summer?

New York City working in the garment district and living in SoHo.

How did you find yourself in this internship?

I saw the CEO of Crescala (Jodi Sandman) come speak at VCU my freshman year, then went on the fashion merchandising luxury trip, where you take two classes and spend two weeks in Richmond, then two weeks in New York. During the two weeks in New York you visit luxury businesses and learn about them. Crescala was one of the appointments we had so I got to meet Jodi Sandman again. I was so excited by her story and her success and her business that I applied in February for the internship and I got it.

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What has your experience been like, positive or negative?

So far, I’ve only been here for one and a half weeks, but it’s been positive. While I am doing intern-like things (running errands, steaming garments and tagging clothes) it’s still really awesome to see how the business works. Crescala basically manages emerging designer brands and gets them into stores. I get to see the day to day and help out different employees and get a different perspective on things. I’ve done competitive shopping reports, helped research new stores to put product in and learned a lot about the brands we represent. I’ve dabbled in marketing, merchandising and even retail in the short time I’ve been here.

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What has it been like living in a different area?

New York is expensive and very tempting. I want to try new food and buy new clothes because it’s all around me but I have to restrain myself. It’s definitely not home…yet, and I’m still getting to know my way around and familiarize myself, but being from a city makes it easier. I understand New York.

What has been your favorite part of the internship?

My favorite part of my internship so far has probably been helping prepare market boxes and research. It’s cool to see what I’ve learned in school put to use and I enjoy seeing the final product, so being able to put these boxes together and send them out and see what responses we get back is exciting.

Any advice for anyone looking to do an internship, especially one out-of-state?

My advice would be to just do it. Go for it. An internship is invaluable. You can learn about something all you want in school, but once you put it to use in the real world it makes so much more sense, and you can see that what you’re learning in school is actually useful. If you’re going out of state definitely make sure you can afford it, even if you have to get a secondary job because a lot of internships are unpaid. While going to New York for fashion is great, you can find an internship closer to home that offers benefits as well. Independence is also a great quality to have, not only in your personal life but also professional. Moving to a new place can sometimes be lonely and scary, but you need to be comfortable enough to be on your own.

Lastly, work hard and pay attention. If you get an internship, especially away from home, and it’s a place you can see yourself ending up, show your employer that. Because who knows, they might hire you, or write a killer recommendation for someone else to hire you. This is really a time for you to put the skills you’ve learned in school to use and figure out what you like and dislike about your chosen path.

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