It’s been three months since you were looking for your friend, the one who you were reading and never blogged again…
I know I know I know…I havn’t posted in about 3 months and you all have probably moved on to other blogs with posts-a-plenty but I’m back my friends! Let me give you a quick update about what I’ve been doing since you heard from me last…I left the internship that I moved to New York for. After about 3 months with the company (clearly 3 months is a reoccurring theme in my life) I learned all I could as an intern and there were no entry-level openings so I dipped! I learned a lot there but I don’t have the college-student luxury of interning until whenever…I’m grown as hell!
After the internship I registered with a few fashion temp agencies (who knew there was such a thing!?) and within 24 hours I had my first freelance job. I began with a major All-American lifestyle brand as a Merchandising Assistant. At my internship I was in wholesale, which was cool, l but I longed for something more creative. On my first day at the gig the office was alive with creativity! Everyone was jovially creating inspiration boards at a huge table. Everyone but me…I was banished to the sample closet to organize about 8 seasons worth of samples. That’s the thing about freelancing…you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes you freelance for the duration of a project and sometimes you freelance for a duration of time. Little did I know I was there for a project.
The project was to get 2 sample closets, that looked like Hurricane Katrina done run up and through them, into some sort of order and I had under 4 weeks to do it. Why 4 weeks? Because a) that’s how long it would take for me to tackle that mess and b) because another thing about freelancing is your pay comes out of a budgeted line item and the company only alloted a month’s worth of cash for me.
Who was I to complain? I hadn’t gotten a paycheck in who knows when and my savings (which I had been living off while interning) had depleted down to single digits. So 4 weeks of pay (pretty decent pay) at a company that would look great on my resume was a definite pro and not a con at all. After performing a complete extreme makeover (read: miracle) on the closets I was unceremoniously let go. I knew I was only going to be there for a month but that doesn’t make it any less sad.
So by May I was back on the market…the job market that is. I returned to the agency that got me the freelance gig, with an updated resume, to see if there was anything available. Within a week I went on tons of interviews! I even had few recruiters reach out to me on LinkedIn! That one month spent freelancing at that highly respected company opened so many doors. One of the interviews was at one of this country’s foremost design houses.
After a week of bated breath, follow-up emails, and hand-written thank you cards I got the job. When I say “the job” I mean I was hired as a Temp-to-Perm Merchandising Assistant. Ahhh…”temp-to-perm” another one of those freelance terms. Basically, companies often take on temp-to-perm freelancers for a period of time as a working audition of sorts. Instead of hiring directly, they trust the fashion agencies to send them tried-tested-and-true candidates to relieve some of the immediate work load while they search for the optimum candidate to fill the position. This means while you are working, they are interviewing other candidates as well as evaluating you for the spot.
I’ve now been with the company for 2 months and I’m still a temp however, my responsibilities are growing daily and so is my confidence in my job and performance. This company is the brass ring! You can’t open a magazine without seeing a celeb donning one of our pieces or seeing the face of our Creative Director. As a Merchandising Assistant here, I am the sole support of the VP of Merchandising, who works directly with the Creative Director himself. My role is to support the VP in all aspects of developing new collections which includes everything from pricing, editing, sample production, and planning the flow of the collection. My day-to-day is filled with lots of The-Devil-Wears-Prada-Moments that are lightweight stressful but I know this is an awesome opportunity. At this point I’m not sure if they will keep me or not, but I do know that I’m ready for whatever the universe serves up next my friends!