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Megan Rose Fretto (BA 2012): Summer Internship

Published September 1, 2011

“In school older students and my professors kept emphasizing the importance of internships. INTERNSHIPS INTERNSHIPS INTERNSHIPS. It being the summer of my freshman year it seemed a little early to be diving into an internship, especially since I didn’t even know what route I wanted to take in the Art field. However this is just why taking a summer internship at Anthropologie was perfect. It was intimidating at first applying to such a prestigious retail store that emphasized quality design in creative and innovative handmade displays. However my timidity soon simmered when I met the encouraging, fun, and talented Visual Team. They explained to me that their main goal when inviting their customers into their store was to inspire them and make every experience seem like a new one. They challenged me so much while working there.

Challenge number one came the first week I started. I was assigned a task to design and create 12 miniature window displays that would be featured in the 12 dressing room shadow boxes all by myself by the end of the week. I was only allowed to use old book pages, as if there wasn’t enough challenge assigned already, I had never worked solely with manipulating paper before. Although this may seem intimidating- oh it was- it was really good for me because I was challenged beyond what I thought I could manage which pushed my creative bounds and my timid nature.
I was lucky when my manager came to me with the big news that our store was respectfully deemed one of the prototype designers for the next front window displays featuring Fall gourds. How fun! This meant that in the last few weeks of my internship I was going to be allowed to experiment with different materials, learn how to draft the processes that might be replicated by different stores, and sit in on conference calls from the head of the Nation’s Visual Department at Anthropologie. This was a huge privilege and a great experience. I learned a lot about planning, about talking about the work I was doing, and I got to listen to great, thorough critiques from the head of the Visual Department.
I would recommend internships to all students. Now I am going to be another obnoxious voice in your ear INTERNSHIPS! DO ONE, or FIVE. In all sincerity though, this was a great opportunity and a wonderful learning experience. I learned a lot of things while working at Anthropologie this summer and had great hands on working experience. Also working at Anthropolgie made me realize, even though I love fashion and creating retail displays that many people get to see, people that may not normally be exposed to fine art, I do not want to create in a retail industry for the rest of my life. Leaving my internship this summer I have gained confidence; I look forward to challenge in a whole new way; I have gained practical experience; and I have gained inspiration. So start as early as you can and don’t be afraid to apply for them. After all why would a company not want your free labor?”