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What Are the Different Types of Fashion Merchandising Internships?

By L. Nichols
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The different types of fashion merchandising internships focus on different areas of the fashion merchandising industry. Creating product displays, organizing inventory and samples, placing purchase orders, assisting with market research, and performing administrative tasks might be part of a student's work experience. Fashion merchandising internships for students may be paid or unpaid. Although part-time summer internships might be available, most of the time paid and unpaid internships are full-time during the work experience period.

Fashion merchandising internships provide students with work experience and help them decide if this career path is right for them. Jobs available in the fashion merchandising field can include everything from costume designer, to buyer, to store owner. Other jobs can include fashion editor, stylist, and sales representative. Students in summer internships typically work on the administrative tasks that accompany these jobs. Those who accept fashion merchandising internships may work alongside a designer or a buyer, and be given the opportunity to attend meetings and help prepare presentations.

Students interested in summer internships should be passionate about fashion and committed to starting their own line, owning their own boutique, or working in fashion in some capacity. Paid and unpaid internships focus on fashion, and students who demonstrate a commitment to working in the industry have a better chance of getting these plum internships. Hiring companies usually give preference to students who are enrolled in a course of study related to fashion merchandising. Related courses of study include fashion design, graphic design, and marketing.

Fashion merchandising internships usually take place during the summer months, but internships are also available during other times of the year. Companies that offer paid and unpaid internships typically require that applicants are enrolled in college during the work experience. Students should be at the sophomore, junior, or senior level of studies. Depending upon the hiring company, students may be required to have a specific minimum grade point average and may have to demonstrate retail or fashion industry experience. Students who choose to do unpaid internships will need to show that they are able to receive academic credit for their work experience.

Opportunities for fashion merchandising internships go quickly. It's critical that students apply for work experience well before the summer months begin, because there are only a limited number of summer internships available. Fashion merchandising internships can lead to full-time employment after graduation in some cases. Students should stay connected with contacts made during summer internships. Networking websites can help ensure that students stay in contact with former coworkers after the work experience has ended.

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