By: Mallory Carlson

Looking for an internship can be exhausting. Typing the words “fashion merchandising and design” on a job search site can result in a short list of options making you feel stressed out without internship opportunities. But, believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be. I interviewed a fellow fashion merchandising student, Monica Santizo, about her internship as a digital marketer in Orlando, Florida that she had at the Westgate Resorts this past summer. Her summer had nothing to do with fashion, but everything to with experience.

When Monica began her internship, she knew that fashion was not going to be a part of it. Some of the major things she had to do was working with social media and with the resorts marketing team. When she first arrived, she found that they did not have an Instagram account. This gave her a chance to create an account for Westgate Resorts to market to a new and younger audience. By connecting with the people around the area and getting feedback from the hotel guests, she opened the door for a new generation to visit the resort. Although she still desires to work in the fashion industry, this experience had the same aspects to prepare her for a future in the fashion and marketing industry.

Monica found the internship through her uncle who is the Assistant Director. She believes that connections are really important. Her main advice is to get connected. As she is a commuter, it is tough for her to make it to fashion events on campus. She explained to me, “As a commuter or student in general, we have to go to work, study, and some of us are older and have families to take care of. Try to take initiative and go to at least one or two of the events, because they are going to be really helpful. The more you meet people, the more contacts you get.” So, take a breath and don’t stress. An internship, whether it is in fashion or something to help you get closer to the fashion industry, will come. Open up your search and get connected.