Set up an Opportunity Part 1: Local Boutiques

Here is something to do today that has the potential to fill another blank line on your resume; in most cases it can be fashion related and get you a few contacts to add to your network; in all cases, it will be a great professional experience that you may be able to talk about at an interview. Note: If you are looking for a job right away, this isn’t the list for you. This list is for those with time to network and gain mini-experiences that could be useful to on the job hunt one day.

1.  Find the closest mom & pop shop boutique to your house, or something that is not quite a large chain retailer.

2.  Make up a resume or a business card (so contact can call you after you’ve spoken with him/her… instead of chicken scratching your name and number down later). Here is an example card Columbia has designed for its students.

3.  Go into the store and ask to speak with the manager or owner (please).

4. Tell the manager about your fashion interests and mention you are a student and then do one more of the following:

  1. Find out if they have any events coming up that you could assist them with (planning, execution, whatever).
  2. Find out if you could help them stock items when new shipments come in (it is good to learn to deal with shipments and restocking if you have never done it before… this experience can help you get your first job in retail).
  3. Find out if they have any interest in you working on company social media outlets for them (it is a great tool to know how to use these social outlets from a business perspective. It is now a necessity to understand these methods no matter what company you are working for… if you don’t know them, your job competition will.)
  4. Find out if they would be interested in you interning one or two days a week so that you can learn the ways of a store; buying, visual merchandising, customer service, etc.

Note: I realize not all companies need to be using social media… but it helps to have experience that has taught you why a company doesn’t need to use them, over not knowing the difference either way.


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