As you think about experiential learning opportunities abroad, you may wonder if an internship is right for you. What is it like to intern abroad in a completely different city? What sort of work would you do? When exploring the programs, it’s always helpful to hear first-hand experiences from students just like you!
Meet Elizabeth Ann Hurt, an API Alum studying at Oklahoma State University and majoring in Design Housing & Merchandising. She gave us a glimpse into her experience interning at Jalin Designs in London, England. Read on to learn more about her daily routine, professional goals, and experiences in England’s capital city!
Where did you intern abroad?
I was honored to work with Jalin Design, a design firm specializing in hospitality and film. This was my first experience that wasn’t in retail, so I was thrilled to experience daily life spent in a design office. In my interview with one of the founders of Jalin, Jason, I reveled in the way he described the role. He told me each day looks different; I wouldn’t do the same thing everyday. He was right!
What was your role at your internship?
I was a Product Development intern, but I was able to see every part of the business. That was a huge accomplishment to me! Going through the process of finding an internship, I was very open to all the possibilities. I’m grateful to have matched with Jalin, especially with my experience working at a luxury resort boutique.
Going into your internship, did you have specific goals in mind?
A few of my goals included learning a completely different side of fashion, and seeing how the role of product development plays in the success of a business. I was also interested in exploring the process of producing hospitality clothing from start to finish. Additionally, I wanted to learn more about forming film partnerships. I I believe my background in customer service and my dedicated work ethic helped me shine in my placement.
Tell us about your day-to-day tasks and routines!
As I mentioned, each day was different, but a lot of similar tasks were completed depending on who needed my help. My mornings started early, most days my alarm went off around 6:15AM. I left our flat by 8:00AM to grab coffee and make it to work on time. The production team was made up of four employees, so they gave me tasks depending on who needed me.
Though my tasks varied, I often performed quality control: unboxing, counting, and measuring garments to make sure they were sewn precisely and met the marks provided. I also shipped items, created invoices, and communicated with the package recipients. The majority of my mornings focused on shipments, and the majority of my afternoons were spent on quality control and organizing various parts of the studio including fabrics, bespoke items, and so on. When I had free time, I researched films and movies set to film in London or the surrounding areas soon. I searched for contact emails and compiled a document with all this information for Jason to use.
Any other highlights you would like to share?
I can’t say enough amazing things equally about API and Jalin Design. This summer internship abroad surpassed my greatest goals. Going into the experience, I had no clue what a huge role hospitality and film play in our beloved fashion industry. Some highlights include being able to help at a hotel install for The Other House, a new hotel in Kensington, and finding a contact that helped Jalin land a film they had their eyes set on. More than that, I had the opportunity to work with the most talented melting pot of artists, designers, merchandisers, seamstresses, and business-minded individuals. It was incredible to witness how this amazing design firm is run.
It’s true what they say about studying abroad… you discover so much about yourself. I also believe this to be especially true when you are working abroad as an intern. You find your routine in a city you’ve only dreamt of, make friends with coworkers and flatmates, and embrace a new culture. Soon, you can’t imagine life without a traditional English breakfast or your favorite neighborhood café.
Going into this internship abroad, I found API on a whim, and went with my gut feeling. I applied to this program, and it changed my life in ways I never could imagine. Jane, our beloved API mother, made my flatmates and me feel at home and confident in the decision to move across the world to somewhere we’d never been. I am so grateful for everyone along the way, from API creating the greatest experience I could have imagined possible. Not only did I surpass my
professional goals, but my personal goals as well. I made friends that will last a lifetime, memories to tell my future kids, and embraced English culture and history. Thank you, API, and thank you, London!
It’s Your Turn! Find an Internship Abroad
Feeling inspired by Elizabeth Ann’s experience? Are you ready to take the leap yourself? England is waiting for you! This internship in England could serve as a great option for students pursuing majors in Fashion, Design, Film, or Hospitality. For more information about interning abroad in England or other locations across the globe, check out our program finder!
This blog was written by a member of our API Ambassador program, which is for students who have successfully completed an API program abroad. Want to talk to an API Alum yourself? You can do so at this link!