It’s official, I have survived my first full week of work in the Marie Claire fashion closet. After four lost (and then found) watches, two 11-hour shifts, and one mental breakdown, I came out of it alive. Needless to say, I struggled. Starting a new internship in arguably the most cutthroat, competitive industry in the biggest market in the world made me realize just how lucky I have been to intern in Arizona for the past three and a half years. Back in Tempe, there was never a time when I felt scared to ask a question because I wasn’t sure how to do my job. You’re spoiled working at smaller companies, because people actually have the time to teach you how to do your job. Here in New York, it’s sink or swim– and swimming is the only option. But don’t worry, I’ve been swimming just fine and attempting to document it all along the way.
A major drawback of constantly having something super important to work on is the fact that I’d probably get burnt at stake if anyone caught me trying to get cute outfit pictures for this blog. But, thanks to the Hearst elevators, I have decided to document the next six weeks with at least one elevator selfie a day.
My first day was so stressful and all over the place that I don’t think that I could put my roller coaster of emotions into coherent sentences. So I’ll let my photos do the talking.
Here we find the young and naiive Emmy ready for her first day of work!
Eight hours into the shift and no end in sight. I’m afraid I might die, but keeping some hope due to the fact that people probably think I can actually afford things from Dior and Gucci.
Defeated. And as you can see, the cute little ankle boots (and their 3-inch heel) were replaced by my dear old friends, my New Balances.
… and without the coat
Day two was tough. For the first time in my life, the thought of quitting crossed my mind. Did I really want to spend the next six weeks being miserable working hours on end for no pay and no praise? But then I realized that I’ve never quit something like this in my life. On one hand I thought, if you’re really this upset and this miserable, don’t let yourself live like this for the next month and a half. Then on the other hand, I realized that most things get better with time and all I had to do was get over the learning curve.
Day three was the turning point, because it was my first day without any other accessories interns there to help me. I had most of the basics down, but there were still a few tasks that I wasn’t sure how to do. That’s what is so tricky about this kind of job– it’s so easy to figure out the general idea of what you’re asked to do, but the devil is in the details, and when you’re dealing with a $10,000 watch, you don’t want to miss a single detail. Luckily, by this point I had learned how to approach the fashion and accessories assistants with questions in a way that didn’t make me sound completely useless. Also, I saw Nina Garcia for the first time this day, and it was easily the coolest thing that had happened since I started working.
Day four sealed the deal for me and made me realize that this is something I can do and potentially kick ass at. After running an errand for the editor in chief’s assistant, she made it a point to tell my boss that she had great interns, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself. This first week showed me that if you want to survive in this industry doing a great job is expected, and if you want to excel you better find a way to go above in beyond in everything that you do.
So, there you have it. I survived my first week at Marie Claire without losing, breaking or destroying anything. Hopefully I can continue on with that streak over the next five weeks and stick to impressing the assistants, rather than inconveniencing them. No matter what happens, at least I’ll have an incredible view.
Make sure to check back soon to see what the coming weeks have in store for me!