Theory Internship—New York City
Theory’s headquarters are in the Meatpacking District of NYC. They own 489 retail stores around the world that sell contemporary clothes for men and women. Within the extremely lively walls of the headquarters, Theory houses an internship program for high school and college students. The program offers many different positions including fabric merchandising, graphic design and marketing. Interns work under a supervisor, but come together with the rest of the internship team once a week to learn about resume building, interviewing and other important workforce skills.
What it’s Actually Like
Theory is no average internship. Interns don’t spend their days making coffee or shredding papers. “My favorite part of interning at Theory was going to meetings in the Theory showroom. While I didn’t participate in the meetings, I learned a lot and it was awesome to see the next line before it was in stores,” said Dickinson College junior Nora Sheeder. Every intern gets a laptop and email address to keep up with all office info. Not only do interns get to know the other high school and college interns, but they also spend everyday shadowing a supervisor and learning specifics of their specialty.
Cool Stuff You’ll Get to Do
Ever dreamed of being a part of the fashion industry? Theory interns get the opportunity to be hands-on every day at work. “As an intern in the fabric merchandising department, it was my responsibility to approve head-ends, match fabrics and cut and sort shipments of new fabrics,” said Sheeder. Seeing the process of what goes into making a clothing line isn’t something people get to see every day. Theory interns not only see it firsthand, but also actually help get the job done.
What You’ll Learn
The fast-paced environment helps interns learn how to run around New York and accomplish tasks quickly—from cutting swatches, going to the other offices in NYC and sending emails. The world of fashion always changes. Interns must be prepared to stop what they’re doing at any time and start a new assignment. “I learned that there is a lot of behind the scenes work in the fashion industry that is more than just designing and production. A lot of the work is tedious, but necessary,” explained Sheeder.
How to Prepare for your Application
Interns should obviously want to learn more about the fashion business to get a spot in this program. Whether focused in social media, marketing, financing or designing, all budding fashion gurus will find a specialty that works for them. Those vying for a spot need to apply through the online portal. Then wait for an interview to get one step closer to a Theory internship. Remember to do your research about the company and prove you’re ready to work in a fast-paced environment.
Skills That Impress Them
Theory looks for interns who can handle a large work load. You should also know the ins and outs of NYC’s fashion industry and always be ready for a new task. Some light Excel work will come up. A true understanding of how the fashion industry works is most important. “In terms of the skills we look for, it varies by each department but we look for rising juniors and seniors in college with past work experience and a desire to learn more about the brand. We seek individuals that are outgoing, ambitious, and eager to learn,” said a Theory employee.
For starters, you get to see the clothing collections before the world sees them. Oh, and did I forget to mention employees (yes, including interns) get a killer discount at Theory stores? “Interns have the opportunity to work in our corporate office and be fully immersed in the brand, working on a specific department and hearing from senior executives of the company, across departments,” a Theory employee said. A huge resume boost and a discount—how can you go wrong?
Minus the terrifying boss and coworkers, imagine an experience like The Devil Wears Prada. You’ll see most people in the office dressed in all black, fabric swatches everywhere, racks of clothes lining the building and sketches dotting employee desks. Theory’s interns need to work at least three days a week during their three-month commitment. Interns are paid at an hourly rate plus overtime if applicable. As a Theory intern, you’ll get an incredible experience, seeing how people in different positions and fields come together to make the clothes we wear every day.
Ready to start your career journey by nailing that summer internship? Check out four steps that make it easy here.