Written by Hadley Passela 

It’s by no simple coincidence that SCAD touts a 98% employment rate. An internship is something that will set any recent graduate aside, giving them a much better chance of employment upon graduation. It’s the difference between, “I’ve graduated and need to start looking for jobs,” and “I’m about to graduate and already have a job lined up for me.” It’s no wonder that a lot of SCAD alumni graduated with one, if not two or three internships behind their belts.

Paid or unpaid, in your hometown or hundreds of miles of way, when it comes to an internship it does matter how, when or where you’re doing it but what you get out of it, — the experiences — that is what will snag you a job post-grad, doing what you love at a company that speaks your language. This summer, SCAD District’s Intern Diaries will outline the various internships SCAD students are participating in across the U.S. and beyond. Stay tuned to find out the many benefits of gaining experience in your field before graduating.

Sophia Lewis is a fourth-year fashion marketing major from Denver, Colorado who is spending the summer in New York City after having spent her spring quarter in Hong Kong.

She began pursuing internship opportunities at the beginning of her junior year and is working for a collaboration of fashion stylists.  Lewis attributes her internship success to SCAD Professor, Monika Jonevski, as she hosted a Q&A session regarding internships.

“I started applying for internships in February. I can’t put a number on how many I applied for, but you must be persistent and email often,” said Lewis.

Living and working in New York City is not for the faint of heart. Lewis hit the ground running and leveraged her strengths in networking to take on more than one opportunity.

“When I initially came to New York, I was offered an internship at a showroom, which is pretty much the starter for any fashion intern,” Lewis said. “I later ended up networking and landing a job with a few stylists.”

Lewis loves working on sets and collaborating with people. She described what her work week looked like:

“Monday, Thursday, Friday, I sit in meetings with buyers and take notes/do whatever needs to be done in a showroom. Tuesday and Wednesday, I work for a stylist which entails never sitting. I do check-ins, check-outs, and run around. I prep for and work on shoots. Friday’s, I get off my job at 2 p.m. so I’ll go and assist, Marc Anthony, another stylist/friend for his shoots that are on the weekend or beginning of the week,” explained Lewis.

On nights and weekends that she isn’t styling, she works as a nanny. “If you’re in New York City and not working constantly, you’re wasting time,” she said.

Lewis credits the fundamentals she learned at SCAD with helping her overcome challenges she faced in her role as an intern.

“Everything I learned at my internship has been trial and error,” Lewis said. “SCAD has conditioned me to think quickly due to constant crunch time and deadlines.”

One of her most empowering moments came when stylist, Lexy Rose, called a job she was on to express that she needed Sophia more than they were using her. Lexy had several interns, so this spoke volumes for her work.

Lewis continues to cultivate opportunities and offers advice to future interns pursuing fashion in New York City.

“If you’re hoping to come to New York for your internship, you’ll end up meeting tons of people that will link you with others that are looking for interns,” said Lewis.

“So, if you hate your internship you traveled for, don’t be discouraged. You’ll meet tons of people that need you and are willing to help you as well.”

To learn more about Sophia’s work follow her Instagram account.