Alanna Montgomery '13 is interning this summer at Discovery Clothing in Australia. Discovery Clothing is a small fashion company that stocks Australian-based clothing lines. It's located in Rosebery, in New South Wales, on the coast of Australia.
Q: What are your responsibilities as an intern? What have you been doing?
A: So far I've been mostly working on the business aspect of things. I was doing analysis of profit and loss statements, similar to an income statement. On Friday, I helped out at a photo shoot for their online commerce site.
Q: Why did you decide to do an internship?
A: I wanted to get experience and be in a professional environment. It is a great way to learn about what you hope to do in the future and get an idea of several jobs in the office as opposed to working one job.
Q: How did you find out about your internship?
A: My minor in international business requires an international internship so I found a program online that helps place you in internships and provides housing with other interns. I was really excited when they told me about the possibility of interning with Discovery Clothing because it's a small, tightknit company that houses several Australian-based clothing lines.
Q: How does your internship fit with your possible plans for life after Hendrix, or with your current interests?
A: I've always been interested in fashion, and this was an opportunity for me to take what I have learned in business classes and apply it to a small fashion house. Apart from the fashion aspect, I'm learning how a business is generally run, and I feel that I can use my knowledge for any business. My employer has a reputation; they say "if you can work here, you can work in fashion anywhere" and I've heard the same from other people I've met here working in fashion and the fashion industry.
Q: What's been the greatest (or most eye-opening) part of your internship so far?
A: Most people's views of the fashion industry are very warped. It's not as glamorous as people think it is; there isn't a big closet somewhere, it's more of samples on racks and a warehouse of clothes waiting to get shipped out. No one dresses over the top; they wear casual clothes they can do work in. Maybe those workplaces that you see in movies actually exist, but not from what I've experienced.
Q: What's it like to be in Australia?
A: It really isn't much different from being at home. No one I've talked to has an accent that I can't understand. They don't use as much slang as I thought they did. I would say the biggest thing is transitioning from living in a suburb to living in a city, like using public transportation, going to a small grocery store and not a Wal-Mart that has everything you need in one place. Although the exchange rate isn't bad, most everything is more expensive here because their minimum wage is higher. Apart from that it's more of the little things that are different from home, like coffee. All the coffee here is espresso-based. From what I've seen Australia isn't much different from the US, but I think that's a good thing, not culture shock.