Internships are often thought of as being for the benefit of the intern, but more and more we’re seeing what effect they can have for the company taking on the intern, too.
When Jerome arrived at Line & Label, Kate O’Riley’s hip Greenpoint boutique, she didn’t know what to expect. She said she partnered with the NYC Together internship program this winter simply because she wanted to pass on what she knows to aspiring designers.
“I always thought it would feel good to mentor or help someone, but never could I have imagined how good it made me feel,” she told us recently in an email. “It was a life changing experience for me. I think the bond that I developed with Jerome will be life long. I am truly thankful for the time that I get to spend with him every week.”
When Jerome arrived, he loved clothes but he really didn’t know anything about making them, she said. He helped her mostly by taking packages to the post office, picking up sewing and trimming supplies, and doing inventory. She helped him by teaching him some basics in designing, draping, patternmaking, and sewing.
“What I wanted him to learn was first making a simple tote bag,” she explained. “He made the flat pattern, cut and then sewed the bag. I was pretty impressed, he had never made anything like this before from scratch. Now we are in the process of making a custom fit button up shirt with his measurements. He is learning that he can take an existing flat pattern, and make the adjustments according to his (or someone else's) measurements.”
Jerome is a senior in high school and hopes to continue his education at a fashion school next fall, where he’ll have some skills when he enters the classroom.
“There were a lot of people in my life who influenced me,” Kate wrote. “I would love to be able to inspire and help someone work toward their goals and dreams.”