Remote Internships, Can They Actually Work?
Jessica Kladerman – Editor-in-Chief
In the highly competitive world of fashion internships, the experience you can gain from working for a fashion company is instrumental in your developing portfolio. I applied for several positions on LinkedIn completely shooting in the dark. I never thought in a million years I would hear back from one of the first interning programs I applied for with the start-up company MNTN Co.
It was the perfect internship for me; I knew I wanted to work for a fashion company that shared the same high ethical standards that I have, and they were looking for an intern for their public relations department.
“The entire business plan from the beginning has been about how can we harness the power of consumerism to do good,” said CEO Kristian Hansen.
Since the company’s inception in 2018 they have worked on developing a business plan that focuses on the concept of “planet over profit with the environment, animals, and the death of corporate greed at the forefront,” according to the company’s website. They achieve this by sourcing their raw materials from fully transparent organic cotton growers, manufacturing their products in Portugal, an EU country with very high business and production standards, and by using the cleanest possible methods of shipping between marine freight and ground delivery services.
What really solidified my choice to accept their internship offer was a program that revolves around my lifestyle and needs. MNTN Co is one of the only companies in the industry with a completely remote internship program.
“Flexible, no set hours, no set workdays allow people the opportunity to add things to their resume without stressing about adding mental health or socioeconomic issues to their life,” said Hansen about the unpaid internships. By having 1-2 meetings per week and setting interns up with goals and tasks to accomplish by certain deadlines there is no need for clocking in and clocking out, nor are you giving over 20 hours a week of your life for grunt work.
When I started back in February of 2021, I was placed in their traditional press group. Here I worked with two other students on developing campaigns used across the company’s various social media channels.
We were working on piecing together an internal proposal used to explain one such campaign to the rest of the team and eventually the rest of the company and co-founder, Jake Robitaille, set up a meeting with me and shared invaluable tips on creating a proposal that had an eye catching yet clean appearance and how to present the data and information in a way that wouldn’t be too overwhelming. What many students sign up for in semester-long courses I learned of no cost to me in the span of 2-3 hours.
“The program we really created is designed to teach and educate as much as we possibly can. Jake spends hours teaching skills that would cost thousands of dollars,” Hansen says about the benefits that come of working on this public relations team. Hansen and Robitaille are available around the clock to assist in every way possible, another factor that sets apart interning with a start-up company, not only was I able to meet the top people in the company, but I interacted with them on a regular basis.
After 5 months with the company, I was ready for more responsibilities and with several shifts among other students in the internship program I became the Influencer Relations Team Lead. This meant I was organizing several excel sheets with influencer data and communicating directly with about 45-60 influencers we work with keeping them up-to-date on product delivery estimations, along with expectations for posting schedules and being available for any concerns they may have had, which were frequent.
Internships are crucial if students want realistic on-the-job training in an environment where you have the space to make mistakes without worrying about jeopardizing your career. The amount of experience I gained through this internship will give me the competitive edge I’ll need when pursuing the next step of my fashion career in New York City.