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[TC]² Graduates its 14th Student Intern Class


The eight week [TC]² student intern program culminated on July 26, 2007, with business plans presentations by intern teams. Interns were tasked with creating a product, identifying a target market, outlining sales and marketing strategies with promotional materials, and presenting a budget with sales forecasts.

Student Interns are rising seniors from U.S. universities who are selected by a committee of the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s Human Resources Leadership Council. During the eight week internship, students attended the full spectrum of [TC]² seminar offerings; completed various project assignments; visited several companies for facility tours; and met with industry professionals to discuss the state of the sewn products industry and its future direction.


Pictured, from left, Allison Osteen, Oklahoma State University; April Taylor, East Carolina University; Jessie Hill, Baylor University; Heather McCready, Iowa State University; Amy Lehan, University of Wisconsin-Stout; and Leanne Thornton, Mississippi State University

[TC]² and the Student Interns gratefully acknowledge internship program sponsors Gerber Technology, JCPenney Company; Lectra; Shapely Shadow; Gutermann, and WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production).


Most colleges and universities give students the opportunity to pick up work experience outside of the classroom. There are a number of names for these programs, including:

 

- Internships

- Co-ops

- Apprenticeships

- Summer jobs

- Part time jobs

These programs may require you to complete a specific project, or you may simply perform assigned tasks.

The bottom line? All are designed to get you into a real world situation, better known as a job. As you work, you'll gain experience. Think of it as a bridge between college and your first job.

You're probably asking, "Will I get paid?" The answer is usually "yes," but the amount depends on your college's specific program, your background, and the company for which you're working. You may work within a single division of a company, or for several different divisions. Remember to consider these issues as you examine potential internships.

That raises the big questions: what experience do I need to be an intern, and what will I be expected to do? Check out these sample internships for the answers.

Intern Designer
Marketing Analyst Intern
Distribution Engineering Intern
Apparel Engineering Intern
Sourcing Intern (Americas)
Quality/Fabric Development Intern
Pattern/Product Design Intern
Product Development Associate Intern
Merchandising Associate Intern

 

Intern Designer

Reports to the Designer

What Would I Do?

When working for a Creative Designer:

Y Establish initial color story. Manage color orders, names and cards.

Y Create theme boards with initial concepts and color stories for each collection.

Y Assist in creating initial fabric and trim plan.

Y Assist in developing original textile designs including prints, yarn-dye plaids and stripes, screen prints and embroideries.

Y Prepare sketches, print, pattern and color information for CAD operator to establish boards.

Y Assist in approving lab dips and strike off fabrics.

When working for a Technical Designer:

Y Review and modify design sketches to insure manufacturability and cost-effective production.

Y Assist in prototype development by evaluating samples and specification standards.

Y Review pre-production samples for quality.

Y Assist in developing new specifications and standards and ensure proper grading of patterns.

Y Assist designers in fit sessions.

Y Design technically correct drawings using CAD tools.

Other Duties:

Y Create lab dip boards.

Y Create seasonal style sketch books for reference purposes.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel Design, Fashion Merchandising or equivalent degree program

Y Ability to read color and make technical color comments

Y Exceptionally strong creative ability and well-developed sense of color and vision

Y Strong communication and presentation skills

Y Ability to function in a team environment

Y Flat pattern and grading skills

Y Garment construction skills; understanding of specifications and fit

Y Working knowledge of CAD programs, Microsoft Office, and Macintosh OS

Y Technical drawing experience desired

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Marketing Analyst Intern

Reports to the Senior Marketing Analyst

What Would I Do?

Main duties:

Y Assist with consumer research that impacts marketing decisions for the company.

Y Design market research studies and various data collection tools.

Y Assist in data collection and analysis.

Y Assist in development and organization of corporate marketing tools as appropriate (such as informational brochures, sales kits, corporate videos, etc.).

Y Compile marketplace, competitive, industry, and proprietary data and information for potential and existing business reviews.

When working for the Senior Marketing Analyst:

Y Develop research objectives and action standards for custom research projects.

Y Identify most appropriate, timely and cost-efficient research design/method to acquire needed information.

Y Coordinate external research supplier activity.

Y Communicate findings and recommend actions to clients/management.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel, Textile or equivalent degree program with strength in Business Administration

Y Competency in Marketing, Advertising and Marketing Research · Strong statistical, analytical/problem-solving, and math skills

Y Excellent communication skills (oral and written)

Y Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information in a professional manner

Y Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access)

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Distribution Engineering Intern

Reports to the Engineering Manager

What Would I Do?

When working for the Distribution Systems Manager:

Y Assist in creating/maintaining technical documentation for the Warehouse Management System.

Y Assist in daily maintenance of the Warehouse Control System (conveyors, carousels, transporters).

When working for the Engineering Manager:

Y Assist in management of physical Distribution Center configuration and processes.

Y Use line balancing techniques to maximize workforce utilization.

Y Assist in capacity projections.

Y Design ergonomically sound methods, work stations, aids, etc.

Y Calculate ROI (Return on Investment) and payback figures for projects.

Other Duties:

Y Assist Engineering department in all aspects of safety and other equipment training.

Y Assist Distribution technicians in initiating training of material handling equipment.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Industrial Engineering or equivalent degree program

Y Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Y Strong written and verbal communication skills

Y Good analytical skills

Y Knowledge of Microsoft Office products

Y Must have strong foundational understanding of distribution logistics

Y Technical ability to use drawings, blueprints, schematics and equipment manuals to troubleshoot and/or assemble/move various equipment

Y Experience with electronic scanning equipment and computer software-controlled material handling equipment beneficial

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Apparel Engineering Intern

Reports to the Senior Engineer

What Would I Do?

Main Duties:

Y Assist engineers by collecting data for projects and tracking progress.

Y Work to improve current methods to optimize the use of equipment and other resources.

Y Determine rates using time studies and/or predetermined time data.

Y Assist engineers in determining equipment changes, operator assignments and style groupings for a sew line.

Y Use line balancing techniques to maximize workforce utilization and minimize WIP.

Y Assist in capacity projections.

Y Design ergonomically sound methods, work stations, aids, etc.

Y Calculate ROI and payback figures for projects.

Other Duties:

Assist Manufacturing Engineers in all aspects of creating/delivering/monitoring safety and other equipment training.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering or equivalent Degree Program

Y Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Y Strong written and verbal communication skills

Y Good analytical skills

Y Knowledge of Microsoft Office products and CAD

Y Broad knowledge of garment manufacturing in both construction and methodology

Y Knowledge of basic line balancing techniques

Y Ability to develop complex spreadsheets

Y Experience with garment industry equipment, work aids, attachments beneficial

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Sourcing Intern (Americas)

Reports to the Sourcing Manager

What Would I Do?

Y Assist in locating potential contractors. Compile information needed for contractor pre-certification process.

Y Assist in establishing and monitoring proper performance measures for contractors.

Y Compile weekly reports monitoring contractor performance vs. delivery schedules and quality standards. Distribute as appropriate.

Y Assist in coordination between pre-sew and sewing operations, including cutting, trim consolidation, screen print and embroidery.

Y Assist in preliminary production planning and contractor loading. Become familiar with the product content and plant efficiency parameters utilized in determining production capacity.

Y Monitor performance of cutting contractors vs. established delivery schedules.

Y Monitor contractor fabric and trim inventory.

Y Monitor contractor performance vs. corporate quality procedures and standards. Assist in periodic audits in support of Quality Assurance.

Y Assist in monitoring contractors for compliance with established employment standards.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel, Textile or equivalent Degree Program with strength in Business Administration

Y Fabric and garment construction knowledge a plus

Y Multicultural awareness

Y Strong organizational skills, including time management and communication

Y Strong interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills

Y Ability to communicate in Spanish; 1 year of college level Spanish coursework preferred

Y Basic ability to use Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access)

Y Domestic and international travel required

Y Passport required

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Quality/Fabric Development Intern

Reports to the Fabric Specialist

What Would I Do?

When working for the Fabric Specialist:

Y Source fabric using pictures, photos, verbal descriptions, or fabric/yarn samples provided by the design team.

Y Obtain prototype development fabric.

Y Inform suppliers of terms expected for maintaining competitive price, quality, delivery and capacity.

Main Duties:

Y Coordinate and submit product development testing.

Y Route product development testing results and recommendations to appropriate personnel and finalize with product development team.

Y Evaluate quality complaints received from facilities, distribution centers and testing labs. Determine disposition of complaints.

Y Collect complaint information in computer for monthly/annual supplier product quality report, assist in analyzing, and provide recommendations for improvement target areas.

Y Obtain information needed from supplier including specific weight, description and cuttable width of fabric; prices, minimums and lead-times; and construction and physical specification sheets.

Y Compile and evaluate information to assist Fabric Specialist in determining appropriate supplier for required fabric based on negotiated price, quality, capacity, technical qualification, and capability.

Y Compile and evaluate vendor performance data for use in vendor certification programs.

Other Duties:

Y Operate all test equipment on occasion.

Y Obtain and distribute fabric specifications.

Y Assist Fabric Associate in maintaining all fabric, color, and documentation systems.

Y Assist Fabric Associate in coordinating the sample fabric order function.

Y Assist Fabric Specialist in reviewing obsolete inventories.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel Design/Manufacturing, Textiles or equivalent degree program

Y Good eye coordination and ability to distinguish color

Y Basic understanding of textile quality

Y Strong written and verbal communication skills

Y Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Y Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access)

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Pattern/Product Design Intern

Reports to the Product Design Engineer

What Would I Do?

Main Duties:

Y Use CAD tools to modify or create the garment sketch to be used throughout the development and production stages.

Y Maintain timely distribution and updating of construction sheets, grading charts, cutting information and detailed assembly diagram and notes to the plants and contractors.

Y Develop and maintain technical knowledge and skill of industrial equipment and methods by sewing prototypes and working closely with R&D.

Y Present prototype to Designer and/or Merchandiser and evaluate by reviewing fit, proportion, fabric suitability and cost to achieve style approval.

Y Ensure that garments are produced in accordance with construction methods, specification and quality standards by examining construction and measurements of garments.

Y Size and place artwork.

When working for the Product Design Engineer:

Y Develop costing packages to allow vendors to estimate the cost of a garment prior to production.

Y Execute the product approval process by measuring the prototype submitted and compare those measurements against the graded specifications.

Y Review the prototype for construction techniques, quality issues and design placements and communicate any revisions that need to be made.

Y Maintain accurate records of all correspondence with vendors.

Other Duties:

Y Initiate, follow up on and perform work assignments such as prototype construction, engineer sample cutting, step-by-step construction method sample, sample and production pattern cutting and the distribution of pattern samples to the cutting and sewing facilities.

Y Review salesman samples for appropriate construction specs and art placement.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel Design, Textiles Degree program or equivalent

Y PDM, Word, Excel, AS400 skills beneficial

Y Garment construction knowledge essential

Y Flat pattern and grading skills desirable

Y Proficiency in Algebra and Geometry

Y Strong oral and written communication skills

 

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Product Development Associate Intern

Reports to the Manager of Product Line What

What Would I Do?

Main Duties:

Gather information needed from suppliers, including:

Y Style-specific information

Y Price information

Y Cuttable width list

Y Distribute and communicate product specific information to inquiring departments.

Complete purchasing and shipping tasks including:

Y Placing purchase orders for sample yardage

Y Monitoring ship dates and product information, making necessary changes to all systems (i.e., BIBS, PROD MASTER, P.O., Pricing, etc.)

Y Communicating with suppliers and Product Development Manager and Specialist on ship dates

Y Inspecting and approving invoices for payment

Y Receiving prototype fabric, relaying receipt to Merchandising

Y Requesting screen charges and amortizing cost over forecast for publication to cost accountant and purchasing

Y Monitoring sample fabric deliveries with production control and publishing expectations for weekly calendar meetings.

Organize and maintain all fabric, color and documentation systems:

Y Submit color standard request with color services

Y Receive and record color from color services

Y Library color

Y Inventory color

Y Copy, collate and mail outgoing artwork

Y Request standards from mill

Y Receive standards and submits for approval

Y Distribute approved standards to appropriate department

Y Request spec sheets and affidavits from mills and maintain these documents

Y Submit affidavits to accounting.

Other Duties:

Y Assist in mill performance management.

Y Assist in analyzing, sourcing and developing new fabrics for domestic and/or 807 production.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel, Fashion Merchandising or Textile Degree Program or equivalent · Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Y Strong written and verbal communication skills

Y Knowledge of Microsoft Office products and database management programs

Y Basic knowledge of textile quality a plus

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Merchandising Associate Intern

Reports to the Merchandiser or Associate Merchandiser

What Would I Do?

When working for the Assistant/Associate Merchandiser:

Y Enter design specs into product data management system.

Y Work with designer and artists in various aspects of line development including color, fit, styling, trim, and manufacturability.

Y Assist in maintaining boards and spreadsheets. Check and review information (lot numbers, etc.).

Y Prepare seasonal color cards.

Y Assist in establishing and maintaining shade bands and seasonal wash list.

Y Coordinate and develop new and existing sales aids: select salesmen samples, merchandise color storyboards on CAD system. Proof boards and make revisions as necessary. Create additional sales tools as needed (i.e., swatches, line information and pricing strategy). Approve all sales samples and initiate recuts when necessary.

Y Compile information on detailed seasonal line plans by classification and garment code.

Y Help prepare seasonal bookings analysis for the business segment of responsibility.

Y Create and maintain SKU count.

When working for the Merchandise Manager:

Y Development of seasonal lot numbers forecasts which support corporate marketing plans, and execute in-season forecast revisions.

Y Analysis of seasonal product costing and seasonal sell-throughs.

Y Assist in line presentations to management and sales force.

Other Duties:

Y Assist in coordinating excess fabric including gathering information and distributing to proper channels.

Y Maintain plaid and stripe library.

Y Assist Merchandiser in determining products to be sampled each season.

Y Assist Merchandiser in laying out color story seasonal sales boards.

What Knowledge and Skills Do I Need?

Y Junior standing in Apparel, Fashion Merchandising or equivalent degree program

Y Strong communication and presentation skills

Y Working knowledge of forecasting techniques, percentages and mark-ups

Y Working knowledge of CAD, Microsoft Word, and Excel

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