Design Internship Experience: How NIFT Kolkata student Garima Nahata got PPO
Becoming an asset for a company in two months of the internship period is what every intern wishes for. Everyone wants to execute their project in such a way that results in getting a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) at the end of 8-week long internship. But how can one achieve all this? How can a design student utilise an internship opportunity to understand the application of theories?
In this special series of ‘Internship Experiences of Design Students’, Careers360 brings insightful experiences and success strategies from interns, who not only executed their assignment successfully, but also impressed seniors and the company with their professional approach and willingness to learn.
In this interview, NIFT Kolkata fourth year fashion design student Garima Nahata, who did her two-month long internship with Texport Syndicate PVT LTD, shares how she invited a PPO for herself at the end of internship.
Careers360: Where did you complete your fashion internship from? What was the size of the organization and duration of your training period?
Garima: I completed my fashion internship from Texport Sydicate PVT LTD, Mumbai. The size category it would fall in would be large enterprise. The training period was for two months, June and July (also called summer internship).
Careers360: In which semester do NIFTians have to go for an internship? Is it compulsory for everyone?
Garima: We have to go for internship at the end of third year. As soon as we take our final exams, we have to leave for our internship. Some of us choose to work as an intern outside the city we are studying in. This internship is compulsory for all third year students.
Careers360: What was your thought process before participating in the internship process?
Garima: I wanted to work with an export enterprise; so my mind was focused on how my CV can be better than others in order to get selected by a good company. There are enterprises that don’t let you work in depth. So, I contacted my seniors, who have worked here and knew its work ethics. Only after getting completely satisfied I applied there, and fortunately got selected too.
Careers360: Please share the details of your project and your role in it.
Garima: In those two months, I worked on minor as well as major projects. I was directly working with the head designer. My minor projects included making Khakas for embroideries for kidswear garments for the brand Ralph Lauren. I also made a collection of five sweatshirts for the same. The other project I did was to make beach wear – casual shirts for HnM.
My major projects included design research for the latest collection- Spring Summer 18, for brands like Zara, Zara Collection, Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury’s and Dunnes. My designs got selected too. Then, I made around 50 styles in total.
Careers360: What were the key challenges you faced during your internship?
Garima: One of the major challenges that I faced being a newcomer was to understand process and flow of the company. In just two months, grasping the process was difficult, but then in my second week, I started to get a hang of things. Secondly, making the sampling section workers understand my designs was a bit tough too, but they were very helpful.
Careers360: What was your key learning and achievement after completing the internship?
Garima: Being from background of woven studies in college, but working with knitwear department during internship was a huge challenge as well as learning for me. I got to know so many types of fabrics while working. My knowledge bloomed in both, woven as well as knitted fabrics. I also learnt how to make tech packs, which is an essential part of working in an export house. My design concepts have also been improved. I also learnt to work in sync in a team here.
The biggest achievement for me was when my mentor told me at the end of internship period that I can come back to Texport Syndicate PVT LTD to work whenever I want. Getting a pre-placement offer was a big thing for me.
Careers360: How did your mentor help you execute the project?
Garima: My mentor was strict as well as helpful. She helped me in getting through the troubles that I was facing initially. She also aided me in getting better with embroidery and sample designs.
Careers360: How was your interaction with other employees during your internship period?
Garima: Interaction with the employees left me with mixed feelings. Some were very helpful and interactive, while others were introvert.
Careers360: Did you get any monthly stipend during the fashion internship period?
Garima: No, I got no stipend during this internship.
Careers360: Is it important for a student to do an internship? What values can be gained?
Garima: It is crucial to do an internship as it opens one’s mind and gives industrial exposure. I have done an Internship before also in a design house for a month (not from college). One can gain practical knowledge from this. It is very helpful when you come back to college and relate your practical knowledge to the theory that is being taught.
Careers360: Share a memorable incident from your internship days.
Garima: Each day was memorable for me, but the best one was when the employees got a big cake for the interns at the end of our internship period. Also, the workers gave us a vada pav treat, which is highly popular in Mumbai. The second best day was when my mentor got goodies for me from the USA. Third memorable day was when I had to work in office till 11.00 pm because samples were to be couriered.
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