This post was written by Danielle Wasserman who goes to the University of Central Florida and completed an internship with Ralph Lauren.
During an interview, I love asking employers “What does an average day look like for your interns?” In most cases they say, “There is no typical day.” And that’s just it! In fashion, publishing, entertainment, advertising and public relations there is no such thing as a typical day. Isn’t that why we love these industries so much? They leave never bored and always hungry for more.
Last summer I was offered an incredible opportunity to work for THE Ralph Lauren as a public relations intern. Ralph Lauren is where I learned a pleasing lesson that this industry is not necessarily another pencil-pushing one. My days ranged anywhere from sending out gowns to Julia Roberts to assisting in seating arrangements for New York Fashion Week. Curious to learn about what a “typical” day is like working for such an iconic brand? Lucky for you, I documented a day in the life of a Ralph Lauren intern.
7:00am: Wake up with a happy heart because I’m in New York City! Scroll through social media. I like to be in the know of celebrities, friends, clothing sales— it’s my morning newspaper!
7:15am: Turn on the radio to Z100, a station which I ironically grew up listening to in South Florida. I then make breakfast, tame the bed head, and stare at my closet in hopes that an outfit presents itself.
8:00am: Leave for work. I live blocks away from Penn Station so it’s a fairly short commute to the office. If you ever get the option to travel via subway before 9am, don’t! While I love seeing the city in it’s morning hustle and bustle, public transportation is a little square foot sensitive. Who needs coffee when you commute in the city?
8:30am: Exit the subway station. Walking from the subway to work is my favorite part of the commute. The Ralph Lauren office is located on Madison Ave., so I get to pass views like the infamous Saks Fifth Ave and St. Patrick’s Cathedral all before 9:00am!
8:45am: Enter the revolving doors of 650 Madison and scan my ID badge to ride the elevator. Elevator rides are invigorating! As I ride up the elevator, chicly dressed Ralph Lauren employees discuss business from their departments. It’s inspiring to catch wind of the magic behind a successful company!
8:50am: Make my way to my desk. Check emails and create a “to-do” list for the day.
9:15am: Open packages we’ve received over night. A major project the public relations department does is coordinate and sends out “looks” to publications. That’s when you’ll see Blake Lively on the cover of Vogue sporting a fabulous POLO look. When the publication is done photographing the look they’ll send it on back to Ralph Lauren where I enter them back into our system.
9:45am: Organize the showroom. Once all the returned looks are entered into Fashion GPS, a database that allows us to reserve and traffic samples of clothing, I bring the clothing back to the showroom. Organization is key! It definitely makes for a smoother day. In the hustle and bustle of trying to get an outfit down to Vanity Fair in 20 minutes flat, it can get chaotic when the closets are not in order.
10:15- 11am: “Send Out Requests” start rolling in from the different coordinators. For example, POLO jacket to Harper’s Bazaar; Collection over-the-knee boots to Vogue Italy; Ricky bag to ELLE. I divide and conquer which Send Out Requests are more time-sensitive than others and begin gathering pieces from several showrooms within Ralph Lauren’s twenty-seven floor building. This is an incredible opportunity for me to reach out and speak with different coordinators in the various departments!
11-11:45am: Officially time to send out the samples! Ralph Lauren, among many other fashion brands and PR firms, use Fashion GPS, I scan each complete look into Fashion GPS and then note where each coordinating publication the samples are to be sent. Simultaneously, I arranged for a mail service to come gather all the outfits. Myself and the other interns carry garment bags down to the mailroom. Who knew you could get a bicep workout from coutur?!
12-1pm: Time for some grub. To cut the cost, I pack a healthy Trader Joe’s lunch and sit somewhere picturesque with them in the city. Seriously, the Ralph Lauren office couldn’t be in a better location—one block away from Central Park. Summer in the city is euphoric! I usually find a place in the park to enjoy my lunch break to soak up some vitamin D, people watch, and chat with the other interns about our different projects.
1-1:15pm: Back at work! Time to check emails and track all the Send Out Requests. Since many of the publication’s photo shoots were time sensitive, I liked to check the status of looks I sent out earlier that morning. If the mail service had not delivered the samples yet, I like to follow up with them.
1:30-2:30pm: The fashion coordinator just asked for me to hand-deliver a watch to Vogue offices. This is one of my favorite errands! I check the watch out in Fashion GPS and pack it up. Outside of the office I hail a taxi to Condé Nast. I check in security and take an elevator to the floor where Vogue resides, praying to catch a glimpse of Anna Wintour. I don’t, but I do see the iconic VOGUE in all its glory.
2:35-4pm: I’ve receive a Send Out Request for Vogue China to be featured in their September Fall issue. International send outs are more involved than local requests. I create a pro forma listing each piece’s material, value, quantity and all that fun stuff and email it off to Ralph Lauren’s China offices.
4:15pm: Here’s a little fun fact about Ralph Lauren, his favorite candy is M&Ms. This justifies why every floor of his offices are equipped with a massive silver bowl of M&Ms. Our supervisor encourages us to take a few. Myself and the other interns take turns on herding up some to snack on in the afternoon. Best. Internship. Ever.
4:20-5:00pm: More mail has rolled in! I go through returned looks noting that they are complete in our database. Arms deep in couture, I make their way back to the showrooms where I return them to their rightful closets.
5-6:00pm: Final status check of the send outs for the day, making sure the samples have arrived to all designated publications. I print out Fashion GPS reports for the day and distribute them to corresponding coordinators. I inquire if there is anything else I can take off their hands— send-outs, organizing, emails or errands. I organize my desk and make my journey to the second half of my day- work.
6:20-9:30pm: While NYC is incredibly expensive, working and living there is feasible with ambition. This aspiration lead me in picking up a part time job at Anthropologie to make expenses more comfortable. Because I work at the Anthropologie located at the Rockefeller Center we get tons of tourists from all over the world. I meet some pretty interesting people and get to help them with one of my favorite past-times— FASHION! I gather inspiration from the pieces and displays in the store and formulate different outfits I can wear my next day at internship.
9:35pm Catch the subway back to my apartment. I never mind the walk to and from the subway at night. The city illuminates a new ambiance after hours— buzzing with people and lights. It’s a culture specific to the city and it’s downright extraordinary to experience!
10-11:30pm: Arrive home, shower and kick my feet up. I take this time for myself— read, catch an episode on Netflix or scroll through some of my favorite blogs (shout out to Bldg 25!). I’ve accomplished so much in one day and I’m working my way to achieving my dreams. There’s nothing to do but fall asleep with a grateful heart.
What a summer well spent it was! At Ralph Lauren I was given an independence that sharpened my multi-tasking, precision in details, communication and international affairs— something I am so very proud of to have under my belt! It’s a fast paced environment that leaves your hair messy, eyes sparkling and ready for more!