Beth Schaller is a sophomore at the University of Illinois and the Social Media Chair at our Sigma chapter. She has had the incredible opportunity to intern and work at AKIRA, a clothing store that does so much more than just sell clothes. What started out as a typical internship has turned into an unforgettable part-time gig, and she tells us all about it.
What do you do?
My internship at AKIRA is twofold. Originally, I interned twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After only two weeks, I was sat down by the E-commerce Director and was offered a staff position as a part-time copy writer on Mondays and Wednesdays. Now I do both! In the beginning of my internship, my tasks included updating the company’s minor socials (Pinterest, Wanelo, Polyvore), cleaning the showroom, and laminating signage for brick and mortar stores. Now I update the major platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and the company blog. I also model shoes for the website photos and videos.
Recently, I’ve gotten the chance to work closely with the founder and CEO Erikka Wang. I sit in on weekly content meetings with her and the rest of the eight person e-commerce team, and I organize her sample closet periodically. On my copy writing days, I go through the new shipment and write creative descriptions, identify the composition, and detail the care instructions of each garment/shoe/accessory.
What is your favorite part?
Something that is a little outside of my role, but easily my favorite part, is getting to work in the studio. Early into my internship I was able to help out on a photo shoot. I was documenting the day on Snapchat, and had SO much fun. I sat down with the stylist after that, and inquired about her position/styling in general. My boss and the stylist agreed to give me more time in the studio, so now I work on photo shoots regularly. Prior to a shoot, I help put together looks that feature the best elements of each garment. The day of, I come in early and make sure everything is in order as the hair and makeup people do their magic. During the shoot, I help the process run swiftly, hanging up clothes and getting the models changed. I add last-minute accessories (purses, jewelry) and pick the shoes. It’s tiring, being on your feet all day, but something that I thoroughly enjoy.
What is your major, and what do you hope to do in the future?
I’m an English Major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My school does not offer a fashion major, but it is my entire family’s Alma mater, so I am happy there. English is an easily applicable field of study to any job application. I have always known I wanted a career in fashion. I was a style advisor for Aritzia, and I founded a clothing blog on Blogspot in high school called Beth’s Laundry to showcase my style. It is now discontinued, and I tend to my own personal website/portfolio bethslaundry.com. That, combined with my addiction to Instagram, led me to pursue a social media internship. I am loving every aspect of social media. Now, I am interested in styling and hope to get an internship as a stylist intern for a different retail company. I am driving full speed ahead and already thinking about the many places I am going to apply to in hopes of tasting multiple fields within the fashion industry. Will I end up in LA, Chicago, New York? Who knows!
Know of a chapter sister that has done something incredible? Want to show her off? Email Hannah Peterson at email@example.com to nominate a sister (or yourself!) to be featured!