As the summer was approaching and classmates were anxiously searching for summer internship opportunities, I decided instead to dedicate my summer to work on an Independent Study Project for school. Unconvinced during previous summer positions that internships offer enough hands-on workplace experience, I craved a learn-by-doing opportunity that could teach responsibility and creative thinking while encouraging curiosity and initiative. I wanted something adaptable that would allow me to respond to what I learn, changing directions and adding work goals and responsibilities as needed. It was only after a friend suggested a United By Blue internship that I believed I could find all of these things in an internship, and after applying and being accepted by UBB as the Product Development Intern, I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision after all to intern this summer.
On the first day of my internship, Maggie, UBB’s Product Manager, encouraged the interns to be proactive and to always be on the lookout for opportunities to contribute. At United By Blue, the interns’ ideas are not only heard, but implemented. In the open floor plan start-up environment at UBB, it is impossible not to become interested in the projects of others. Because of this, interaction and collaboration across different areas of responsibility is not only possible, but encouraged. Different perspectives lead to great ideas at United By Blue, so opinions and feedback are always welcome.
In planning the Fall 14 line, Maggie and I posted inspiration to Pinterest boards which we then printed out to physical inspiration boards for a week-long development discussion. We worked together to decide on apparel, small goods, and bag developments for the season and began tech packs for our manufacturers. I was able not only to contribute style inspiration and comments during our dialogue about future developments, but I then was able to help Maggie with final designs and communications in order to drive the sample development for the Fall 14 styles (focusing primarily on bags and small goods). It is amazing to think that I will be able to see designs that Maggie and I worked on together on UBB’s site and in retail locations in just a year!
Other responsibilities I’ve had this summer have included making sample revisions, creating tech pack templates, exploring environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, and brainstorming new product categories. In my time at United By Blue, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the production process, but I also feel that I’ve made an impact on the company that will continue to be felt after the summer is over. I would recommend a UBB internship to anyone looking for an inclusive work environment and learning experience with a youthful entrepreneurial spirit. I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished in the short time I’ve been at United By Blue and look forward to seeing the company grow in the future.