Joanne Loye looks at her time as an intern for Primark
Tell us about yourself and what you are/been studying?
I studied in Portobello doing the Fashion Buying and Merchandising course which is brilliant and has really helped me with my career. The tutors on the course were brilliant and it is very clear why they are lectures on the course. Nicole is a designer herself which was brilliant as she knows first-hand what it takes to become a designer. Janet is so creative and full of energy she really does get the creative side out of you. Ann-Maire is so realistic. She knows what it takes to become a buyer and has amazing contacts to help you get your foot into certain buying offices. During my internship I knew that if I had any problems I could email her and she would be there with amazing advice. If it was for this course and Ann-Maire I would not have my dream job today.
Why did you choose to apply to Portobello/Primark Internship?
I can in contact with a lot of people via instagram who had completed the portobello course and seen how successful they are in their careers. It also suited me financially. When Ann-Maire mentioned she had secured a Primark internship I knew right away that I had to do it as it would be a great way to see if fashion buying was for me and also it was with Primark the company that I wanted to work for because their head office as based in Dublin and because it is such a well-known company.
Tell us what you did as an Intern for 6weeks in detail.
As part of my internship I was placed in the ladieswear department and I was on team knit. I loved everything about it. I had many different jobs throughout my internship such as;
· Comp shop powerpoint
· Emailing suppliers
· Organizing rails
Every day was different on the internship. On a Monday it was a trade day which meant I had to pull the top products of knit that week. The meetings on a Monday were very interesting as you got to go into the finer detail to how things are selling. We don't only look at Ireland we look at all the regions that Primark sell in which is good to see how different they are.
Comp shops were something that me and the interns did a lot. At first, I didn't think they would make much of a different but in fact one of mine that I did was presented in a meeting. I had to compare the prices of cardigans from different retailers.
On a Tuesday morning I would email all the different suppliers and ask them to send on any workbooks of the different pieces that had to be fitted that week on the fit model. Suppliers would send different samples and we as buyers would have to develop the product to make sure it was fit for production. I would then measure the different knit pieces to ensure that they are to spec. We would then have a fit meeting where we would discuss different things, we would like to change such as increase the sleeve length by 1cm. I would take down any comments that were made and send response back to the suppliers. We would do this a number of times during the week.
Primark is such a big company and we get many samples and developments sent on a daily basis so it was my job to ensure that they were kept organised
What was your biggest challenge during the Internship?
Personally, the biggest challenge for me was knowing if I was doing enough to prove myself. I was limited to the amount of stuff that I could do because I was an intern and I just wanted to be doing more. I wanted to prove myself in the hope that I would get a job out of my internship. However, my advice would be to anyone do anything that your team ask you. Keep yourself busy by researching all the competition and ask loads of questions.
Tell us about your best memory from the Internship.
My best memory of the internship was getting the email that started my recruitment process. I did not realise that my team was putting me forward as a trainee buyer and it was a complete shock. This resulted in me getting a job as a trainee buyer. Another great memory of the internship was making friends with all the other interns. The girls that Ann-Maire selected to complete the internship were the most motivated and supportive girls. I have made friends for life.
What is your main takeaway from the Internship.
Work hard even if you think no one noticed they are. Ask loads of questions and make contacts. By asking questions it shows that you want to learn and are a motivated person.
What´s the best part of working as an Intern at Primark.
The best part for me was seeing the development of the product. I know understand how a buying office works. Through my hard work I now have secured a full-time job in men's wear which is the reason why I decided to do this internship.