WHAT AN INTERNSHIP SMELLS LIKE

Reporting to you from a very serious room. It’s cold, tense and very exciting. Well cold mostly. I have two empty rails of clothing in front of me which I’m resting my feet on. The rest of the rails are heavily cluttered with vests, t-shirts, shorts swimwear and all that’s in between.

I have two people firmly sticking their noggins together, focused on one laptop screen, and people mostly in their late twenties and thirties, talking about budgets, “doing three or two”, picking Bordeaux or Philippines Blue color for women’s section, and Moments of Truth. You’ve got one of the only women in the room, shaking her leg non-stoppingly, obviously analyzing something. The man that keeps on going around the collections and picking this color than that, then going back to this again, he puts little ticks over the icons in the catalogue, separating what he wants from what he thinks he wants. You’ve got the man that fixes all the problems, called out every couple of minutes for a missing catalogue or worse, a missing item, and then you’ve got the rest of the clients, tired eyes and unbuttoned collars, still hesitating and asking about the same collection over and over again. Oh, JOBS. JOBS JOBS JOBS. Obligated, mandatory, important, high-staked jobs, and how I thought I was in for a ride, the ride is pretty fast for now. I’ve never spent longer hours on the laptop, concentrating, trying to understand numbers and people and their problems with the collection. It’s all dandy when you’re an intern, you can leave at 6 even if someone was supposed to show up at 7, things are much crazier when people are actually DEPENDING on you and on your skills. GAH. The stress. But the most fascinating part is that you see what no one else sees, What happens BEFORE the collection goes out in six months, and who bought what and why and all the double-yous that you find yourself wondering about from time to time. To all interns who have a backstage pass and feel like such a groupie right now, a toast. Raise em’ high.

This post was going to start in another way until I decided to really look around me.

Here’s a glimpse at what it was supposed to sound like.

You know how sometimes certain parts of your life can be summed up with a particular smell? I’m talking about the baby powder that screams your wet-the-bed days back to you, or the smell of your favorite deodorant as a teenager. The smell of that particular deo, you recognize your love for sweet sugar essence but refuse to wear it again. It’s just too many bad used-tos and dumb boyfriends.

Back on our train there is a certain smell floating around me right now. Don’t get weirded out it’s not what you think. I’m enduring my first internship right now, right at this moment, feet on the rails and mind on the sales, it’s a little stressful and a little fun, but being surrounded by the same four walls can stick on you, quite a bit actually. It’s the smell of harsh AC and certain unwashed chairs, never-empty tables and clothes fresh out of the oven/shipment bags. It’s also the sweet perfume smell of your internship instructor, and the smell of stress, and excitement, and a hint of paper, a dash of hand-shaking, a wink respectful smiles and a spray of tough decisions.

Do you know what that smells like?

It smells like an internship.

 

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