Schoolblazer is proud to offer several internships each year to provide fashion students with the skills they will need to pursue a career in our industry. With two spaces on the buying team, one in marketing and one in garment tech, our interns bring a fresh perspective and brand new ideas to our office as well as gaining some valuable insight into the world of schoolwear.
We believe in getting interns involved in every aspect of the business, giving them an understanding of how each department works together to deliver the best experience for our customers. Several interns have returned after finishing their degrees to take up full-time positions in the buying team, and their year of experience gives them an invaluable head start!
Buying interns Rebecca Smith and Maddie Trickett kindly gave us an insight into their experience at Schoolblazer.
What made you apply for an internship at Schoolblazer?
Rebecca: For my placement year, I wanted to work for a smaller company that could provide me with the most experience in this short space of time. From the interview process I knew that I would be immersed in the buying work from day one.
Maddie: My university lecturers spoke extremely highly of Schoolblazer and the feedback from previous students was always positive - they explained that Schoolblazer look after their interns exceptionally well and always encourage the students to get involved wherever possible. I was particularly drawn to the fact that Schoolblazer is a smaller company. From my own previous experience, I know this would be a good working environment for me because I enjoy an intimate collaborative environment.
When I was researching the company, I appreciated that even though they were suppling uniform (which can be overlooked by fashion students as not very exciting in comparison to other larger brands within this industry),they have an evident focus on delivering innovation through constant product development which made the job seem exciting. Finally, Schoolblazer are transparent with their supply chain by discussing their environment impact reduction efforts, which is highly significant to me as fashion is one of the most polluting industries. It aligned perfectly with my own morals on sustainability which especially excited me when applying.
What do you most enjoy about working here?
Rebecca: I have most enjoyed working in a tight-knit team within the office. I not only experience working on the buying team, I also had the opportunity to participate in overseas work in other areas of the business, for example visiting new schools with the sales team (Robin & Laura) which allowed me to see the start of the uniform development process.
Maddie: Everyone at Schoolblazer is extremely friendly and welcoming which helped me to feel an important part of the team very early on in my internship. Additionally, I have had a fantastic working experience with more opportunities than I ever anticipated. This has included supplier visits, sourcing suppliers, school visits with the sales team, product development projects, sustainability projects and the list goes on! I will be leaving Schoolblazer feeling I have the right tools to begin my career in this industry.
Have there been any unexpected challenges? How did you cope with them?
Rebecca: The increased amount of responsibility that I’ve received over the year felt like a challenge at the start. However, I soon gained confidence in managing my workload through effectively planning my time. This has given me essential skills such as time management and organisation, which will help me succeed when I return to university and in a future buying career.
Maddie: I found my confidence to be one of the biggest challenges. It took me a while to feel confident in my ideas/suggestions within meetings as well as presenting to the team as a whole. However, with practice and a lot of trial and error my confidence improved massively. My experience at Schoolblazer has helped me to develop as a person as well as improving my core skills.
What is your biggest takeaway from your internship?
Rebecca: The biggest takeaway is definitely my increased level of confidence within myself. Schoolblazer has provided me with many opportunities to voice my ideas which has in turn encouraged me to believe in myself and not hold back. This boost is what I needed after losing some of my confidence within my work due to completing my 2nd year of university during the pandemic. I can now return to my final year of university with the courage and self-assurance I need to succeed.
Maddie: My biggest takeaway is how beneficial being out of your comfort zone can be as this is the best way to learn and realise your own potential. Without the opportunities Schoolblazer has given me on my placement, I would have not realised how capable I am. Before Schoolblazer, certain tasks would have made me nervous and like I don’t want to participate but now I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself. Placements in general are incredibly beneficial to students to help support their degree but also create the stepping stone to their future career. I would recommend a placement to anyone who has the opportunity to do one!
Please get in touch to discuss a more proven, robust and forward-thinking way of providing school uniform and sportswear to your school.