by Jennifer Cohen
LIM College has a long tradition of partnering with leading companies throughout all sectors of the fashion and retail industries to provide students with life-changing, real-world work experiences. Jennifer Cohen and Erica Pierson were chosen for a month-long Visual Merchandising internship at Grottini Retail Environments in Porto Recanati, Italy.
During my first full week at Grottini, I began to transition into a part of a team dynamic. I was working alongside and receiving help from Erica and the other employees at the office and reporting back to Keith, the head of design, to get feedback on ideas for actual real world projects.
I also began to get a feel for what it was like to work with a client that came with a list of wants as well as a list of limitations. When you do a project in school, you can come up with the most elaborate, limitless idea, but when you are working with a client in real life, you have to work with the client to solve problems and build solutions, and to me, that was one of the most exciting factors of this experience.
Within my first week I began to work with Erica and Keith on a presentation for Butterfly Twist, a women's shoe company. One of my first assignments was to begin fine tuning the presentations that we had previously sent to the people at Butterfly Twist.
Although they had liked the presentations that we had sent to them, there was still a decent amount of feedback and suggestions sent back to us. For me, this was my first experience working with a client and having them look at potential ideas for a project and saying, "Okay this is good, but change all of this."
I think that experiences like this helped me to better understand the reality of working with a client. It is all about expressing your ideas clearly to one another and working together to come up with creative solutions to problems. It is not harsh criticism, but suggestions that one party gives to another so that they can work together and create the best solution.