First week – learning my role

This past week was the start of my 12-week PR internship at Louis Vuitton. I have never had an internship in PR before so I was not exactly sure what to expect on my first day. After showing up to the office at 9:30 and checking in with HR, I was brought down to a workspace adjacent to the showroom and greeted by 3 interns who had been there for the spring semester. Another new intern came into the room shortly after I did. There was no specific work for me to do yet so I waited until one of the other interns needed help and then they would teach me what to do. I was gifted with a large Intern Manual that had virtually everything I needed in it. I realized very quickly that my main responsibility as an intern was to take care of the many expensive samples housed in the showroom and know at all times where they were located, whether it be at a magazine for a photoshoot or with a VIP client. It is easy to forget the value of the clothes and accessories when you are sitting amongst them everyday but I have to always remember the value of these samples and how important it is to always know where they are located which really adds to the responsibilities I feel as an intern.

As the day went on, my supervisor, Joey, came down (the rest of the department works a floor above the showroom) and introduced himself and assured me that we would have a proper meeting with the team later in the week but the office was just too hectic for that at the moment. We had that meeting on Thursday but by that time, I had a nice realization that I was already familiar with mostly everything in the Intern Manual and I was really learning a lot everyday at work.

I was told by the other interns that the world of PR is always very hectic and I should be prepared for constant work and late nights. The interns laughed when my supervisor said our hours are 9-6 because they said they have never left work at 6 before. I was a little nervous about how many hours I would actually be working (the other interns had horror stories about staying at the office until 3 A.M. the days leading up to the MET Gala and Cruise 2020 show) but because it is the summer, I assume it won’t be as busy around the office as it was when the spring interns were there. However, the role of an intern in my office has high expectations and great responsibilities, which I did not feel in my last internship. We are expected to stay at work until our tasks are done instead of just leaving at 6 and finishing your work in the morning. I feel like the work that I’m doing is actually important and time sensitive so when I found myself still at the office at 7:30 on Wednesday, I didn’t really mind that much because I knew I had to finish the work I was assigned and I’ve actually really enjoyed the work that I’ve been doing.

I was pretty confused on my first day as to what they were asking us to do because no one was able to sit down with me and explain anything yet. I just had to rely on the other interns to explain tasks to me and I ended up learning a great deal for them. Our tasks mainly consist of sending samples out to various magazines and clients, making sure those samples are properly returned and put away, keeping track of the new samples that we are sent from Paris, organizing the showroom with the most current Men’s and Women’s samples, and I’ve taken on a weekly assignment of creating an Excel document listing every editorial we have to send samples to that week and which specific samples and looks are being sent.

2 of the 3 interns from the spring were leaving during my first week so I tried to ask them as many questions as possible before they left. In fact, a total of 5 people left the team during my first week so I am a little nervous to see how crazy the office is on Tuesday with those people gone. The other intern kind of designated herself as the head intern and decided she would delegate assignments to me rather than my supervisors delegating to me. I hope this changes because I would much rather have my supervisors give me an assignment and see that I have completed it rather than giving it to the other intern and assuming she completes it on her own when she is really delegating to me. I really want to show the team my drive and my capabilities so that they can trust me more with assignments and give me more responsibilities.

When I saw that the interns worked so separately from the rest of the PR team, I was a little nervous that we would not have a lot of interaction with them. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the PR Assistants are constantly coming in and out of our work space. We have to call them every single time samples are returned to them, which happens dozens of times a day, and whenever new samples come in that have to be photographed and barcoded and put into our tracking system, Fashion GPS. I love being able to have a lot of interaction with the team because that was something I was lacking at my previous internship. I already feel so comfortable with everyone and am truly excited to go back to work on Tuesday. My biggest fear was not learning tasks quickly enough but I am quite surprised with how much I have learned in just one week. I know that I still have so much to learn but I am really enjoying my internship thus far and want to keep improving on these skills I am learning.

One thought on “First week – learning my role

  • June 19, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Sounds like a very dynamic environment. Though you don’t explicitly state this, sounds as though the process of learning norms, culture, and work at your site is informal – there is not a structure orientation and it based more on insights from others (intern) and the manual. You definitely addressed expectations (and that they are high) directly. But then you don’t really seem to focus the rest of the discussion around the items in the prompt for organizational culture (not exactly sure why this is categorized as personal contribution as well as it doesn’t seem to really address that prompt either). Would love to hear more about the nature of communication, whether the site’s context requires leadership to be more attentive to some things versus others, etc.

Comments are closed.