Ari Papadopoulos gained experience in small business management, developing skills in that ranged from merchandising, social media, and patchwork sewing.
How did you get your internship?
I began my internship by first visiting Con’s Closet as a customer. I had heard about the store from one of my guy friends who posted an Instagram story about it. I knew I had to go check it out as it seemed right up my alley. When I went in, I loved it! I met Con my first time going in and learned he is a great store owner. After visiting his store, I reached out to him via social media and asked if he was hiring for store associates. I made my passion for streetwear clear to him so he asked me to come in and interview. I was glad to be hired! I got so much out of my experience and feel more inspired than ever!
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?
We did a countless amount of things. I started off by learning the ropes of running a store. To start, I learned about social media marketing. This included everything from merchandising strategy, taking photos with visual appeal, and editing transitions in videos. I also got to improve my technical skills by learning to sew and even making patch work jeans and so much more. I could go on and on about Con’s tips and advice! My experience has led me to knowing more about what I want to do right now in life. I recognized my talent for creating fashion and, as much as I love to sell it, I want to learn how to create more unique pieces. I painted a pair of plain white shoes, turned a white polo tee into a cropped denim polo jacket, and I feel like I now have so much more to offer.
What new skills did you develop in this internship?
I learned some important technology-based skills. For example, I gained insight into how important social media analytics are! I also learned how to use online store processing systems, such as SquareSpace and R Power.
I also was able to develop stronger interpersonal communication skills to drive sales in the store. For example, I saw how even just one social media story could affect business and how a simple storewide sale could impact profit margins. It was great to see how that effort paid off!
How was the internship related to your Applied Humanities degree?
My passions are in fashion and creating. My emphasis in the Applied Humanities major is in Fashion Studies and everything I experienced in my internship pertained to skills I wanted to learn, so I can then apply them to the job I wish to pursue. In the future I want to continue to have freedom of expression and open my own boutique that reflects my own unique sense of style and likeness, just like Con did with his store.