Samantha De Oliveira Talks Fashion Internships and CMA Leadership

Name: Samantha De Oliveira

Age: 20

Major: Retail Merchandising and Product Development

Courtesy: Samantha De Oliveira

Her Campus (HC): What are your plans for the future?

Samantha De Oliveira (SD): I am still trying to figure out what I want to do because retail merchandising is very broad but I would really love to try visual merchandising or I would love to work for the PR team of a fashion brand. I would want to work with appearances and who wears what to a specific show.

HC: What is Yumi Kim?

SD: Yumi Kim is a fashion brand that originally specialized in silk (mainly silk floral dresses), tops and rompers. Once I got there for my internship they were in the process of branching out and expanding their brand. Now, they are carrying fur coats.

HC: What were your tasks during the internship?

SD: I did a lot of research on the brand’s competitors. I also researched a lot about swim wear lines because they hope to come out with a swimwear line very soon. During the summer they were even working on a bridal line, which launched a couple of months ago. It was amazing to be a part of their team this summer as they worked to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry.

HC: Any crazy experience on the job?

SD: It’s a smaller company. There were only 15 employees with about 6 or 7 interns. I was the youngest and the only one from out of state. Most of them went to FIT, NYU and other schools in that area. It was super cool though because we all still keep in touch through social media. So not only did I gain experience in the fashion industry but I gained so many connections in New York, which is where I eventually want to move. One of the most challenging days I had though was one day when I went into the office and they told me, “Hey, we’re having a sample sale at one of our boutiques and there’s no one to work it. Can you just go run it?” So I literally ran down a couple blocks and worked their sample sale for a couple of hours. It was definitely nerve-wracking but it ended up being a really cool experience. Good thing I used to work in retail in high school!

HC: Are you involved in any organizations on campus?

SD: I am currently the Menswear Director for Clutch Magazine AND Vice President of CMA. I started out in CMA as a member, then community service chair, now VP. It was super bold of me but I basically befriended the President of CMA and said, “I think I should be VP and here’s why.” I think if you really get involved, practice networking skills and learn to be bold around college students it will eventually become easier when you go into your career.

HC: Any advice for young women hoping to pursue a career in fashion?

SD: My advice is never think that you cannot get an internship just because you are young. That was my mindset at first when I was applying for internships in New York. Don’t get caught up in people thinking you’re too young. Even if you start off interning for a small company, if you want to get to New York or L.A., just having those states on your resume that will go so far for you. Everyone has an opinion but that doesn’t mean you should stop chasing your dreams.