Karissa Butler Accepted Into Prestigious Victoria's Secret Design Internship in NYC
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Karissa Butler graduated from Southwest Career and Technical Academy before she moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM. She earned her A.A. in Merchandise Product Development and her Advanced Study Degree in International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) and was recently accepted into the prestigious Victoria’s Secret design internship program. Living in New York City for the next three months, she’ll return to FIDM in September to continue with her Bachelor’s degree. We caught up with her to learn more.
Tell us about the Victoria’s Secret internship you were accepted into: I found out about the internship through my mentor at FIDM, Miguel Barragan, who is the director of the Merchandise Product Development program. During my last quarter of my last year in the Merchandise Product Development A.A. program, it was in my Portfolio class that Miguel shared that he has worked in the world of lingerie for some time now. I expressed interest in the category and he gracefully took me under his wing :) After working as his assistant for another lingerie company after I graduated, I planned on going back to FIDM for my Bachelor’s. Miguel reached out to me about this amazing opportunity at Victoria’s Secret. He felt I could really get accepted into their design internship program and so it all started there, about one and half years ago. From there, I moved back to LA to get my Advanced Study International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) degree. That August I participated in an orientation/informational meeting with the Victoria’s Secret intern recruiter. Then in January, they reached out for my first interview.
What was the interview process like? There were about five interviews and each one went between leaders in the Innovation & Raw Materials group at Victoria’s Secret. After my fourth interview, I met with our "boss boss" who is a senior design executive here at VS. This interview was hyped up to be a big deal and, I will admit, it made me nervous but it went well. Going into an interview confident and self-assured is so underrated! I took the time to not only be interviewed but also to know more about his position and career! A couple weeks later, I received a call that I got the internship and that I would be working from home for this position. But then one month before I was set to start, I got another call that they really wanted me physically here in New York, so here I am.
How long is the Victoria’s Secret design internship program? Three months. I have been here for three days and I'm already sad about leaving in September. I work within a small group of people who make such an impact here at Victoria's Secret.
What are you most looking forward to? I love, love designing lingerie, but creating NEW and INNOVATIVE products for people makes it that much more exciting to come to work and see what's new. To be honest, I feel so lucky to be here!
How is FIDM helping prepare you for the industry? For one thing, FIDM is preparing me by having amazing people like Miguel Barragan who take the time to learn about what students really want to do and then help them get there! FIDM has also given me so much confidence. Merchandise Product Development has given me a huge advantage because it incorporates such a wide range of subjects. The curriculum covers trend research, consumer and brand analysis, marketing, and product design and specifications.
Anything else you’d like to share? I would say to just take risks and do what you have to do to figure it out. I almost dropped out of this out of fear of moving across the country and being alone. But I am so grateful for this opportunity and the growth and advantage it is giving me in my career path. I also think don't just stick to one thing like sewing or textiles; TRY IT ALL. See what you like, take internships, jobs, etc. It sets you up to know how to work with cross-functional groups and helps you communicate better!