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FIDM Design Student Alexandra Mail stands looking at the ground wearing a black v-neck dress and black platform combat boots with her blonde hair pulled back into a low ponytail

Student Spotlight: Alexandra Mail Interns in Milan Through FIDM Partner Global Experiences

Arranged through FIDM partner Global Experiences, Alexandra Mail recently returned from a 90-day fashion design internship program in Milan, Italy, where she worked for Del Core fashion house and participated in Milan Fashion Week. Global Experiences offers study abroad and internship experiences in many countries. Their counselors organize documentation, communicate all requirements, and match students with companies based on interests, talents, portfolio, and resume. 

Alexandra Mail grew up in Kent, Ohio and attended Theodore Roosevelt High School where she started a FIDM Fashion Club before heading to FIDM to pursue her interest in fashion. “I’d taken art classes and knew I loved to draw so when I got my first design sketchbook is when I fell in love with fashion and fashion illustration.” 

She completed an A.A. in Fashion Design and is now working on her B.A. in Design, with an anticipated graduation in 2023. We checked in with her to learn more. 
You worked with Global Experiences to secure an internship in Europe. Please tell us what the process was to set that up. I originally had the intention to take an internship in the United States or to study abroad. My FIDM advisor mentioned FIDM’s partnership with Global Experiences which offers study abroad and internship experiences in many countries. I jumped at the chance to apply for a 90-day internship in fashion design in the city of my choice. I was accepted for the internship program in Milan, Italy. The Global Experiences staff and counselors organized the documentation, communicated all requirements, and matched me with a company based on my portfolio, resume, an essay, as well as my interests and talents. 

Where were you based? Where did you intern? I was based in Milan, Italy as an intern at Del Core fashion house. 

What were your responsibilities? I was a fashion design intern who worked directly with an intimate fashion design team. I was a part of the initial research process, photoshop mockups, stitch sample development, collection fittings, model castings, and VIP stylings. I also worked backstage with all the models at Milan Fashion Week for Del Core’s runway show.

How did FIDM prepare you for this internship? FIDM taught me how to collect research, utilize Photoshop, and sew both on a machine and by hand. The knowledge I gained through the array of courses experienced at FIDM prepared me for the fashion process from start to finish. Through FIDM’s career program I was offered opportunities that involved styling for magazine photoshoots with designers in Los Angeles.

Any advice for students interested in pursuing the same opportunity? Wherever you travel, research customs and lifestyle to reduce the anxiety of being immersed in a new and different culture. Research the food, currency, transportation, phone use, safety, and fashion styles. Look into shopping such as pharmacies, groceries, and where to buy everyday items, clothes, and shoes. The best finds came from markets and vintage shops in Milan and it was so much fun to discover such cool items, but think about how you’re going to get all that stuff home. Also, research the fun places to visit that are feasible to travel to from your location. Most of all, begin learning the language, especially vocabulary specific to your job, as soon as you know where your experience will be. Global Experiences provided the starting points for much of this information, but you should know more before you go. It would have been nice to talk with people who had this experience before me to give a heads-up on living there in general. Finally, make sure you keep in contact with friends and family back home. It is an exciting experience, but homesickness is real!

Learn more about FIDM partner Global Experiences on Instagram @globalexperiences.

Categories:  Design Fashion Design Industry Partnerships Student