Last week I came across an article from The Guardian, discussing how students who cannot afford college are completely skipping the whole college route and becoming interns in different industries in order to get their foot in the door. As a student currently out of school due to financial aid complications, I understand the struggle that most students are going through. However, I never knew it was a universal problem and that it is happening in countries such as the United Kingdoms.
I moved to New York to attend school at LIM College, since my journey to obtain my BBA came to a halt, I needed to find a way to stay involved in the fashion industry. So I decided to intern. I had planned on splitting my days between interning and working a part time job. To say that I have not learned anything while interning would be a complete lie. Interning really provides a hands on experience that cannot be justified in a classroom setting, reading from a textbook or listening to a lecture from a professor. From my internship I have learned the wholesaler’s role in the retail sector and how a small business functions. My internship office consist of 5 departments. Prabal Gurung is my first in-house internship. The experience is indescribable. The ability to witness how different departments come together as a team to work on one goal, to keep the brand relevant, in stores, and beautifully designed.
Imagine when you are ready to settle and find a job, ready to get paid for your labor. Whom will be chosen? A graduate with a Bachelor’s degree and has had some experience within the field or the person who has no degree but has been interning with the company for seven months? This is where a college creates itself as a method of classification. The student who could afford college and all the fees received a degree, while the student who came from a family who could not as easily pay for college does not have a degree but does have months of experience.
Can a college degree really determine that a prospective employee has had enough preparation to work in a specific field? Personally, I feel like the answer is no, however in America we are all brainwashed with the idea of the American Dream and how a college degree is the first stop in The Game of Life. Without a piece of paper you are an undefined human.
The Guardian Fashion: Apprentices Shun Uni and Head Straight to Work
New York Times: College, the Great Unleveler
Image sourced from New York Times
Baptiste Radufe by Michelle Du Xuan - L’Officiel Hommes China, SS14
Jourdan Dunn for Miss Vogue UK, April 2014
Photographed by: Angelo Pennetta