The Gap Year in Fashion provides unique insights and new perspectives, whether as an orientation year or a voluntary internship. Annika, Noemie and Svenja reveal what the year includes and why it's worth applying.
How did you find out about the programme?
Noemie: I decided to take a year off after my Bachelor's degree and was looking for suitable internships. By chance, I saw the Gap Year in Fashion advertised on a job platform. I'm very interested in fashion and the offer sounded really exciting, so it was a perfect fit. The programme not only offers insights into various divisions, but also across three completely different companies. The Gap Year in Fashion was an ideal orientation year for me, helping me see my future more clearly and which companies interest me.
Why did you decide to take the Gap Year in Fashion?
Svenja: After finishing my studies, I wanted to explore various divisions in fashion. I was interested in purchasing and consulting internships, and when I heard that the gap year combined my two desired internships, I knew I wanted to do it. I was aware of TextilWirtschaft before my studies, but I never saw it as a potential employer. The gap year was a unique opportunity that allowed me to peek behind the scenes, to get to know three different companies in a single application process and to live in different cities and regions.
What areas and tasks did you explore?
Annika: I learned a lot about publishing while working at TextilWirtschaft. Publishing is an exciting part of the industry that I didn't have a lot of exposure to during my studies. Now, however, I know the level of planning behind a trade fair like Frankfurt Fashion Week, or what criteria are used to plan a marketing campaign. I was given a lot of responsibility with the daily creation of Instagram Stories or LinkedIn posts—a challenging task that I thoroughly enjoyed. At MARC O'POLO, I immersed myself in sustainability topics such as circularity as well as in organisational divisions, including innovation and change management as well as knowledge transfer. I’m really impressed by the importance and scope that MARC O’POLO places on sustainability. The diversity of tasks gave me great pleasure and reinforced my personal commitment to this sector. About You is my next and final stop for the Gap Year in Fashion, so I can't say anything about it just yet. But I can say this much: I’m really looking forward to learning more.
What personal and professional experiences have you gained from the Gap Year in Fashion?
Noemie: The Gap Year in Fashion helped me to build my self-confidence, to believe in my abilities and to discover which areas in the fashion industry interest me and which I would like to explore further. There were also many valuable encounters with people who shaped me. Despite the difficult conditions due to Corona, I learned a lot from my work colleagues, and I would absolutely say that I only took positive things away from the programme. Aside from personal growth, I acquired new professional skills, ranging from Excel to Photoshop. Furthermore, my adaptability and learning speed have significantly improved throughout this memorable period.
What did you like best about this year?
Annika: The Circularity project at Marc O'Polo was my favourite project. The topic is so complex and multi-layered, and establishing a suitable system is perhaps even more challenging. I participated in the preparation and execution of a workshop on the topic of rental models, and I helped launch an internal ‘circular’ tool box, which allows any employee to understand what constitutes a circular product. This was a great learning experience and it was a lot of fun to engage with new and divergent ways of thinking. I look forward to seeing how Marc O'Polo continues to address the topic in the future.
What advice would you give to Gap Year in Fashion applicants?
Svenja: Consider who you are, what you are capable of, and what you want to accomplish. What is your passion? What are you hoping to learn? Do you have any particular skills that you can use to provide value to the companies? During this period, I have certainly learnt to trust my abilities and put my knowledge to use. But, in my opinion, the most crucial thing is to persuade with your personality, enthusiasm, and motivation, especially because colleagues from different departments may not be present at the assessment centre.