Wilson College of Textiles student Tshepo Dithane didn’t always picture himself as a content creator for a major clothing brand, but his time in the department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management at NC State and an internship with VF Corporation has him focused on a future in fashion marketing.
“When I was a kid I wanted to be a dentist, but I soon found the world and my identity in fashion,” he said. “In fashion, a wardrobe gives you the ability to tell others who you are in many facets. Each article of clothing can hold its own value to you that is expressed by wearing it.”
Dithane is a senior majoring in Fashion and Textile Management with a concentration in Textile Brand Management and Marketing. Since the summer of 2017, he has worked in Greensboro as an intern at VF, in marketing for the Riders by Lee brand and in creative services for Wrangler — and he has been commuting to Raleigh for classes ever since. For the past two summers and the intervening school year, he has worked hard at his internship while keeping up with coursework and preparing for his December 2018 graduation.
We asked him to share his internship experience and the advice he has learned along the way.
How would you describe your role?
As the intern for a mass brand, I often take part in the small day-to-day communication with ad agencies and other marketing outlets. I am responsible for inventory of our mass marketing closet, which has the marketing department’s props and clothes used in photo shoots and sales meetings. The main responsibility for my position is to be a liaison between other departments and my boss, who is the brand coordinator.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part, I must say, is the photo shoots. The energy — and ability to create content for a consumer — just excites me. Whether we are in a studio shoot or out on site, the atmosphere just brings me joy.
Can you describe a typical day on the job?
For Riders by Lee, I assist in preparing product for photoshoots, send product to social media influencers and help find and edit select images for use in certain marketing publications. For creative services under Wrangler, I take laydown images for publications, make signage for retail and pop-up store needs, and even work on imagery for around our office and other buildings we own in the city.
What is your advice for fellow internship seekers?
My advice would be to apply early, do your research on the prospect company, and always follow up even if you don’t get the position. Sometimes that can show how you are different from other applicants.
What have you learned so far?
I have learned a lot from ticketing, setting up photo shoots, and helping host events — but my main takeaway is doing it all. Being specific in the workplace is often praised, but sometimes you can limit your knowledge and ability to explore other avenues. When I began, my boss asked what I wanted to do; I said, “I am willing to do any task you put in front of me.” I have done just that. A year later, I can say that it has paid off! Knowing a little bit of everything can only help you.