Amidst the pandemic, students have found innovative ways to work around internships while companies adjust to a socially distanced and virtual world. Gabrielle Louise Caneba is a Family Consumer Sciences - Fashion Design and Merchandising who this semester interned with the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Long Beach and helped coordinate and plan their annual fundraiser, a drive-in showcase of the film "RUNWAY: In Reel Time." The film was made by the group of creatives who conceived and produced the buzzed-about RUNWAY fashion show as fundraisers for JFCS for the past 6 years.
As an intern, Gabrielle worked backstage to make sure the logistics of the event ran smoothly. Read on to learn more about Gabrielle and her work with JFCS.
What were your responsibilities and duties during the internship?
The biggest project I was given was the masks project. She explained that the masks were going to be featured in the film and described the scene where the models would wear them. I bought the fabric at Jo-Ann’s, went home to cut them, and started brainstorming on the designs. I was given full creative freedom. The following weeks I held cue cards for the talents during filming, stamping the snack boxes, sorting and packing the models’ outfits, copywriting and cutting wallet inserts (wallets made from recycled leather were included in the snack boxes), and finally helping to set up the venue.
Describe some of the challenges you faced during the internship and what you did to overcome them.
A struggle was definitely time management. Towards the end of the internship, Fall classes had begun and I enrolled in 5 classes this semester. I had to delegate my time carefully as my schedule became more hectic. Wendy understood that I am a full-time student and we both agreed that I am unavailable on both Mondays and Wednesdays. I then decided that I would get all the necessary schoolwork done on those days so that I am able to dedicate my time for the fundraiser on other days.
What was rewarding about the internship? What were some of the personal/professional highlights and accomplishments?
It was so rewarding to know that I was helping others during a difficult and uncertain time. It was such an honor to be a part of something incredibly generous and unique. A professional and personal accomplishment is seeing my work on the big screen. I am in Fashion Merchandising as I know I am stronger with numbers, research, and planning. Even though I have a great appreciation for beauty and creativity, I have always doubted by creative potential; Wendy and the team’s approval reassured that I have more options in the fashion industry.
What career advice would you give CHHS students who are interested in your major/academic program?
Do not be afraid to explore different areas (product development, retail, special events, etc.) because that is how you’ll know whether you genuinely enjoy and are good at it. Most importantly, when an opportunity arises, take your chance on it. There’s no harm in simply applying for the position.