... and Why it is Worth your Time
Internships. I’m sure when I say that word, flashbacks of both good and bad experiences flood your mind. I believe the Purse & Clutch apprenticeship is different and instead of “busy work” you are learning valuable and applicable information. Here are my top 5 favorite things from my Purse & Clutch apprenticeship!
1) 1 on 1 interaction with the Founder, Jen Lewis
This would be my favorite part! Jen, the founder of Purse & Clutch is awesome and so much fun to interact with on a weekly basis. Each week there is a personal video message from Jen where she tells you about this week’s project. Jen is personable and laid back. It does feel like you are just chatting with a friend. She always provides helpful feedback and insight on all your assignments and really values her apprentice's input and opinion. She is intelligent and thoughtful and it has been a joy to get to know her through this apprenticeship.
2) Work at your own pace - laidback and flexible schedule
Each week you will receive a new project or assignment as well as some reflection questions from the previous week. Jen is very flexible and willing to negotiate and find a good time for you to complete your coursework. I went to Israel for two weeks, and Jen was very accommodating and allowed me to turn in my assignments when I returned. Whether you are working various part-time jobs, like myself, are a student, or have a full-time career; there is time to complete this apprenticeship and fit it into your schedule. Each week’s assignments are very doable and easy to fit into your schedule no matter what season you are currently in.
3) Purse & Clutch is an amazing company offering some beautiful product
P&C offers beautiful product from both Ethiopia and Guatemala. It is an awesome company to learn from especially because of their high ethics and commitment to their partners in both of those countries. Jen takes her job and her partnership with workers in Guatemala and Ethiopia very seriously, and does everything with them in mind and how to treat them ethically and fairly. She is a huge advocate for these artisans and really puts her whole heart into her business. If you are interested in entering the socially conscious or fair trade business force, this apprenticeship is for you! What a great learning experience and reality check to really see all the work and effort it takes to run a sustainable business well.
4) Tons of useful articles and information to go back and look through later
This is a great apprenticeship because all the information is online. So not only are you learning and gaining valuable information now, but you can always go back and look at previous weeks to catch up on something you wanted more information on. It is a somewhat of a choose your own adventure learning style! There are some required reading and resources each week, but then also there are a vast array of extra resources. If a specific article or topic peaks your interest, there is always extra material to quench that thirst. If you're wanting to start your own business one day, all these extra resources would be super helpful to have on hand and at your disposal.
5) Work with others and learn from other apprentices
I cannot speak to this point first hand because I decided to take this course on my own due to my schedule. However, I think that connecting with other pupils who are learning and participating in this apprenticeship would be invaluable. It is great to gain insight from others to either grow in your thinking and also strengthen your own opinions and views. If possible I would recommend doing this apprenticeship with the cohort and joining in on the weekly Skype calls. There is something about community and working as a team that just makes learning more enjoyable, at least from my point of view.
Overall, this apprenticeship was a great experience and something that I would highly recommend to others who are interested in fair trade, socially conscious businesses, or are entrepreneurially minded. The information that I have learned has not only helped me grow at the moment, but I know it will continue to be a resource that I go back to throughout my life and different career pathways. I think there is so much to learn about running a business and the more experience and knowledge you can gain, the better!
Come become a Purse & Clutch Apprentice to learn first hand the in’s and out’s of a socially conscious business from the founder herself, Jen Lewis, it is an incredible opportunity, unlike others! The next session begins July 2nd, apply today! Applications close June 15th.
Mallory graduated from Indiana University in 2016 with a degree in Apparel Merchandising and minor in Business. After college, she decided to do a year-long internship overseas in South Asia. Through seeing poverty first-hand, she has always wanted to be involved in using her love of fashion to help others in developing countries. Now whether she decides to work for a socially conscious company or desires to start her own one day, the information learned at Purse & Clutch will be valuable for her next steps, whatever they may be.