Alanna C.

January 6th – January 27th (41.45 hours) – One meaningful experience I had at my intern site is that, one time, my coworker was very overloaded with work and was very stressed out. It just so happened that I wasn’t particularly busy at the time, so I stepped in to help. I saved her a lot of stress and time. I like knowing that there’s still time to do the right thing and kind acts even inside of work. It’s always nice to know that there’s always a time where you’re needed. Even if it might not feel like it.

An industry specific skill that I developed and progressed in a lot is tracing. It sounds easy, but sometimes it can be a lot more difficult than you think. Most of the time, clients bring in an image of things that they want on t-shirts. So we have to recreate that image as a vector in order to use it. Sometimes the image that is provided has too low of a resolution to trace, which is a problem because we also can’t work on artwork for a long time because then we lose value on the job. It’s a pretty specific skill to recreate images that clients bring in.

I will benefit by being able to complete jobs way faster, which in the end means I’ll be making more profit. Because if I charge a client $60 an hour, and I finish the artwork in 20 minutes, then I just made 40 extra dollars working on something else that might take a longer time to complete. Tracing seems like something small, but it really makes an impact.

One vocabulary I learned was cost profit sheet. A cost profit sheet is a sheet where all of the items specifically on an online store is offering. The style number is on the sheet, a description of the item, the amount the company’s spending on the item(s), the company’s retail price, the price with embellishment, fundraising amount, and the total price. It’s very important for the business and the client. The business sees how much money they’ll be making off of the job, and the client sees how much money they’ll be spending.

October 29th – November 11th (35.3 hours) – A meaningful experience that happened to me was that I started doing cost profit sheets. No one else in the company, other than my boss has ever done a cost profit sheet. My boss told me that it’s nice that she has someone that she trusts enough to handle her pricing to give our to the customers. I actually felt really special, but at the same time nervous because this wasn’t on the production side of things, it was on the business side. I appreciate it very much because what I thought my future plans were when I started the internship have slightly changed to where I’m at now.

I feel like my punctuality has been very good since I’ve been here. Since school started I gave her my schedule and what time I would get out of class. My boss is very understanding, and it helps that she had kids of her own that went to Cienega. I don’t have a strict time of when I show up because she knows what school is like; whether it takes forever to get out of the parking lot or if a teacher wants to speak with me after class. She understands. With that being said, she’s very gracious with the time I show up, so I don’t want to ruin that by being flaky and showing up way later than I should. I wouldn’t want to take advantage of a privilege given to me.

I feel like I try to juggle everything right when it comes to things I have to do outside of work. However, sometimes I catch myself pushing things off because I just want to sit down and relax. Which then leads to me not doing it. There are some days after work, when I’ve been on my feet all day where I just want to take a “quick” nap. That turns into me actually sleeping or if I do wake up in a timely matter, I’m too tired to do anything else. Next semester, I’m going to try to not make anymore excuses for myself and just get what needs to be done, done.

A very important word that we’ve been using a lot more recently at the shop is proof. A proof is basically a test run of what we’re going to make. Bling by Design is getting more and more business, which is making us busier, so before, when little mistakes weren’t such a big deal, they don’t fly now because now we have multiple deadlines to meet and don’t have enough time to re-do anything. I learned this after a really big mistake was made on an important job, and ever since then a proof is necessary.

October 15th – October 28th (38.73 hours) – One meaningful experience at my place of business, is that recently there has been a lot of drama surrounding workplace. Without getting into much detail, it’s been pretty negative and I’ve kind of been struggling with how to feel about it. Also in a way I feel like this made me a stronger professional, and shows me how not to act in the future. It also solidifies that I need to keep things 100% professional when I’m in my place of business.

Honestly, for most things, it’s easier to interact with a coworker instead of my mentor. My mentor is a busy business woman, and I respect that. With that being said, she is constantly busy, and sometimes when it comes to information that you know someone else has, it’s better to not interrupt. If it’s a question about artwork, Ill call Anna, our graphic designer and she’ll have the answer. If it’s about production, I’ll ask Denise, and she’ll have the answer. If it’s about a customer or quality control, I’ll ask Nick, and hopefully he’ll have the answer. If none of these people have the answer, then I’ll step in and ask my mentor if necessary.

For the most part, I’d say that it’s pretty hard to talk strictly about work all the time. So quite frequently we’re always talking about things that have happened to us this week, things that we’re going to do over the weekend, and casual conversations like that. I’m pretty comfortable with talking to them about my personal life, just not too personal, because I am at my workplace. It always makes work more fun to hear what everyone does outside of work.

One industry specific vocab word I learned is Bitmap. A bitmap is an electronic image that is stored as a series of tiny dots called pixels. Each pixel i s actually a very small square that is assigned a color and then arranged in a pattern to form the image. They use this for embroidery and rhinestones. I learned it while making embroidery spec sheets.

October 1st – October 14th (45.8 hours) – One meaningful experience that happened to me is that I got a positional promotion (or at least that’s what I’m calling it.) My boss said that’s she’s very proud of how much I’m learning and how much I am willing to take on. So I went from checking shirts all the time, to now making them. I am now heat pressing vinyl onto shirts, and I could not be more excited. It’s a big job and it’s very tedious, but I don’t think it’s anything I can’t handle. It makes me happy that my boss has been able to see enough growth to allow me to fill such a big position.

September 17th – September 30th (50.88 hours) – One meaningful moment that happened to me at my site is that, one of my close work friends, Margaret, moved into another department. This department is in a different building, so it’s harder to see her. It’s sad that I hardly see her, but it has given me a chance to make other connections. This is also a reminder to keep things 100% professional and it’s always good to wear multiple hats and gain more skill.

We use all of them quite frequently. It’s hard to pick a number one because phones are constantly ringing, and people are always coming in. However, email is the most convenient because it’s professional, and the easiest because there can be an attachment for artwork or a shirt they want, and you can just copy it. For us coworkers to communicate with each other, we actually use Skype the most. For face to face conversation and quick and easy responses. The communication all depends on who you’re talking to and why you’re talking to them.

I am somewhat comfortable talking on the phone and remembering everything I’m supposed to say, but I am constantly working on it. Skype is really easy because I am pretty comfortable with my coworkers, so if I need help, it’s no big deal, and I don’t feel bad for asking. It’s mostly used in between departments.

One industry specific word that I’ve learned is DTG. This stands for Direct-to-Garment, and refers to a method for textile printing. Unlike other textile printing methods, such as heat transfer or dye sublimation, DTG printing process uses specialized ink in order to print directly onto the garment, using a DTG printer. This was brought up when I was actually discussing my SMART goal with my mentor. I was really confused because I felt like I was already supposed to know that word, but I never heard of it. Quickly after I looked up the word and now I know better.

September 3rd – September 16th (28.10 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had is that one of my close friends got let go. It was sad to see it because I have grown so close to him in the past couple months that I’ve been at this site. This teaches me a lesson, that in the end, I am working at a professional setting, and I can’t expect everything to stay the same all the time, and that at some point there are going to be some changes, but they will all work out. It’s a bittersweet feeling.

One word that took me through a loop was bleeding. Bleeding is what happens when there’s so much ink that it spreads through material past where it was supposed to. At first I though there was a medical emergency involving the machines, but no, nothing to worry about at all.

August 20th – September 2nd (22.42 hours) – Many meaningful experiences happen here all the time. This weeks meaningful experience is that my coworker, David, is the embroiderer. He recognized my skill with computers, so he let me make spec sheets and edit embroidery letters. It sounds super boring, but for me, it’s learning new software, and nothing’s more interesting than that. It’s been pretty hectic at my site recently because of many orders and when tensions are high, people tend to snap and get upset quite frequently. With that being said, David needed my help, and frankly it was nice being needed in a different department that’s not as stressed out as the other one. While I was taking a couple breaks from the computer, David took the opportunity to teach me new things about embroidery that I had seen before, but very briefly.

Oddly enough, there isn’t a lot of behavior expectations at my site. There are two main ones. 1. Speak up. There are many machines in the building, so if you can’t speak up then you won’t be heard. 2. Customer is god. You always treat the customer with respect no matter what, and try to deliver their expectations without them explicitly saying them.

I feel like maybe if I wasn’t an intern and nervous that I might mess up, since I’m always doing something new, that this is a great fit for me. See the thing is, is that I work with older ladies, and my speaking up, isn’t their speaking up. With that being said, I am trying to be even louder, so next time nothing has to be said about volume. However, besides working in the shop, graphic designers best friends are computers, so there isn’t much volume required there.

One word that I always wondered about was “spec sheet.” The embroiderers were always saying that to my boss and I never understood it. In the heat press/screen print departments, there’s only production forms, I always wondered about that. Then I started doing computer work in embroidery, and my coworker David explained to me how to make one. A spec sheet or speculation sheet is a sheet for embroidery that has all the details you could possibly imagine for a job, including what is the stitch count, what colors, where it’s placed, and things like that.

August 6th – August 19th (30.83 hours) – One meaningful experience that I had in the internship program is that everyone has different timelines. I am working in a place where everyone shares many stories about their lives. I am the youngest person there by almost 20 years, and in some ways we’re all doing the same or relatively the same job. It almost makes me second guess if I’m rushing my career and adulthood too fast. It makes me think if this is the path I’m supposed to go on because I haven’t really had any of my own stories to tell about struggling and knowing what I want to be. Sometimes I have a hit of realization that everything happens for a reason and maybe my time of stories hasn’t happened yet. At the end of the day, I’m excited for crazy, life changing experiences, just like my coworkers.

July 18th – August 5th (25.82 hours) – One meaningful experience that I had here at Bling By Design, is that since I am the youngest by maybe 10-15 years, I felt that people weren’t going to talk to me or helping me out because I didn’t exactly fit in to the age group. To my surprise, one of my now good work friends, Margaret has always been there to talk to me about everything, and I mean everything. One day my boss was really stressed and she didn’t really have anything for me to do, but Margaret took it upon herself to show and teach me how to do more things in the apparel business, and ever since that Margaret has been showing me everything. Growing up and stepping out of my comfort zone has always been difficult for me but Margaret has made in 10 times easier. This has taught me to always reach out to people no matter what differences you may have.

I hope to learn how to successfully run my own business. I’ve always loved the idea of running my own business with my family. On that note I also want to have a skill (graphic design) just in case running my own business doesn’t work out. Another skill I would really like to take away from this are people skills. I’ve always been the awkward shy kid that never really said anything, and now I know that you can’t really do that in the real world, so I am trying to work and better myself by trying to be more outgoing.

My last skill is that I wish to learn is to be faster doing designs, and realize that time is money, and not every design has to be some big deal. I have already learned as my time as an intern, that since I am an intern I am for the most part always going to be wrong. This means that if I correct someone on a higher level than me, they are going to say that, that didn’t happen or that I don’t know what I’m talking about. With that being said, I have also learned that speak when you’re spoken to is really important, especially in stressful situations.

May 28th – July 17th (135.73 hours)