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Interns at Work: Mary Crowgey ’17 The Idle Man, London, England

“My experience has really helped me see that I’m best suited for a more creative field.”

Where are you interning and how’d you land the job?

I’m interning at The Idle Man, which is an online menswear start-up with 16 employees, based in London. I liked the idea of working for such a small company because I figured I would be able to work closely with multiple departments and get a lot of hands-on experience. I found my internship through a company called The Intern Group. With international internships, it’s generally easier to find work through a program like this one because they can help with visa sponsorship.

Describe your job role.

I am officially an editorial assistant—it’s on my email signature and everything, which is really exciting. I normally write one or two articles a day, brainstorm with the editorial and copy teams, and reach out to fashion bloggers and other companies for potential contributions. The biggest task I’ve been assigned is to find men’s grooming companies for inclusion in a men’s grooming book we are hoping to have completed and up for sale by August.

Have any particular courses at W&L prepared you for this internship?

In general, I think the biggest thing W&L has taught me is how to communicate with others. More specifically, I can credit Professor Bower’s marketing management class for showing me what it takes to work with a team, Professor Pickett’s writing class for improving my writing, and Professor Shay’s leadership and cross-cultural management course for giving me the confidence to speak my mind and reach out to our contributors.

The Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship offers stipends to students who pursue internships at start-ups. How are you using the stipend?

London is an amazing city, but comes with a rather expensive price tag. The stipend has helped me meet my everyday living expenses, in addition to letting me take advantage of all the city has to offer. Without the stipend, I definitely wouldn’t be able to take day trips outside of the city or visit Dublin, which is really what living abroad is about.

What do you hope to get out of your experience working for The Idle Man?

I hope to better develop my “eye” for editorial layouts as this is something that really only comes with practice. Knowing what readers want and how to best optimize search engine terms is crucial to increasing our viewership. With all the writing I’m doing I can already see improvement!

Has your experience influenced your career plans? What do you hope to do after graduation?

My experience has really helped me see that I’m best suited for a more creative field. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of working in a field in which I’m certainly not an expert, and I love that every day brings something different. After graduation, I would love to work for a marketing or PR company, ideally focusing on fashion or beauty. It might sound trivial, but these industries bring in billions of dollars every year and are extremely competitive fields. Getting my foot in the door through working at The Idle Man will hopefully be a really big advantage.

What advice would you give other students looking for internships at start-ups?

I think the best advice I can give is to talk to Professor Shay, Professor Hess, or anyone involved with the Venture Club. They can help you understand what you are looking for and where to start. Just talking to your professors in general is so important. I know I can personally thank Professor Hess for giving me some really honest career advice when I was—quite literally—ready to jump ship during Dr. Shay’s Caribbean Spring Term Abroad class.

I also would recommend looking into studying or working abroad, whether it’s through a W&L program, like our London program, or an outside program like the one I’m in. The experience is really unique and the skills you’ll gain are invaluable. This is my second summer abroad and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Mary Crowgey’s internship at The Idle Man qualified her for a special stipend from the Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship. Stipends are intended to cover some living and travel expenses and are earmarked for students who choose to intern with start-up companies that might not otherwise be able to pay their interns a sufficient wage. The Connolly Center expects that, in addition to performing their regular job duties, students will learn about what it takes to be successful in an entrepreneurial environment.

If you know any W&L students who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Major: Business Administration

Company Name: The Idle Man

Location: London, England

Industry: Fashion

Position/Title: Editorial Assistant