By Megan Kane, Marketing Coordinator
An interview with Elena Garcia, a Missouri State University alumna. Elena interned for a Fashion PR firm on an ISA Internships program in Madrid, Spain, and went on to start her own fashion line.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I graduated from Missouri State University this spring 2018 with a degree in Merchandising and Fashion Design and a minor in International Marketing from the College of Business.
Photo of Elena Garcia taken by Bradley Balsters
What was the most beneficial part of the internships matching process?
The most beneficial part was learning how to clearly articulate my learning goals for my internship abroad. In the end, my goals matched up perfectly with my internship placement.
What was an average day like at your internship with a Fashion PR firm?
I always started the day with some type of PR project like writing a press release, searching for fashion influencers in Madrid, or creating content for blogs and social media posts. One of the highlights of my internship was during the first week when I was on set for a photo shoot for an upcoming lookbook. Some of the most notable experiences during my internship were attending industry events such as the Madrid Fashion Film Festival.
Congratulations on your new fashion line, Calle de Lena! Is there a story behind the name?
The inspiration for my entire collection is based off my experiences in Spain, including the people, cities, and the culture. The name of my fashion line was inspired by an actual street in Valencia, Spain, that I visited during an ISA excursion. The street was catty-corner to Plaza de la Almoina, a large Spanish square that showcases underground Roman ruins. Surrounding the square was a beautiful fountain surrounded by flowers and directly above it was a dress shop that featured the most amazing couture gowns I had ever seen. And coincidently, this street was called Calle de Lena, which is also my nickname since Lena is short for Elena.
Photo by Bradley Balsters
Did any other weekend trips or ISA excursions lead to unexpected creative inspiration?
Yes! I did receive some design inspiration from a painting I saw in the Museo Reina Sofia.
How did your internship experience help you become career ready?
I learned how to build collaborative relationships with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and with viewpoints different than my own. Interning in a culture that is completely different from my own gave me a truly immersive experience and a unique insight into Spanish culture.
Dreaded question. What’s next?
After spending my time abroad and doing some traveling on my own I realized how much I enjoyed getting to experience these new cultures and travel. So, I have decided to get certified to teach English as a second language in Prague, Czech Republic.
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