A LIMERICK student with a passion for fashion and a flair for French has secured the work placement of her dreams – an internship with world famous fashion house Fendi.
Twenty-one-year-old Alice Carroll from Parteen will jet out to New York in the New Year to begin her eight months placement with the luxury Italian label.
The part-time model who is studying Business with French at the University of Limerick, will be based in the company’s Fifth Avenue flagship store where she will get hands on experience of the international world of high-end fashion.
“If I’m totally honest with you, Fendi was an absolute pipe dream,” said Alice this week, “but I said there is no harm in applying”.
The third year student sent her CVs to a number of different high end stores but in her heart of hearts didn’t expect a response.
She was taken aback therefore when Fendi made contact and called her for an interview.
“I think they assumed I was in the States but I explained that I was in Ireland. I asked them if they could facilitate me in any way. I was saying to my parents ‘will I fly over there’ but eventually they came back and said ‘we can do it over the phone, no problem’.”
While she did her research on the company and got on well with the interviewer, Alice began doubting herself when she heard no response. “I was really nervous in the interview and I had convinced myself that I had messed it up but my parents were saying ‘we could hear you from the kitchen and you were perfect’. They said they would get back to me the following Wednesday and of course Hurricane Sandy hit so I heard nothing.”
Eventually, after what felt like a life time, the call she had been hoping and waiting for came.
“They got back to me the following week and said they were really sorry but the hurricane delayed them and they said they would love to offer me the position.”
While she is both excited and nervous about the move, Alice has the advantage of knowing her way around the Big Apple - she has been to New York a few times as her mum Shirley works with US Airways. Alice is also well used to living away from home - she completed a three month work placement in Sydney during the summer while there with her boyfriend, former Shannon rugby star David O’Donovan.
Having modelled with the Holman Lee Agency in Limerick since the age of 15, she cannot wait to experience the world of fashion on the famous Fifth Avenue.
“My only fear was, as brilliant as it would look for my CV, that it would be a kind of Devil Wears Prada type of thing where the intern is the slave, but she assured me that because the team is so small they see their interns more as assistants - you are directly involved with clients.”
The past pupil of Gaelscoil Sairseal and Laurel Hill Colaiste in the city was given a nice taster of what she can expect. “The example she gave me was: ‘for instance yesterday one of our interns met up with Kate Beckinsale’s stylist to pick a dress for her’. Imagine having that on your CV,” Alice smiled.
It’s been a busy week in the Carroll household and a proud one too for parents Shirley and Pat as not alone did Alice get the placement of her dreams but younger brother Dylan received a JP McManus scholarship and got to meet former US president Bill Clinton. A former student of Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh, Dylan is a first year UL student studying mechanical engineering.