Opportunities in CCI – Ali Davenport

Gaining internship experience while in college has many wonderful advantages. Among other things an internship can help you to gain new skills; contribute to your knowledge of different fields; help to build networks of alumni and peers and allow you to experience a unique or niche occupation, all while helping you to explore a multitude of career options. Internships are especially beneficial to those who enter college unsure about the kind of profession that they want to pursue and the best path to get there. Ali Davenport, a senior English journalism major and CCI minor, never once doubted that she wanted to be a fashion journalist and editor for an esteemed magazine one day. Like many students, she was having a difficult time finding an opportunity that aligned with her creative interests. After days of scrolling on Handshake and Linkedin with no luck, she decided to reach out to CCI Professor and Founding Director, Patrick Fuery, who quickly proved to be a valuable asset in the searching process.

P: Why did you choose CCI as your minor?

Photo of Ali Davenport, English Journalism major and CCI minor'23.

A: CCI pairs really well with my major because I don’t want to write for a newspaper or be a broadcaster. I want to do something more creative like writing features for magazines. In a way I think that the same way magazines encompass different creative areas like photography, fashion, digital design, CCI also does the same. And it’s allowed me to explore areas outside of my initial realm of interest.

It’s also been able to pair really well with my environmental studies minor because I’ve gotten to learn how to think critically about the CCI’s and their impact on the environment through CCI 203: Contemporary Issues in the CCI’s with Professor Jamie Larkin. Coming into the

course I knew all of the background knowledge because I've taken so many environmental studies classes so I thought that was interesting to see how that crossed over with CCI too, which goes to show how interconnected CCI is within every industry from fashion, publishing, environmental policy, etc.

P: As someone who's been studying CCI for three years now, how do you think CCI has helped you figure out the kind of career you’d like to pursue post-grad?

A: I went on the CCI 333:CCI and International Contexts trip to London with Dr. Kelli and Patrick Fuery in June and it was so interesting to see how many creative jobs exist around the world and how each of them make the creative world go round– no matter how strange or small they seem. It’s been so unique to be a part of this course because I didn’t think I could find something that combined my creativity with my aspirations in journalism so perfectly. So when I found out CCI was a minor, it immediately grabbed my attention because I've always been really creative but I never wanted to be a creative writer and I really believe that CCI has helped me to find my niche within magazines and fashion journalism.

P: What is your internship and how did you find out about it?

Photo of Michele Marie PR Office. Courtesy of

A: I am currently interning as a Fashion PR intern at Michele Marie PR in LA. I found out about this internship last spring around April when I reached out to Dr. Patrick Fuery for help because I was struggling to find anything on Handshake and Linkedin that really aligned with my interests in fashion journalism. So I emailed Dr.Fuery and asked him if he could look out for me. After a few weeks he sent me something

regarding the Michele Marie PR internship for the Summer.

I thought it was really interesting and started to research more about the company and I found out that they have an office in New York which is more on the editorial side, and an office in LA that's more fashion and PR focused. I immediately thought “okay this is totally up my alley, '' so I applied for it but I ended up not hearing back and came to terms that It didn’t work out.

Throughout the summer I still found myself still thinking about the internship so I decided to email the company and express how excited I had been for the Summer position and if they had any pending opportunities in the fall. The HR representative informed me that there was an open editorial position in the Fall and encouraged me to apply and that’s exactly what I did. Fortunately two days after submitting my application, I received an invitation to interview, and two days after that I was told that I had landed the position. So to say the process was a mix of excitement and shock is an understatement.

P: Was there an advantage to working with Patrick to find this internship as opposed to your journalism professors?

A: I was looking to work in a creative industry, and Patrick said he would look out for me and put in a good word for me if I needed it. It is so important to go after what you want, and to use whatever resources you can think of to get there.

P: What is your internship like?

A: It’s amazing. I’m loving it. I’m on the editorial team which focuses on celebrity and influencer placements and press placements. The goal is to provide as much media coverage for clients as we can. The company trusts me to be a leader and have responsibilities. One day I’m reorganizing our showroom, and the next I’m writing brand pitches that go out to over 500 influencers.

First day I got right to work making labels and unboxing PR packages. I will be in the office two days a week and remote one day a week.

P: Does this internship give you a different way of looking at journalism or does it change anything about how you look at CCI?

A: I’ve always been interested in how I can find a more creative niche in journalism, this is why I’ve always been so drawn to magazines. PR is very new to me, but there are opportunities within the company for writing, such as drafting pitches to influencers and representatives.

P: Do you think your CCI minor gave you an advantage in the application process or made you stand out in any way?

A: A million times, yes. In my application I talked about CCI and how the CCI curriculum has widened my view of the creative industries– including fashion, as well as given me a new perspective of how I can use my writing skills in the professional world.

I also talked about my summer course in London and how the creative and cultural industries collide there and I'm sure that that made me stand out because when we were in London everyone knew what CCI was and here, no one knows what that is. Lastly, in my interview I was able to talk about how I see creativity working in the world and how I've gained multiple creative opportunities and experiences through CCI.

P: What do you expect to gain from this internship?

A: I’m going in with no expectations. My only expectation is having an open mind and hoping to learn as much as I can because this internship feels like it's the first step to making connections, learning about the industry, learning more about PR, and fashion journalism.

P: How does this align to your post grad work? Where do you see yourself going after?

A: I love to write and that's what I want to do. My dream is to move to New York and work as a fashion journalist. I want to build connections and experience and become a leader and take on editor roles. I know that there aren’t full-time offer guarantees after completing the internship but the fact that this company also has a New York office is really exciting since I know that the company has brought on interns as full-time workers in the past and New York is where I want to be.

This experience proved for Ali that taking the time to reach out to your professors for professional advice and guidance can be a valuable part of the college experience. Often there are industry connections or employer relations that they may have the inside scoop on and that a student might not even think to ask about or explore if they’re just looking on their own. Dr. Fuery, and all the Creative and Cultural Industries faculty, are assets for CCI students and always eager to help them explore opportunities that interest them the most. In addition, don’t forget to check out our opportunities page which hosts internship postings in the creative and cultural fields.

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