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Internship Takes Student to Malawi Village

Thursday, November 04, 2010
Internships let Marymount students try out in the real world what they learn in class. Christi Sanders ’11, of Orange County, CA, who started at Marymount as a Fashion Design major and switched to Art, completed a six-week internship in summer 2010 with the Malawi Children’s Village Sewing Project. Fashion Design faculty member Nettie Graulich launched the project in 2002, to teach sewing as a marketable skill at the village, which cares for orphans.
Why did you choose the Malawi internship?
I knew I would be working with people in need and it would allow me plenty of opportunities to help and to grow and learn myself.

What did you do there?
I accompanied Professor Graulich as she negotiated clothing contracts with businesses. I was exposed to all the business aspects of the fashion industry, an experience that I probably would not be offered at another school. I was also in charge of designing a line of dresses for little girls and babies, with matching mother’s dresses. This was a designer’s dream.
What did you do for fun?
There was a nearby school with about 40 kids ranging in age from five to nine. A few times a week I would give the kids lessons in painting, printing, coloring, and other projects.

What else did you do?
I made new friends, who took me to their village and introduced me to their families. One day, I was lucky enough to go on safari! I saw elephants, monkeys, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, and exotic birds. I took great pictures that I hope to use in my printmaking and painting classes.
How did the internship prepare you to be a better professional?
Knowing that others were counting on me and my designs pushed me to do my best. The dresses we were designing and making were going to be sold in England, so I knew that I had to do my best work and not let anyone down.

How would you sum it up?
This is probably the best experience I could have asked for in an internship.