With Charleston Fashion Week fast-approaching, dozens of College of Charleston students recently turned out to vie for a chance to volunteer behind the scenes at the annual event – this year from March 14-18, 2017 – just off campus in Marion Square.

More than 55 students interviewed with the event’s volunteer recruitment team in hopes of being chosen to work backstage, tend to guests and merchandise or to help promote the show.

With hundreds of fashion designers, models and followers set to flood the city to experience and showcase the newest looks and latest runway trends, CofC students looking to land a coveted volunteer spot were quizzed by event organizers about their interest in fashion, event planning and community involvement.

While numerous students from the College have been involved with Fashion Week in previous years – with some even modeling for designers – this year saw the largest turnout for potential volunteers, and recruiters had plenty of positive feedback about the the caliber of students, says Erin O’Dea, employer relations manager at the College’s Career Center.

“We encourage participation in the Charleston Fashion Week because the location is so close, making it convenient for students to look into the opportunity,” O’Dea says. “Over the past few years, we have seen that (students) can get a wonderful perspective on what that world is really all about; they can see how fashion, community, and event come together to bring culture to our city.”

RELATED: Read about CofC students and alumni who have taken part in Charleston Fashion Week in previous years.

With potential employers looking for graduates who have hands-on experience, local high-profile events such as Charleston Fashion Week provide valuable experiential learning opportunities. As a bonus, students participating in Fashion Week get a close-up view of the newest and hottest fashions.

One volunteer candidate, CofC freshman Isabella Natale, says volunteering at Fashion Week would be a dream come true. Dressed in a jean skirt and a white blouse with an abundance of rings decorating her hand, she confided that being surrounded by more than 50 other well-dressed, confident students, was both exciting and nerve-racking.

“I want to be in the fashion industry and I’m sure everyone else here does, too, so I hope they can find spots for most of us.”

Lauren Vega is a freshman from Huntington, West Virginia, studying arts management and international studies in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. She is also a National Merit Scholar, a scholar in the International Studies Program, and a 200-hour registered yoga teacher.