Internships. They pay off, and trust me, they get easier the more you do. They play a big part when landing your dream career in fashion, even if you are not sure yet, each internship is valuable!
However, if you’re lucky enough in gaining a internship even if it did take around 50 emails and cover letters a week you need to make the most of it (this even includes a few days of just making coffee). Here’s what I’ve learnt from my own expereinces in the industry, and don’t worry, it isn’t all ‘Devil Wears Prada’.
1. WHAT TO DO WHEN APPLYING?
Applying can be daunting. The long wait from when you send off your cover letter, to when you receive a response, it can be a anxious waiting game. Just remember companies, labels, brands and magazines love interns. It’s beneficial for them, and for you however that doesn’t mean it’s easy. They say first impressions are everything, and due to the world of networking, sadly most first impressions are through text in a email. So how do you get noticed with a plan cover letter and CV? A tip I will advise is catchy subject lines in emails. By catchy I mean ones that stand out. Employers want to see someone who jumps out there email list (and yes they have alot of emails!) so be creative. Myself, I like to use ‘YOUR DREAM INTERN’ ‘INTERN YOU NEED’ or even with a bit of humour and quirkiness. It shows your personality and enthusiasm just through a subject line, encouraging them to open the email.
2. COVER LETTER & CV.
No one likes a boring page of text. No one. Just like your subject line and first impressions in mind, play around with your cover letter email and CV. For my cover letters I like to play quite informal, like a conversation. Introduce yourself, add some humour, share your ambitions and how you want to get there and more importantly share your enthusiasm for fashion in a creative way. However try not to use ‘Passion for Fashion’, which from what I have learnt is a huge turn-off. Try to keep your cover letters to one paragraph, so no life stories. Your extra points about yourself and side hobbies should all be in your CV. Another big tip, get a blog going. Even if it’s just images of you and your daily outfits. Showing your interest in the industry and making it part of your out-of-work life shows you ambition for it. Add it to your email, employers will love to see what you do as a hobby!
When applying, play around with layout and use your visual creative side when also creating your CV, however this means keep it professional at the same time, no wants to see ‘Word art’ or font which is too crazy to read.
3. FIRST DAY!
So you’ve landed your dream internship, it’s 7am and the nerves are kicking in. All you can think about is that last series of The Hills you watched and Lauren Conrads experiences. Don’t panic, this is the start of your career it’s exciting. However, apart from your amazing email with landed you this opportunity, doesn’t mean first impressions are done and gone. BE PROMPT. No one like a late intern. Lateness can show lack in enthusiasm and commitment which can worry an employer. Secondly, be chatty, say hi to everyone in the office. Everyone likes a intern who makes an effort, and chatting to people around the office can build a range of contacts, even in departments you didn’t expect. Every contact is important, the variety of jobs is what makes the industry as big as it is today. Starting to chat to people early makes your internship smooth running, and cutting out the awkward conversations during your time there.
4. ASK QUESTIONS. SERIOUSLY.
Ask questions, even if they are just about the task you have just been given. Ask about what people are up to around your work enviovement, and try to get an understanding on everyone’s roles. You look interested and dedicated, and in the long run you can walk out with some handy contacts and information for the big wide world.
5. KNOW YOUR STUFF
Get to know who your working for, right down to who there consumer is. You never know what questions and tasks could be thrown your way. Nothing like a bit of Vogue news and trend searching once in a while. Always try to keep up to date with trends, headlines, and any big fashion announcements. You’re in the industry, you might as well keep in the loop. This can reflect on your performance and not only your passion for your job.
6. GET INVOLVED!
Meetings coming up? Heard there’s a photoshoot happening in head office soon? Something exciting going on in the different department? Don’t hold back and think you won’t be allowed, ask to get involved! Everyone needs a helping hand, and if you are someone like me who is still little not sure what path you want to go down fully, taking on different responsibility in different departments is always beneficial.
7. DON’T WASTE TIME
You’re an intern. You’re not going to have all the responsbilities as your average employee. So free time on your hands? Don’t waste time. When interning and had nothing to do, I searched on websites like Vogue, Elle, Net-a-porter, Love, or any fashion news/trend sites. Keep updated with the industry. Check your companys competitors. Update your blog. Maybe even do some University work. I’m able to juggle a couple of interns at a time, plus get work done and even update my blog. It’s do-able so don’t waste time. You’ll even give a good impression to any pass-byers as well. Keep active and keep busy.
8. GET AHEAD, MAKE YOURSELF MEMORABLE
You want to be remembered, right? Wherever you are working there is most likely a opportunity for a permanent job down the line.
Business cards are extremely useful. I’ve made a batch of my own, which I hand out to clients, employers or anyone I meet along the way! They allow you to be creative, and show your personality, even if it is just a card with your name, occupation, blog and email address. Employers will love it, and it shows you take yourself seriously in the industry. Another point is keep all the email addresses for who you contact in file, you never know when someone along the line might come in handy. Additionally email your past employers with what you’ve been up to. I like to keep mine up to date, such as with holidays, time I’m available, any more experiences I’ve had in the industry and how I’m doing. This keeps a healthy relationship which will be beneficial when looking for a job after graduating.
Being memorable also means keep that long lasting impression. Stay Prompt, be active, be interested and most of all enjoy yourself. Employers will always want to keep in contact with a dedicated intern who not only works in line, but also gives of a happy atmosphere.
Lastly, have fun and get interning!