One word can make or break your career in the fashion world, or any world for that matter. Interning. Yes, free labor (unless you get college credit). You give them your soul and in return they give you the necessary experience needed to land a job. People are always asking me about my internship at Showroom Seven/Seventh House PR and how I landed it. Even more people ask how I survive. Applying for internships can be a stressful and agonizingly long process. Walking in blindfolded was basically how I approached this situation. This little game was set on extreme hard difficulty and I just lunged myself into a pool full of sharks. Luckily, I learned to swim and with this guide you will have somewhat of a 411 before taking a leap into your first internship.
- Have a beefy resume.
Learn how to bullshit or get someone to do it for you. Either way, you need a resume that someone would actually want to read. Figure out what your employer is looking for and BE that person. Even if its small jobs you did throughout school, a lot of skills are universal in any industry. Talk yourself up, confidence translates.. even on paper.
2. Its more annoying to your boss to not know whats happening then to ask questions.
Starting out, I dreaded needing to ask a question and usually would hold out in fear that i was being irritating. Take it from someone who learned the hard way, its better to know what your boss is talking about. No you will not “figure it out on your own later”. Trust me, it’ll leave you in a pool of confusion followed by an unprecedented level of anxiety. Just ask.
3. Dress the part.
Know the saying “Dress to Impress” ? Theres some truth behind it. People are more likely to assume you know what you’re doing by just looking professional. I may not have the most scientific evidence but trust me, it works. You’re also more prone to be taken seriously. So leave the mini skirts and crop tops out of the office ladies. And guys, tuck that shirt in and invest in an iron.
4.Self awareness is key.
Interns don’t have a specific job, you pretty much help with everything. From the scut to the most high profile, life or death situation, interns can be part of the equation. Since this is most likely the case, always be aware of something you could help out with. Be aware of opportunities that will be to your benefit and add major brownie points to your accountability. The more your boss sees that you are aware, the more of an asset you become. This alone could be the reason you get hired or sent on your merry way after your 3 month intern period.
5. They pay you in espresso, so drink up.
Realization #1 when I moved to Manhattan, coffee is way over priced and way too essential to life. My Starbucks obsession quickly waned when the reality of Manhattan money hit me like a tow truck. So when you see that espresso machine in the corner with a tray of bagels and assorted spreads, help yourself…. and then again to seconds. LOL. You are paying your self in cappuccinos so take advantage.
6. Communication is vital to your success.
There will be many times where you are the missing link to someones problem. Always pass along memos, messages, or happenings. If you see it say it. Make sure everyone (especially your boss) knows what you know. That way, your coworkers (and competition) see you are a contribution to the big picture. Speak up!
7. Its okay to make mistakes.
This is the biggest worry of most interns who are starting out. It definitely was for me being the OCD perfectionist I am. I want to get it right, every time, starting with my first time doing it. I hate to burst your bubble but is impossible. You will be learning so much in such a short period of time there is NO way you wont mess up here and there. ( Like when I accidentally sent Anne Hathaway the wrong necklace..yeah that was fun :p) Your mistakes can turn into your biggest strengths, so don’t stress. Be a sponge and absorb EVERYTHING. You’ll do great.
Good luck & happy interviewing ❤