Monday, 8 August 2016

How To Land That Killer Internship!

You may or may not know I am in my 8th week of a 12 week internship at the up and coming fashion brand Girl In Mind. This isn’t my first rodeo either as earlier on in the year I interned at the luxury brand Needle & Thread, so its safe to say I could tell a whole lot of stories and advice about the whole internship process, especially because I’ve lost count of the amount of time and effort that’s gone in to actually finding the right one for me. You see, when it finally comes down to looking for an internship everyone is different and looking for different things... some will take absolutely anything to make the experience easier, some care more about a name on their CV than actually learning anything valuable, some think London is the only way to make it into fashion in the UK, some think their life will finally be like a Mary-Kate & Ashley movie and some, well some are just thinking 'how the hell am I supposed to spend all my time working for no/little income and still live like a respectable human'. I, at some point of this year have been every single on of those people.  So to save this blog post from being very lengthy I’m just going to share the best tips I have for getting the internship that’s right for you and perhaps I’ll write about more in the future. So… How do you land that killer internship? The ones that’s going to give you exactly what you want and need?

First of all, it’s an obvious one, figure out what you want out of the experience. Do you need a paid internship? How far can you travel? How far away from home do you want to be? How much responsibility do you want? What sector of the industry do you want experience in? Once you’ve figured all this out you can begin searching and applying. I recommend using Fashion Workie, it's a great platform to find and apply to companies that have posted their intern positions. You will find London is the most popular place for fashion brands to home their head offices but you will be pleasantly surprised that if you dig deeper there are plenty more opportunities throughout the UK; Manchester (Boohoo, Misguided, InTheStyle, Label PR), East Midlands (Girl In Mind, Next, &Blanc, Studio LBW), Newcastle (Pink Boutique, Amour & Mer Swimwear, Trend Bible) and of course there are opportunities all over the world! If you can't do a long term one, the best time is Fashion Week because they always need the extra helping hands.

Perfect your CV & Cover letter. Be clear about what you want and what you have to offer as an intern. I suggest you get your application looked over by someone already in the fashion industry if you can or even just an older student who has already done an internship. A good application is key to getting an interview!

Be Prepared
When you do get an interview get ready for those questions they always ask, like ‘why us?’ but also be prepared for those cringey (what they like to call quirky) questions. They’re rather popular at the moment because they put you on the spot and often get an authentic answer... once before even being offered an interview, I got asked ‘what would your pop star name be?’ and ‘what would the soundtrack to your life be and why?’ As if that affects my ability to perform in the fashion industry…
Do your homework, find out the companies mission statement from their About Us page and top up your knowledge about the company and it's history. It would also help to top up your knowledge about the side of the industry you will be working in, you don't need to know how to do everything because that's why you're there to learn, but it would help if you're familiar with related terminology.

First Impressions
First impressions are important, be early, on time but never late! Make sure you know who you're there to see as well. I was shocked to realise that women also do the awkward hand shake upon introduction.. granted we don't put the same pressure as men do onto it, so you certainly won't be judged if you have a weak ass hand shake like me.

Know Your Killer Outfit
Everyone knows their favourite items of clothes to wear, whether it’s an amazing pair of fitted jeans or a flattering top- we know what makes us look and feel the best. So instead of trying to wear brand new clothes that you’ve never even tried on or something that makes you feel out of your comfort zone, wear what makes you comfortable but is also fashionable. Plan your outfit from had to toe and try it on to avoid extra stress in the morning.

Know Your Reliable Make Up
The same applies to doing your make up that morning- don't decide today's a good day to try a brand new foundation or mascara that could betray you (no one wants clumpy lashes). Use the products and application techniques you know will work for you and will last on your skin. I highly recommend setting sprays for days you really need your make up to last all day! 

Be The Best Version of Yourself
Everyone always say ‘just be yourself’ but I like to say be the best version of you! Everyone has bad days, nobody is perfect but you obviously don’t want them to see the lesser side of you, so be the happiest, most positive version of you, without being fake! They need to see who they’re taking on and there’s not point acting amazing to then be late all the time, or not have the skills you said you did! I know many girls who have actually been fired from their internship for not stepping up.

Never Stress
You might think that this internship is exactly what you want/ need but sometimes, for whatever reason, the company doesn’t have mutual feelings but that’s ok! I always look at is, if I’m meant to get this, then I will! A lot of the time it has nothing to do with you, fashion brands get so many applicants and it all depends on the person whose decision it is. You need to remember that stressing about your interview will not benefit you in any way. My attitude to interviews changed when I realised all of this and it really does make me much less nervous.

If you don’t get this one there are plenty of internships out there! Your life’s career is never determined solely by one internship, just because someone interned at vogue does not guarantee a successful career in fashion. The key is to get an opportunity where you will gain the most experience and knowledge so that you can keep progressing.

What do you think about my approach to interviews? Do you have any extra tips?

Flat Lay by #JuliaDoan 

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