So this is a really really long time coming. I never get requests on what to post on here (no one’s that interested) but the one recurring theme is people asking me about internships. I’m an intern obsessive and I completely admit that. I’m lucky that I have a student loan to pay for me to be in London for 3 years and I am so bloody determined to make the most of it. I really want to be able to afford to stay in London when I graduate and I know this is the only way. Also I’m scarred by retail (don’t get me wrong I love my job and it’s perfect at the moment but I know it’s not for me in the long term).
So I study Fashion Promotion and I absolutely love my course. I’ve learnt a real broad range of things within media and fashion thatI’ve then come across whilst interning, so it must be good! I’m not really sure what direction I want to take after uni so I’m trying to experience as many aspects as possible. I think when you actively do it in a realistic environment that’s when you really get to narrow down what it is you like and don’t like. I’ve learnt that if you want to be a stylist, realistically a lot of time is spent dragging a suitcase around and that with social media and content creating so much time is invested in analytics…something I definitely enjoy more. I only know that because of interning (and btw I’ve only made like 3 coffee’s in my interning life – it’s all a lie (I think, so far)).
First thing’s first: If you say you don’t have time to intern, if you really want to do something you’ll make time for it. If you have to work part-time at the weekend too in order to buy food then do it, it’ll be so worth it.
Why they’re reaaaaaally important
- It’s sad but my £9k fashion degree is worth nothing without experience
- To find out what you really enjoy and love
- To trulllly experience fashun darling
- Meet lots of people within the industry
- If you don’t intern, someone else will
- To get a damn job
- Master the art of email culture, of course
- Learn how amazing clothes steamers are and how much you need one in your life
What kind of internships?
Literally everything. I’m still finding out jobs that I never thought existed and when you find out it’s like ‘ah yeah, that completely makes sense’. I’m a complete stalker anyway, but one thing I’ve found that helps is finding someone you really admire and I think ‘I want to do what you do’ and then finding out how they got there. It may be from an editorial from your favourite magazine, a piece of writing you really enjoyed, your favourite LFW show, a brand’s social media account you really enjoy – find out who creates it, which creative agency they work for, the job role etc…. Next thing, log out of Linkedin (you don’t want to look like a stalker) and then find out where they worked, interned and the roles they did to get to where they want to be. I’ve found this so so helpful.
I also think it’s really important to not be stuck in one direction. If you’re 110% sure you want to work in PR then obviously that’s amazing but don’t feel like you have to be stuck doing that. Work for lots of different sized companies of different market levels and try doing as many different things as possible, it all crosses over and you’ll get to meet so many different people!
Where to find them?
Twitter = amaze. Fashion Workie (the best), Intern Wardrobe, UK Fashion Intern, London Internships … follow. them. all. Fashion Monitor (I can access it through uni) is amazing and basically contains the contact details of everyone in the industry so really good to send across a speculative letter. Even if they’re not looking at that moment, there’s no harm in asking. I’m really bad in that I send really really ramble-y cover letters and I wish I was more to the point but to talk about what you do, your interests and when you’re available are probably the best parts to address! I suppose you already do – but make sure you’re following all your favourite brands on social media (especially if they’re local to you too), really handy when they post about wanting interns.
The best time to do an internship?
Whenever! Obviously holidays are perfect…especially for longer length placements and if you’re not London based it’s easier to find friends/family to stop with. Part-time internships are great (mostly done with smaller/independent brands) as you can fit it around uni work, I’ve found they’re great because you really get to do a variety of jobs. 1 day/a couple of days are really useful too. Especially if you follow lots of small magazines on Twitter/Insta, they occasionally look for people to assist for the day especially with loans and returns. I assisted a stylist on a shoot in the summer and although I know I never have any intention of becoming a stylist, the things I learnt were really useful and nice to know. I know Conde Nast and many magazines (I think Hearst?) take on interns for only 2 weeks at a time so that’s really nice to dip into magazine experience. I suppose it goes without saying but brands/production companies are always looking for runners during LFW too. Mental and long days, but so worth it to have a proper insight. Fashion Scout and of course the BFC are awesome to contact.
Don’t look for a paid internship. Well obviously do and if you do get one then UIFHEIUHDEIWUDIUEWHDFEIUW THAT’S AMAZING. But travel expenses, cool – food expenses too? Bloody amazing. I expect nothing but just remember that you are working as an intern – like you’re there to learn too. Yes you’re there to help and work, but it’s got to work both ways. Make the most of it – ask all of the questions, experience as much as possible, do all the tasks that aren’t fancy and work hard. Although, don’t put up with being exploited and treated like shit and if you really really hate it (I did one last year and I never cried so much) there’s no point carrying it on, there’ll be another one out there for you that you’ll end up loving.
THANK YOU, SORRY FOR ALL DOING YOUR HEADS IN. OVER AND OUT.
And if you do have any questions at all, honestly feel free to ask anything at all because I know what it’s like starting out and it’s all a bit overwhelming and crazy.
(I’m also one day going to address the negatives and my personal opinions on interning within the fashion industry, but I think that’ll have to wait for when I’m comfortably in a job and no longer have to rely on internships…………….until then I just roll along)