Saturday, December 17, 2011

Interning Advice For Fashion Students

(Dressed in WWD uniform while on a break during my fashion week internship in 2008 at Bryant Park) 
It's been a while since I've graduated the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Now working full-time I find it very rewarding that I get a chance to give advice to interns that I meet along the way. Interning is not really something that's taught in college. Let me tell you I've been through it all as an intern and I must say that each task whether monotonous or not has taught me a lesson. During college I made sure that my time was properly occupied with as much learning as possible. This meant of course lots of classes (usually 21 credits a semester), interning and working part-time. Aside from school, interning provided me with great working experience, valuable contacts and one fabulous resume. I wanted to share a few tips that I've learned along the way and have helped me while interning in college. Here are 10 interning tips that I hope will be as helpful to you as they were to me. 

1. Dress the part. This really applies to all job interviews but when going on an internship interview you must always dress professionally. 

2. Bring a notebook and take notes. Each task that you're assigned should be written down. Make sure to ask questions if you don't understand something! 

3. Don't take anything personally. It's a job and you're not there to make friends but rather business connections so be professional.

4.  Put in 100%. Interning can be a very valuable experience. It's a taste of the "real world" and you should absorb as much of it as you can. 

5. Build your resume. Make sure you sit down with someone that has resume writing experience to help you properly convey what you've done during your internship. 

6. Send a thank you note. After each internship you go on you MUST send a thank you note! It shows that you are serious about the internship and it's also another opportunity to tell the interviewer that you're the right person for the job. 

7. Network. During your internship it's crucial to build your roster of contacts and network as much as you can. My advice is to make a Linkedin account as soon as you start your internship career. (After each internship it's always good to have someone you worked with write you a recommendation on Linkedin.)

8. Build your brand through blogging. If you're passionate about fashion prove it! Blogging is a great way to build your credibility and get your name out there. It's also a good way to differentiate yourself from the "competition".

9. Stay in touch with your past bosses/co-interns. If you established a good relationship with the people you've worked with it's always good to add them on Linkedin. You never know who might be a valuable contact to you when you're looking for a job after college. As they say "it's all who you know in life". 

10. Intern as much as you can! I've been lucky to intern for some pretty big companies and magazines like Juicy Couture, Members Only, OK! Magazine and Women's Wear Daily to name a few. I made sure that each semester during my 3.5 years of college was occupied with a great internship. Make sure to visit the internal career site at your college for internships postings. If you don't find anything on there Craigslist is always good or

Below are a few candid pictures of me back in 2008 when I was a Fashion Week intern for Women's Wear Daily. The internship was definitely one of my most memorable and rewarding opportunities as it gave me the chance to experience Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The rest as you can see is history and also a work in progress as my fashion career is still growing!

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