Here it is ugliesâ€”even though itâ€™s a bit premature considering most of you are in the market for summer fashion internshipsâ€”but since my inbox has recently been inundated with questions about this topic, it seems like a good time to get them all answered.
I’ve made my way around the internship circuit and consider myself a bit of a veteran regarding getting internships and making them worthwhile. Hereâ€™s everything you need to know to snag a fashion internship:
Do your research:
Before you even think about applying, make sure youâ€™re sure you know everything there is to know about the company. This includes past mastheads, their editorial voice and successful past articles they may have written if youâ€™re looking to go into editorial. For PR jobs, make sure youâ€™re familiar with all the companyâ€™s clients and the overall aesthetic. You should be able to show that theyâ€™re biggest fan and be ready to answer any and all questions about why you want to work at that specific company.
The most coveted internships are highly competitive, and you want to make sure that you can compete with the best of the applicants. This means that you should have plenty of relevant experience before you try for something big. Before I started at Teen Vogue, I had three other internships under my belt as well as experience writing for my own blogs.
Summer applications should be sent out before March, but apply early! The later you send something in, the more people youâ€™ll have to compete with. Shoot for late-January to mid-February.
Resume / Cover letter:
Trim the fat on your resume: leave out irrelevant work experience, ditch the fancy fonts and keep mentions of your high school achievements to a minimum. DO make sure youâ€™re thorough and specific when you explain all your tasks, commitments and responsibilities for each job. As for your cover letter, this is where you show (in three paragraphs) that youâ€™re the perfect candidate for the job. Avoid clichÃ©s, donâ€™t be redundant (if you can find the information in your resume, leave it out of your cover letter) and make sure you convert everything to a PDF.
Dress appropriately (no pantsuits, unless youâ€™re applying for a finance job, ya hear?), and please study up before. Prepare answers to stock questions (â€œWhy do you want to work here?â€ â€œWhat are your favorite designers?â€ â€œWhat are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?â€). Bring a portfolio of your work if you have one (Donâ€™t have one? Make one!) Donâ€™t be a sycophant, but donâ€™t be too nonchalant. Confidence and enthusiasm is key.
Donâ€™t get fired:
Read the contract thoroughly. Most places have confidentiality agreements that you have to adhere to. Also, donâ€™t be snobby, donâ€™t feel entitled to anything, donâ€™t be rude, and donâ€™t be afraid to ask assistants and other interns for help. The more tasks you complete perfectly and thoroughly, the more responsibilities theyâ€™ll give you.
This Chictopia internship is the sixth gig Iâ€™ve had since I started college, and probably my last before I graduate this May and head out looking for a real job. And though Iâ€™ve had my fair share of humbling experiences, I donâ€™t regret any internship Iâ€™ve had. Each has helped me hone in on what I want to do with my life, and has given me invaluable tools in helping me get to where I want.
I hope this covers most of your questions! Leave me a comment if I forgot anything and Iâ€™ll make sure to answer it in a subsequent post!