Get a Fashion Internship

The chance to work with top designers, travel the world with supermodels, keep ahead of the latest trends; it’s no surprise that working in the world of fashion would be a dream come true for many. And therein lies the problem – despite the fact there are thousands of opportunities in PR, design, retail and buying, there are tens of thousands of people going for them, most of them with relevant academic qualifications and equally-high levels of enthusiasm and passion.

Internships are designed to give you the edge in your hunt for work, allowing you to gain professional experience to complement your studies. However, even these are hard to come by, with placements at top design houses and leading retailers like gold dust.

Finding Internships

When it comes to finding an internship that could give you a valuable foot in the door of the fashion industry, it pays to be proactive.

However, while you may want to send out as many applications as possible, it’s often better to take a more selective approach. So, before you start applying for openings, ask yourself if you want to work on a magazine, in high-end design or for a high street retailer? Do you want to work in purchasing, marketing or retailing? And what are your strengths and what skills could you offer an employer?

Once you have a good idea of what you want out of an internship, look for positions you feel would suit your skills and career goals perfectly rather than wasting your time going for any fashion internship.

Where to look

There are a lot of websites advertising new internships. These include:

Alternatively, you can browse the website of design houses, magazines and retailers themselves. Among those regularly advertising for interns are:

Writing a Good Application

So, you’ve found an internship you feel would be a great fit for your talent and passion? Great! The problem is, however, dozens, or even hundreds of other aspiring fashionistas will have found it, too.

As such, you’ll need to make sure your application stands out from the crowd, and this is where a well-worded cover letter comes in.

Simple but effective ways of making sure your cover letter doesn’t go straight into the bin include:

  • Keeping it personal

As a rule, letters beginning with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or simply addressed to the magazine or company by name will be binned straight away. Not only are such letters impersonal, they also suggest that you’ve not taken the time or had the initiative to find out who you should be writing to. So, dig around online a little or even pick up the phone and ask who you should address your application to as a little personal touch can go a long way.

 

  • Keeping it unique

Yes, you may well be sending out hundreds of applications, but that’s no excuse for simply sending the same cover letter to different companies. Always try and tailor each application to the specific position you’re going for, though if you genuinely don’t have time for this, at the very least make sure you don’t copy and paste another company’s name in there!

 

  • Ensuring your personality shines through

Fashion is a creative industry, driven by passion and by individuals keen to be different. As such, you’ll want your personality to shine through in your cover letter. Mention your passions – but do so briefly – and try and make particular reference to the company you’re applying to and why you must work for them.

 

Highlighting how you can help

Of course, internships are all about getting experience in the industry, often straight out of school or university. However, a good placement should not be a one-way street; that is, an intern should be able to bring something positive to a workplace as well as gain valuable experience. So, don’t be afraid of using your cover letter to highlight what skills and experience you can bring to the role, even if it’s only an aptitude for IT, a good phone manner or an in-depth knowledge of a certain fashion field.

Impressing in an Interview

Should your application pass the first hurdle, then you may be called for an interview. In fact, for almost every of the most-sought-after internships, interviews are mandatory, with employers working hard to ensure they only take on the top new talent. While the thought of an interview may be daunting, you should see it as a chance to impress the interviewing panel with your passion for and knowledge of the world of fashion.

As with interviews for almost every job, there are ways to impress and ways to blow it.

Some simple but effective ways of making a good impression at this stage of the application process include:

  • Dressing to impress

You are, after all, going for a job in fashion, so use the interview as a chance to show off your personal style, ideally teaming your clothes and accessories with the ‘look’ of the company you’re applying to. However, don’t go over the top!

 

  • Exuding confidence

Regardless of how nervous you might be, you should try and present yourself as being confident and ready to take on your first role in a tough industry. Make eye contact with your interviewers, greet them with a firm handshake and take care not to mumble your answers to any questions they might ask you. Also have some questions prepared for them.

 

  • Doing your homework

It goes without saying that you should be well-prepared for your interview. So, read up on the company you’re applying to and be sure to share your knowledge with the interview panel. Additionally, have a set of specific examples of how you admire their work and how you can contribute in your own small way to hand.

Regardless of how you perform, it’s always a good idea to follow up your interview with a little note thanking the panel for taking the time to meet you. Hopefully, this will ensure you stick in their minds when they make their final decision.

 

In summary what you need to know

1. Internships are designed to give you the edge in your hunt for work, allowing you to gain professional experience to complement your studies.

2. However, even unpaid internships are hard to come by, with placements at top design houses and leading retailers like gold dust.

3. As such, when it comes to finding an internship that could give you a valuable foot in the door of the fashion industry, it pays to be proactive and do what you can to stand out from the crowd.

4. However, rather than sending off hundreds of copy-and-paste applications, target places you know you’d fit into.

5. Ensuring your application is directed to the right person and shows clear evidence of your desire and skills is a good way to stand out.

6. Likewise, if you are called for an interview, it pays to look like you belong in the fashion industry, though be wary of trying too hard to look unique.

7. Regardless of how you perform, it’s always a good idea to follow up your interview with a little note thanking the panel for meeting you – little touches can make a big difference.

Futher reading

Once you have your fashion intern placement agreed then read our tips to help you get the most of out it - Fashion Internship Tips .

We have a section on Fashion Careers that you can check out and an Online Job Centre section, where you can find all the information you need on your local job centre. 

 


 
 
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