If you’ve been around these parts for a while, or follow me on social media then may know that I’m a fashion student and have just started my third and final year studying Fashion Communication and Promotion. For the past two summers I’ve spent a large portion of my time off interning at various companies. Over the last two years I’ve gained sooo much experience from living the intern life and had the idea to put my thoughts into a lil’ post for anyone who may be interested. My internships have all been at fashion brands in London (makes sense for a fashion student) but these thoughts and tips aren’t totally specific to fashion, so even if that’s not your area of interest hopefully there’ll be something you can take from this post. I am in no way an expert and am still learning and growing and interning, but I’ve found posts like this really really helpful over the last few years and hopefully one of you might find this helpful in some way too.
Be brave –
When it comes to bagging yourself an internship sometimes you just have to shove aside your fear, pull on your big girl pants and be brave! Whether that means emailing your dream company to see if they need any help, applying for something that you think is way out of your league or going to an event alone simply to try and grab five minutes with someone who could give you a foot in the door. Maybe the only internships you can find aren’t necessarily in the area you want or maybe you have to stay in and travel around a new city – be brave and push yourself, you’ll gain invaluable experience and get a lil’ more insight into what you do, or don’t like and what you might want to do in the future.
Be open –
You never know when something may come up or when an opportunity may arise, so be open!
An internship at a killer company arises, but you only have two weeks free before you head back to uni? Say yes! Two weeks is better than nothing, and could lead the way to further opportunities in the future. You’ve got an internship and they want you to help with an event or project in the evening or at the weekend aside from your agreed hours? Say yes! (But don't let them take you for a mug, take advantage, or treat you like crap - you're not a slave, so stand up for yourself if necessary) It’s more experience in the area you’re interested in, shows the people you’re working for that you’re committed and passionate and gives you even more and varied experiences to talk about in your CV, covering letters or in interviews. Things may go wrong, like they did for me this summer when an internship got cancelled a week before I was due to start, as the company had stopped trading. In situations like this being open to new opportunities and options is important (and something I’m still trying to learn to do) There’s always something else out there, sometimes you just have to search a bit harder or be open to something you may never have considered, whether that be in regards to company, department, time or even location.
Be positive –
Keep a smile on your face. The world isn’t perfect and therefore companies, bosses or internships aren’t going to be either, there really are rather a lot of nightmare intern stories out there!
Whether you’re getting bored all the time, have nothing to do for half the day, have to get up really really really early (like me), have just been asked to make your 100th cup of tea or are lost in the middle of London in the chucking it down rain with no signal - try and be positive. Being positive will make a good impression on whoever you’re working for and at the end of the day your internship won’t last forever and at the end of it you’ll have a better idea of what you do or don’t want to do and the direction you want to go in with your career/job. Plus whether good or bad, experience is experience and gets you one step closer to a full time and paid position.
Be a foodie –
Snacks, snacks and more snacks! If I can give you one pearl of wisdom from my time as an intern it’s make sure you take snacks with you. Interning can be exhausting, and getting a hunger pang at 3.30 in the afternoon with nothing to help you out for the rest of the day is the worst! So take snacks, chocolate raisins have become a God send when the afternoon slump starts to set in.
Be techy –
Interning in London or another major city can get pretty confusing if you aren’t a local and have to navigate the tube, underground, tram or bus system. But I’ve got you covered! Citymapper has saved my life over the last few years when it comes to finding my way around the streets of London. It has up to date and time bus, tube and train information – need to know when the next bus is? It’ll be able to tell you. Need a different route home? Citymapper can give you 5! The fab thing is it doesn’t just have information for London! So whether you’re interning in another city or just visiting on holiday, it has you covered!
Be ready –
Interning can be pretty dang tiring and full on. So be prepared! Plasters, water, an umbrella and a notebook and pen are essentials in my opinion! It might be bright and sunny when you leave the house but this is England, a down pour is always just around the corner! Think you’ve worn those shoes in? Plasters might just be needed after 10+ hours of living that intern life!
I hope those few thoughts and tips are useful to you in some way, and good luck to anyone who’s applying for internships or just starting them, we’re all rooting for ya sista! If you have any questions or want some advice about interning feel free to tweet (@Holl_JC) or email (email@example.com) me! I’d love to help anyone out if I can, so get in touch if you think I may have an answer to a question or query you have!