This summer I was very fortunate to be able to spend an incredible three months in my favorite place in the whole world: New York City. The people I met, places I went, and things I saw were unbelievable and truly life changing. Not only was I able to spend the summer in such a wonderful place, I was also able to intern at my old time favorite magazine, Seventeen Magazine. Working as a fashion intern has definitely taught me a lot. I learned about a lot of new qualities that I didn’t know I had that helped me succeed this summer.
I surprised myself in how easy it was for me to acclimate to this new fast paced environment. Before I began my summer adventures, I was extremely nervous. Being so new to the fashion world, I was nervous about making mistakes. I mean haven’t we all seen The Devil Wears Prada? However, as soon as I was thrown into the game, I realized I’m more cutout for this than I thought. Sure I had my hard days and difficult messes, but at the end of the day, I knew I left a lasting impression on my editors as well as my peers. Interning for such well known magazine taught me a lot about work ethics as well as ways to get ahead in the fashion world. Here are some tips I learned this summer on how to succeed in the fashion industry!
1. Know your stuff! If I had to choose the most important piece of advice I can share with someone from my summer, it would be this. Educating yourself on what’s going on in your field of interest in the key to success. You can be the hardest worker in the group, but if you don’t know who the editor-in-chief of the magazine you’re working at is, no one will take you seriously. Do you research before starting a job; make sure you know every single detail about the job you’re applying for. You never know when someone might ask you about it.
2. Network: One of the best things that you can get out of an internship is a connection to your future job. Everyone knows that the fashion industry is a hard one to break into without any connections. Internships are a great way to network with people in your area of interest. The people you interact with on the job are the ones who can someday be hiring for a position you’re interested in. I learned this summer that the fashion industry is a lot more connected than I thought. My bosses all had connections to well known stylists, designers, planners and more. They knew so many important people that can one day help me land a job. Don’t be afraid to voice your interests while interning. Make sure your bosses know exactly what it is you are interested in; they might be able to get you in contact with the right people who can help you excel in your career.
3. Go above and beyond: At an internship, no matter what it might be, you are constantly being evaluated in everything you do. There are always people looking for interns who stand out, those are the ones that get to do the fun projects or cover the events. Going out of your way to do a great job makes a huge impact on your personal resume. People notice when there is someone who always comes into work fifteen minutes early to avoid ever being late or the person who volunteers to help out on a project. When you are in the heat of the moment, it may seem like no one is paying attention, but in fact, there is always someone who is noticing the great things you do. I used to stay late at work almost everyday finishing up whatever we were working on. I stayed late mostly because I wanted to be there, I enjoyed work enough where I didn’t mind staying a little later to help finish up some emails or pack up the last trunks for tomorrow’s shoot. It wasn’t until the end of the summer that I realized someone noticed those small things I did and they thanked me for them. It felt good to know that my hard work didn’t go unnoticed.
4. Be nice: Sounds easy, right? It’s surprising how much people forget their manners when they work in a position of power. Showing your appreciation and gratitude towards everyone you encounter is an important part of the job. Make sure you thank the secretary who helped you turn in your assignment on time or your fellow intern who helped you pack up the last trunk. Most importantly don’t forget to thank the messenger that delivers you your packages everyday. I can’t even count the number of times a delivery guy saved me an embarrassing conversation with my boss because he took the time to correct my mistake before anyone found out about it. If people take the time to do something nice for you, make sure you return the favor.
5. Explore: Working as an intern, you are constantly too wrapped up in your assignments to take the time to do anything extra. However, make sure you explore the city and the people around you. Sometimes you can learn the coolest things and see the most incredible things when you aren’t on the clock. Make time to explore and learn about different companies in the fashion world, and attend different lectures and shows. I made sure to take full advantage of not only what my job had to offer, but also what New York City has to offer. It really is true what they say, “New York is where the future comes to audition” - Ed Koch. Spending the summer working in the fashion capital of the nation definitely has pushed me to think outside the box in what I want to do upon graduation this year. Nevertheless, no matter where your dream takes you, make sure you give it you all when you’re there.