How I Landed my Dream Internship in NYC

Fair warning, this is not a how-to piece. I am nowhere near close to an expert on resumes, networking, or interviews, and I am not suggesting that you must follow this path exactly in order to land your dream position. I mean, my process was just a lot of googling, unwavering optimism, and bothering companies until they would talk to me. Not exactly a science. Fortunately, I got an internship for this upcoming summer with a fashion PR agency in New York City. Below is step-by-step on how I got there. Good luck on your own search and never give up.

Outline Your Final Goal. Not just your goal for an internship, but your final career goal. What do you want to be when you grow up? I made a word document on my computer and titled it “Road to my Fabulous Life” and wrote down my three top careers at the top of the page. Below these, I wrote out “How to Get There.”  Some on this list were get involved with anything and everything, make a killer resume, start a website and intern every summer. So, that’s what I started doing.

Build Your Resume. I knew my resume would be just on of thousands among the applicants within the fashion industry, so I had to have stand-out activities. I tried to become involved in activities that would reflect my future goals. For example, I write for HC as well as another site and do the PR for my sorority. I think the sooner you get involved, the better.

Decide What Type of Internship You Want and Where. I wasn’t positive about what I was looking for in an internship, however, I was sure on New York. I am a Public Relations major and obsessed with fashion. I looked into magazine publications, media brands, PR for designers, and PR firms. I think it is important to be flexible and eager to learn.

Networking. This is so important. As much as I truly hope there is a person going through each and every cover letter and resume in detail, in reality, it is very difficult to stand out among the thousands of other incredible candidates. For me, I was competing with other students that live in New York full-time and live and breathe the fashion industry. So, I sat down and wrote a list of the people that I knew there currently, had lived there before, and anyone who might even have the loosest connection to the City. I talked to four people that I barely knew (picture my Dad’s friend’s daughter’s best friend’s sister) and asked them for advice and connections. They were all very helpful but did not connect me to the company I am interning for. However, I am thankful for their help and it made me more comfortable talking on the phone. Having these connections can be so so important when trying to break into your industry.

Be Determined and Eager. I applied to over 30 internship positions I found through sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, and separately emailed 75 media brands, PR firms, and publications expressing my interest and asking if they were offering any internship positions for the summer. The majority never replied. Only about 10 reached out to me for further information. Only 6 offered me an interview. The internship I accepted I found through stalking people in the fashion industry on LinkedIn and seeing where they started. Then I googled them and found their email. Instagram/Twitter stalk companies! At times, I wondered if I was being too eager or bothering them, however, some companies replied that they were not looking for interns, but they would keep my information on file for the future which is pretty cool. Do not sit around waiting to hear back from a position you applied for, be actively working toward your goal.

Again, the internship search seems like a combination of a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. Let your determination for your end goal swallow your fear of failure and self-doubt. I hope that sharing my journey can also help you grow in your career!