With the new year on the way, so is the call for another intern season. Yet, what can be most difficult about getting an internship, or even an interview for your ultimate dream job, is learning how to dress for the occasion. They say to dress for the position you want, but where do you start when you are a student living on Ramen Noodles and free cookies from clubs at Kimmel? Well, if you haven’t been checking the latest fashion blogs, or heard through word of mouth from friends who are loving it, you need to know about Rent the Runway.
Rent the Runway allows customers to rent quality, designer clothing for as little or as long as they need. With a low-risk revolving door of options, your closet possibilities are endless, all without the financial burden of investing in “one season trend” pieces or worse, the awful bridesmaid dress you’ve dreaded wearing at your sister’s wedding all your life. But, if you are familiar with the NY grind, you may know how much the service has been picking up with working women in the city. Just some of the brands the RTR site offers includes Phillip Lim, Opening Ceremony and Helmut Lang. From blazers to dress pants, whether it be for an interview or work, RTR has some amazing options that balance affordability and chicness!
Rent the Runway also has a special program right here at New York University. With a team of style student experts, the ambassador program connects driven women at the university with a wardrobe that matches their ambitions. We sat down with the current campus coordinator, Alexandra Garcia, to see what she thinks about RTR on campus, internships and dressing for the job. Holding a variety of events and promotions this season, RTR and the campus team are stressing buying less and doing more, whether it be with your wardrobe, or your career goals!
RTR Style Photos, courtesy of ambassador, Amanda McDowell’s instagram @amaac1, and Maya Beverly, @mayabevs
Alexandra Garcia, current Steinhardt senior and Rent the Runway Campus Coordinator, wearing Spring RTR Rebecca Minkoff dress. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Garcia @alexandragarcia5
Talking Internships and Fashion with Campus Coordinator for RTR at NYU: Alexandra Garcia:
What do you love most about representing RTR?
“I love to share RTR’s message of living a sustainable lifestyle of renting clothes over shopping. The fashion industry produces so much textile waste, making it the 2nd most polluting industry in the world. I also love their mission to empower females by experimenting with different styles and outfits for our careers, internships, etc.”
How do you use RTR on a personal level?
“I used to have the bad habit of buying dresses I only wore once for an event. Now, I rent my dresses for formal events and not only does it save me money but also clutter in my closet! I also have the RTR Update plan where I can get 4 items for a month. This month, I changed up my closet by ordering a statement fur coat and a cozy Holiday sweater. I also went with the trends and ordered a knee-length plaid coat and chunky sweater,” she says with a wink ;)
Do you intern somewhere and what is the environment like?
“I interned at Givenchy this past semester as the Marketing and Events Intern with the Communications team. I worked on a multitude of assignments this semester including assisting the coordinator with putting on VIP client events and organizing fittings for special events for celebrities like Liv Tyler at the Venice Film Festival.”
How does RTR help you dress for the job?
“Since I work in the fashion industry, it’s important to present myself in the most stylish way possible. RTR helps coordinate professional, yet trendy outfits for the work day.”
What do you wear to work? What’s your favorite hump-day slouch outfit?
“The dress code at the office was really flexible. In the Summer, I loved to wear silky, flowy pants and a cute blouse. My most iconic hump-day slouch outfit has to be these Rebecca Taylor vegan leather pants I ordered in October! They were supppper comfy but looked so professional paired with heeled booties and a sweater.”
Do you look for places of work that have more casual dress requirements? Why or why not.
“I definitely could not survive in an office that requires a strict dress code. Places of work that has a flexible but appropriate dress code are definitely winners in my opinion.”
Do you/ have you ever feel like you are unprepared or underdressed for work? Why or why not.
“Sometimes when I’m in a rush, I’ll throw on a pair of sneakers and jeans which a lot of people actually wore in the office. I feel like I’m not taken seriously as a young professional when I seem underdressed for work.”
What is your favorite go-to interview outfit?
“In the summer, I’ll wear a cute dress with low heels. In the winter, I’ll wear a cute blouse with pants (no jeans though)!”
What do you think about “dressing for the job?”
“My boss at my prior internship at Fresh was avid about dressing up for the work day. I think interns should dress for the job they want, not the one they have. When you take time to put yourself together and look presentable and professional, people take you more seriously!”
What kind of options does RTR provide for girls who may be taking on internships this semester?
“The four essential RTR items for an internship I would recommend is:
1. Professional tote bag — My boss once told me a story how she interviewed a potential intern who came in with an old Jansport bag filled with her books, and she found it super unprofessional. RTR has super cute and stylish tote bags!
2. Black dress pants — Super versatile and can be dressed up or down!
3. Printed/statement dress — Make a statement in your office! Compliments from your colleagues make great conversation starters (and can lead to more connections in your network!)
4. Non-ripped jeans — I personally love ripped/grunge denim, but it’s not appropriate for casual Friday. Jeans with a clean hem are the way to go!”
Career advice? As a senior or as a woman in fashion/PR.
“Network!!! The relationships you make both online and in person with your colleagues, bosses, etc. are such a bonus when applying to new jobs or internships in the future. I got my internship for next semester through my old boss at Fresh! Even making friends with influencers is super beneficial down the line.”
Your most common interview question and its answer.
“Three strengths and weaknesses !!! (I hate this question haha) I always say diligent, optimistic (or positive), and hardworking. Three weaknesses I say I tend to overthink things (but I spin it around and say I don’t finish projects and submit until I know they are done with the best effort).”
Favorite interview looks from RTR available right now?