1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU LIKE. Identify the area(s) within the fashion world that you would like to work. The fashion world involves many different departments, businesses, processes. Are you into fashion publicity, event planning, manufacturing, designing, styling, photography, casting, buying, etc ? Try to narrow your selection down to two or three different parts of the fashion business.
2. THINK BIG AND BROAD. A foot in the door is a foot in the door. Don’t be too picky when it comes down to selecting what aspect of the business you’d like to start interning within. Learning all aspects of the fashion business will make you a more well-rounded student of that industry. Students with little to no prior internship experience should think even broader about what part of the field they will try to get into. Be open to everything.
Note: I wanted to intern in the entertainment business when I was a junior in college. I interned in publicity, on-air promotions, drama development, and even radio to get a taste of each area of the business. From those experiences I was able to decide what I did want to do and what I didn’t want to do.
3. LIST YOUR RESOURCES. It’s time to get organized and make a plan. List all of the different book, websites, and people that you can research and contact to get knowledgeable about the fashion world. Think about any individuals you may know, your family may know, your friend know that work in fashion. Find out there email and first/last name and add them to your list. Ask your professors and classmates if they know of any great resources to find fashion internships. Here are some suggestions for you fashion resource list:
· Intern Queen’s Pages: http://www.quarterlife.com/intern
Note: Some cool opportunities to check out include
Essence Magazine Internship in New York, http://quarterlife.com/internship/details/3052,
The Buzz Girls Public Relations Internship in Los Angeles, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/2912
Little Society Clothing Company Internship in Los Angeles, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/2502
Ports 1961 Luxury Fashion Internship in New York, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/2822
Kiva 150, LLC in Atlanta,
Interview Magazine Fashion Internship in NYC, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/2242
Headquarters Public Relations in NYC, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/2082
BOP/Tiger Beat Magazine Internship in Los Angeles, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/1892
Seventeen Magazine Internship in New York, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/1872
EcoStilleto.com Internship in Los Angeles or Virtual, http://www.quarterlife.com/internship/details/1472
Brides Magazine in New York,
Plus many more on the website !
· FashionCareers.com (WWD) – http://fashioncareers.com/ - Who better to get job advice from than the makers of WWD magazine ? This site offers internship opportunities and postings for the world’s leading design houses.
· FREEFASHIONINTERNSHIPS.COM - http://freefashioninternships.com/. The site “About Page” starts off, “FreeFashionInternships was created in March 2007 after the founder, Carla Carstens, decided that fashion internship listings should be available for everyone, not just for those who were willing to pay the membership fee most websites required. FreeFashionInternships features internships from all aspects of the industry; from design, print, production, and editorial to marketing, finance, and wholesale merchandising. With listings ranging from couture, action sports, magazines and public relations, as well as a section dedicated to relaying advice and tips to potential interns, FreeFashionInternships is the number one source for fashion internships.”
· UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS FASHION INTERNSHIPS – If you’d like to sign up for an all-inclusive fashion internship experience U of Dreams might be the way to go. They offer amazing internships with companies like Free People, Dolce and Gabbana, Betsey Johnson, etc. http://www.summerinternships.com/fashion-internships/.
· DailyFashionJobs.com - http://dailyfashionjobs.com/index.php/category/fashion-internships/ - This is a newsy blog-style job board that talks about openings in the fashion world and industry news in cities all over the country.
· Global Experiences - http://www.globalexperiences.com/fashion/ - This program offers students the opportunity to go abroad and work at fashion companies in Italy and other countries. I don’t personally know anyone who has participated in this program but it does look interesting.
4. COME UP WITH YOUR DREAM LIST. I always talk about “The Intern Queen’s Dream List”. This applies to every industry. Now that you have started your research and looked through your resources build you list of ten companies where you see yourself working in the future. Come up with another 10 companies for your list that are similar to your dream companies but exist on a smaller scale. Look into fashion companies that are start-ups but have received some great press. Your list should contain a good mix of large well-known companies and smaller niche brands. While going through the websites listed above, add any interesting companies and internship application information to your dream list.
5. IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL TASTE. Fashion is all about expressing your personal style. It’s a bonus when the company you intern for is also a company that you are passionate about. Look in your closet, research some of the brands you wear daily and try to find out their corporate phone numbers. If you are a big fan of Target or Nordstrom, check out their websites and make note of their corporate numbers as well.
6. FIND YOUR CONTACTS. Create a brand new Excel File on your computer for your dream list. Next to the name of each of your 20 companies you need to research the company phone number and location of their corporate office (you want to know where you are calling). Keep this information saved – you never know when contacts will be useful in the future. You will need to call each company and ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Tell that person who you are and that you would like to apply for their internship program and ask what the best way to do that is. Make note of their response.
7. MAKE YOUR SKILLS KNOWN. Fashion student’s have often taken very specific classes in school that define what level they are at skill-wise. Make sure to mention these classes and special training that you have in your cover letter. If you don’t have too much experience on your resume feel free to create a section called “Fashion-Related Coursework” and list the specific names of your relevant fashion classes. If you have sample sketches, clothing, etc include a note at the bottom of the resume that reads “ * References and Portfolio Materials Available Upon Request.”
8. IT’S TIME TO REACH OUT. Make another column in your Excel file labeled “Status”. You will enter the dates that you email or snail mail your materials to each company. I suggest mailing everything at the same time to help keep track of your timeframe. If a company will accept resumes via email – great, go for it.
I asked my friends on Twitter what they thought about Internships in the Fashion World: