May 31, 2018

How to get a Fashion Internship

Internships are at the core of any fashion career, whether that's design, marketing or buying. The industry unfortunately believes that you need to have experience in the industry before you actually get into it. This means that at some point, us fashion students will have to do some unpaid work, which sucks but you get so much out of it.

I'm currently at the end of my second year studying Fashion Marketing and Branding and I've been fortunate enough to score a few placements. As part of my course, we had the option of staying on and doing another module for the last term or find a 9 week placement in the industry. Personally, I believe that experience is key. In the end when you finish your degree and look for jobs, the person that has completed placements is more likely to get the job than the one that didn't.

I had no idea what I wanted to do nonetheless. That's why this slot was a great opportunity for me to try out different responsibilities and see which one is the most appealing. Staying open minded definitely helped me out in finding the placement. There were simply more opportunities that I could apply for but if you know what you specifically want to do, then definitely look in that direction.

I've just come to an end of a 9 week placement at a marketing agency called Blooming Stuff. Specialising in visual merchandising, PR and prop sourcing for fashion brands, I got the opportunity to work with some amazing clients specifically Bodileys. I did the glamorous jobs including assisting in a photoshoot, and the boring including the enforcement of GDPR which was so confusing! Overall it was such an amazing opportunity and I loved every minute of it, especially the dining table office at Clare Bloomfields house. Not what you'd expect from an internship. My next placement starts on Monday and I'll be working for The Dairy Creative Agency for the next 9 weeks. Working in a bigger team I'll get to try different things and learn what it's like to work for non fashion clients. My last placement is at the end of August and I'll be working for Ted Baker for the marketing department for two weeks. A brand that I've loved for a very long time, I was willing to commute/Airbnb to London for.

So how do you start?

1)Tweak & Cover
The very first step you need to take when searching for a placement is look over your CV and tweak it to perfection. Before I started my search, my CV was a two page word document in black & white. Okay for part time job searching, not for internships and graduate jobs. I ended up making my CV in a Photoshop document using colour and the doodle of my face which is in the right hand side column of the blog (casual plug, check out my portfolio website). This also includes updating your Linked In account (or starting one) so you're easy to find and all your experience is on there.

After you have that down to perfection, start on your cover letter(s). When I started my search I didn't think this was a needed step but after not hearing back for months I decided that the cover letter was the step that would take me further and show off why I'd be perfect for that position. Make it specific and mention any recent work they've done to show that you've done your research. This will mean that you will have a different cover letter for each position that you apply for. Keep at it though!

This is something that I struggled a lot with. Due to living in Nottingham, London wasn't really an option for me due to travel expenses. Who else is left though? All the big brands that I would love to work for are in London. How do you find the brands outside of London?

The university was a huge help in the search as we received a spreadsheet of all the previous companies students have gone to in the past. This gave me a starting point for my research. The employability team was also really helpful with finding contacts. If you wanted an email for Next, they had one so if you are a student definitely take advantage of the facilities that you have. NTU also have InPlace where all the placement opportunities are stored. It was updated every few days with a lot of relevant opportunities.

I also went though multiple websites to find placements. Fashion Workie and Fashion United were super helpful even if it was just for reference. They mostly post London based positions but every now and then you'll find more local ones. You'll also find opportunities within different categories so you'll get a big variety.

Lastly, Linked In is your best friend. Start connecting with people that work for the company you want to work for or the position you want to be in. The alumni page is also great in finding contacts. I got my Ted Baker placement though an NTU alumni. I simply messaged her and asked her if there are any opportunities and she passed on my CV and cover letter to the right person. If all fails do the classic "fashion internship" Google search.

By this stage you might get a few people getting back to you. The length of the placement varies according to the brands. Some offer placements as short as a week and some its a year placement. You just have to ask and negotiate the time to what you need.

You might be asked to come in for an interview, do one over the phone or just get the job based off your experience. If you do get an interview definitely prepare and do your research. Know everything about the business. For one of my interviews I had to write a press release which was timed. I must say I practiced so much however I completely failed at that one. If you do get into situations like that maybe reach out to some of your contact in the industry for some feedback.

The photographs in this post were taken by Chloe Allen, check her out, she does outfit pics and is super friendly!

Hope that was helpful, please feel free to leave any comments below if you still have some questions that I haven't answered.

Thanks for reading, Dom x


No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template by pipdig