Your inbox has just pinged, and it’s the news that you’ve been praying for ever since you went for that first daunting interview – you’ve got it! That internship at the most prestigious fashion company that not only will look super on your CV, but also allow you to make a great impression and hopefully pave the way for your future career. But the next thing that pops into your head? What am I going to do?! What shall I wear?!
As someone who, throughout my three years at London College of Fashion interned at no less than 5 companies, ranging from being the ‘tea and admin assistant’ at a high street shoe store, to becoming Marketing Assistant at Mulberry, I’ve had plenty of experience of first day nerves. Landing a job after an internship doesn’t happen for everyone, it’s a mixture of timing, having the right skills, and being a good intern, and we all know that first impressions count, so here are my top tips for your first day at a fashion internship.
1. Do the small things, and keep yourself busy.
It’s not your job to forecast next season’s trends or restructure the company, but to help in any way that you can. Do the little things like help keeping things organised, and be the intern that says ‘Yes’ and volunteers to do things that aren’t mandatory. When there was a quiet moment, I’d start tidying the stationary area – I’m a bit OCD with things looking neat and tidy and the Mulberry stationary cupboard was like an Aladdin’s cave to me! I also created a beautifully organised events calendar which was shared by the PR and Marketing teams and this is still used today, three years later. These small things are remembered by your mentors and peers.
2. Be confident with your look.
Confidence is contagious and will make your mentors notice you and ensure you look and feel professional. I recommend long wearing yet natural makeup such as a BB cream, and set your look using a make up fixing spray. You may be asked to do some physically demanding tasks too – my first day saw me carting over 100 plastic gnomes up three flights of stairs – so your deodorant needs to be up to the challenge. Sure’s Maximum Protection is perfect for keeping you feeling fresh all throughout the day, and will help you feel poised, protected and confident no matter what you’re asked to do. You can forget about any embarrassing sweat patches as Sure Maximum Protect is 2 x stronger than the leading antiperspirant against sweat. The handbag sized roll on also has stress-activated ingredients so you’ll be protected all day, even while working under pressure. They’ve created a Stress and Sport version, so you’re covered for every big occasion.
Depending on what type of role you’re in, going out after work to events and parties within your industry is really important for putting faces to names, collecting contacts and growing your network. You may be invited to events with your company and if so, go – be confident, but be helpful. Be prepared for your personal life to not be so scheduled during busy times such as fashion week, as you may have to be active after work for helping at things like dinners, launches, cocktail parties and last minute show preparation! If you’re invited out with the team afterwards, that’s a fantastic sign!
4. Do your best, at everything you do.
… Even if you feel like you’re not being recognized for it. There will always be tasks that seem menial and insignificant to you, but it’s often these tasks that fashion companies rely on being completed in an orderly way. Your boss is probably incredibly busy, that’s why he or she needs interns, but don’t expect a big congratulations after every task. Take your time with each task, learn and grow in the company and never think a task is too small. If you do a job well, it will be appreciated – and the more you work, the more responsibility you will be given. After saying ‘Yes’ to every task, even steaming 750 canvas tote bags before Fashion Week, my hard work and dedication to the role was recognised, and during Fashion Week I was invited to manage the Covent Garden store during Vogue Fashion Night out – a responsibility that had never been offered to an intern before!
I hope these tips help you on your first day at a Fashion internship – and if you’re about to start before Fashion Week, good luck!
I’d love to know if you have any other tips to add?
Thank you to Sure for sponsoring this post.