How To Get Your “In” in the Exclusive Fashion Industry

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Since every wee fashionista blossoms from tomboy skater shoes to an entry-level designer purse, a penchant for an iconic, innovative brand develops. From Coco Chanel desktop screensavers to dreams of dressing top to bottom in Michael Kors’ “MK” logo, the thought of working in the luxury fashion industry is a euphoric dream we eat, sleep, and breathe in order to succeed. But entry into the fashion industry is as exclusive and selective as admittance into the club of Birkin owners. It requires connections. A friend. An “in.” Thankfully, Free Fashion Internships is all of these!

For less than Sunday brunch of omelettes and OJ at Le Pain Quotidien, Tom Ford, Gucci, YSL, and all of your favorite fashion giants can get to know about YOU! When can submit your resume to be a part of our Fall/Winter 2014 Resume Lookbook, we will distribute your resume to our massive list of contacts at the fashion industry’s top companies. At $19.99, getting your ‘in” into this competitive, cut-throat industry is easier than pulling off a messy bun on a crisp Fall day.

Get ready to be “sup-ing” Vera and chilling D&G style.

Submit your application by Sunday, September 28th at midnight EST.

Click to Apply!

 

5 Ways To Deal With A Miranda Priestly

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Dear fashion interns: Miranda Priestly is real. Everything little rumor and movie stereotype that’s been cast upon your fragile mind about terrible bosses is totally and completely true. Some bosses yell. Some bosses insult you and your work. Some bosses are never satisfied. As hard as you try to grow a skin as thick as a Chanel alligator bag, the mental abuse can leave you dragging your feet down 7th Ave in tears. While Cruella does exist, and you may become one of her hundred and one Dalmatians, there are ways to charm her innate cruelty.

Be an early bird

Our first blog post ever, What T-Pain Can Teach You, was the first piece of wisdom we chose to impose for a reason. The easiest way to impress anyone and everyone is showing up early. The simple act of arriving early exudes that you are a responsible, overachieving individual who is eager to soak up every inch of knowledge. When your smiling face is the first thing your boss sees when he or she struts in with their morning coffee, a wonderful impression is made from the beginning of the day and onward.

Andy Sach’s cerulean sweater (law)

It’s true – dress for the job you want, not the job you have. The number one example of this clique: Andy Sachs (yes, The Devil Wears Prada actually is life.) We all remember the pivotal point in the critically acclaimed film when Andy shed her cerulean sweater for pounds Dolce and Chanel she was lucky enough to be given (sorry, that will never happen) from the Runway sample closet. Her simple outfit change was a major turning point in the movie because that was when Miranda started to accept her. As superficial as that sounds that a boss may change his or her opinion of you when you strap on a pair of slingbacks, how you present yourself says a lot about how you value yourself. If you want to get that up and down eye scan, dress to impress. Check out our style section for more on how to construct the perfect office outfit.

Your iPhone is ruining you

Your phone is your worst enemy. We all suckle at the bright light of a blacklite screen every time and automated ring introduces a text from your BFF. You have to respond! You just have to! Of course, succumbing to that text leads to a string of Instagram stalking and Tindering. But playing with your phone makes you “that” intern. Everyone knows “that” intern, especially your boss, and not in a flattering sense. Combat your addiction by deleting distracting apps, silencing your phone, or even leaving your phone in your bag *gasp.* Ignoring your phone may be your Everest, but focusing on your job impresses your boss.

Just keep swimming

Go the extra mile. While it may make you sweat profusely, leaving your Mac mascara smeared under your (designer) eye bags, every superstar intern go all out. Do want you’re told to do, and then some. If you’re crafting an Excel report, take the extra five minutes to bold, highlight, and spell-check to ensure a peak presentation. Add a “wow” factor to your work. This doesn’t mean you have to be the last one to leave the office, especially if you’re unpaid. All it takes is a few extra minutes of effort and putting yourself out there  to impress your boss.

Get your schmooze on

It’s time to get your schmooze on. A great way to get on your boss’ good side is to make their interests your interests. Immersing yourself into their world of interests builds a bond between employer and employee that can easily make you the favorite. Tread lightly, though. No deep, philosophical heart-to-hearts or drunken tales; keep it to casual small talk over shared commonalities.

Ever dealt with a Miranda Priestly? Share your story and comment below!

3 Reasons Your Resume Doesn’t Stand Out

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There are three types of fashionistas in this world: fashion innovators, fashion leaders, and fashion followers. Fashion innovators are the outlandish Lady Gagas of the streets, sporting outfits worthy of stopping and staring. Fashion leaders possess a confident authority that makes them a reliable, Kate Middleton-esque role-model. Everyone else is a fashion follower. The word “follower” comes with a negative connotation, but the definition is in the sense of we are one out of millions of fashion devotees. For each follower comes a single resume that can easily be bypassed by an innovative leader. Fight your natural tendency to follow by making your resume stand out with these three tips…

#EventPlanning #Marketing #Editorial

If there is anything to make you stand out, it’s “hot words.” Like hashtags, they draw the eye in and get your message across in a trendy (or trending) fashion. Instead of hiding them in sentences, customize your work experience sections. Instead of an ambiguous “Work Experience” headline, divide your resume into “Event Planning Experience,” “Editorial Experience,” or “Marketing Experience.” This easily portrays that you have a diverse range of experience.

Did you do it?

It’s too easy to simply copy and paste a job description on your resume. But employers aren’t interested in what you did, they’re interested in what you accomplished. Confused? Let’s break it down…

No way…

– Maintained the organization of the sample closet

– Assisted with sample trafficking

– Coordinated messenger services and international overnight shipments

Yay!

– Maintained the organization of 5 brands in a sample closet of over 50 garments

– Assisted with daily sample trafficking of 3 brands to and from major fashion publications

– Coordinated messenger services & international overnight shipments maximizing efficiency by 20%

Ugh, cover letters….

No one likes writing a cover letter and, if you do, good for you, but you need to find a hobby. It’s monotonous, you never know quite what to say, and it just reiterates your resume, right? Wrong! A cover letter is an introduction to your personality. It brings a ray of color to a bunch of black and white characters. If you omit sending a cover letter, you are sure to blend in. Check out our cover letter advice section for more tips.

Have anything to add? Comment below!

The Internship Word Vomit

burn_book_mean_girlsEvery Mean Girls groupie knows the dangers of word vomit. Whether it’s under the pressure to maintain constant conversation with your school’s Aaron Samuels or an impulsive retort uttered before you’ve grasped an understanding, Cady Heron’s wisdom is applicable to every aspect of life, especially the internship world. Nestled behind draping dresses in the fashion closet or cuddled behind a cubicle, thinking before you speak is crucial. Here are the five word vomit phrases you need to hold back while on the job.

I’m bored…

Think you’re bored? You can’t be. It’s near impossible. If you’re bored at your internship, it’s because you’re not taking the initiative to branch out past your comfort zone and, instead, are submitting to laziness. There is ALWAYS something to be done! Feeling at a loss for ideas? Here’s our post on how to get more responsibilities.

#RealTalk

A big reason why we do internships is so we can put it on our resumes in order to gain experience and be qualified for bigger and better things. But that’s a unspoken truth that you should never admit to, especially while at your internship. People in the work world morph into gossiping vultures who wouldn’t think twice before taking you down a notch, so don’t give them any bait.

Get over it

Not every internship is created equally, and it’s important to live in the present, not the past. You may have had more responsibilities at your old internship that expanded broader than coffee runs and trips to the copy machine, but that’s over. Done. Finito. What you did in the past is only a story to read on your resume. Don’t feel like anything is beneath you, and definitely don’t show it. Expressing that you’re under-stimulated makes you seem whiny and immature, which, ultimately, won’t earn you more responsibilities.

Hush, hush..

Talking smack will only hit you back. Like your mamma always told you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. You most likely will encounter a co-worker who finds Tindering a higher priority than your daily tasks. As much as it pains you to see him or her slack off while you’re working your butt off, zip your lips. Their lackluster work ethic will catch up with them in the long run, and chances are your boss is already aware of the issue. Think of it this way: lazybones only makes you shine brighter.

Where’s the Advil?

All work and no play is no fun, but keep your drunken wayfarings to yourself. While you may work in a judgement free environment where you feel comfortable sharing, complaining about today’s hangover or overanalyzing last night’s hookup are touchy subjects. Remember, your boss is not there to be your best bud, and there should be a line drawn between friendship and professionalism. That’s not to say you can’t be friendly with you boss, but keep the conversations shallow and surface.


Have any word vomit stories? Comment below!

Fashion Friday: Shades of Grey

The staple trend for New York Fashion Week workers: black. From frantically dressing models backstage to distributing gift bags, a head to toe black ensemble is not just recommended, but mandatory. If you’re internship doesn’t have you working the shows, you can still show your NYFW pride by dressing in shades of grey!

Dark, sophisticated, and sleek.

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Find details from the outfit here!

The Internship Deadly Sins

Isla Fisher

As human beings, we are all blasphemous creatures lurking on every moment to commit a devious deed without the thought of impending repercussions. Whether greed is gripping your soul, whispering in your behind your Lee Brevard hoops to splurge on a Chanel bag, or lust is luring your heart away from your Art History studies and into the open arms of that Sigma Chi. That doesn’t make us evil, it just makes us people. And, as people, we have the wonderful opportunity to combat deadly sins and live life as educated optimists who have matured through life’s anticipated mistakes. While there are, stereotypically, seven deadly sins to fight, the internship world is only plagued by five.

Brain drain

As the hours in the day dwindle by, our brains drain at a quickening pace that, no matter the job, can leave us yearning to check out early. If your mind checks out before your body, you’re very likely to make mistakes in your work, which your boss may end up having to correct. A pattern of making mistakes only leads to a reputation of being unreliable and lazy. Take a Starbucks break, and fight back!  A ten minute walk to the caffeine conglomerate can do wonders for your energy level and mental agility.

Being sure you’re uncertain

Unless your internship supervisor explicitly instructs you not to ask questions (which hopefully doesn’t happen,) be sure to assure your uncertainties. Your boss would be thrilled to answer your questions about an assignment beforehand instead of having you slave away for hours, ultimately doing the assignment incorrectly. The few minutes of clarification will save hours of frustrating corrections.

Work with your wardrobe

Whether you’re working in fashion or not, you’re being judged based on what you walk in the door wearing. An outfit says so much regarding your professionalism, enthusiasm to succeed, and commitment to the job. For tips on how to ace an office look, check out our style section.

The “no” word

Never put yourself in a situation where “no” has to be the answer. Every task assigned should be welcomed with an enthused grin and an excited “on it!”. Turning down an assignment, for whatever reason, is taboo. To avoid this catastrophe, develop a schedule and prioritize your work.

Pretend pinky promises

Similar to refraining from turning down assignments at all costs, you also don’t want to make promises you can’t keep. Telling your boss you’ll have something done in an hour when you haven’t even completed your daily duties is an over promise you don’t want to make. Stay realistic, and don’t be afraid to be honest with you boss on your timetable. It’s better to impress him or her by finishing before expected instead of way after.

Have any more sins to add to the list? Make it seven and comment below!

How To Stay Involved After Your Internship

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The bright summer sun is quickly fading behind the tumbling leaves that mark the entrance of Fall. With the stress of a new semester and dorms flooded by frightful freshmen, your summer internship can quickly seem like only a story to share during a game of catch-up in the cafeteria. But that story does not need to have an ending just yet. There are ways to stay involved with your company even after you’ve vacated the premise.

Be in the know

Thanks to that thing we call technology, there is now no excuse for not being up to date with a company’s progress. In addition to liking their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and keep a look out for them mentioned in the news. An easy way to do that by creating a Google Alert notification.

Go remote!

As we’ve discussed in our articles on the benefits of interning remotely and how to rock a remote internship, remote internships are the bomb! Instead of letting your relationship with your company fizzle out, make it clear to your supervisor that you are extremely interested in continuing your work and propose a remote position, even if it’s on a minimal basis. This could be anything ranging from managing the company’s social media accounts to writing their weekly newsletter. Not only will this make you a continuous valuable asset to the company, it’s a sure fire-way to land a full-time job after graduation!

K.I.T

Unlike summer camp, don’t make a plan to throw your relationships out the door once the school bell rings. Keep in contact with your fellow interns! Not just because you bonded over a mutual love for ‘Friends,’ but because they are your future co-workers (and rulers of the world.) Social media is the most obvious way to connect, but reach out of your Facebook friending comfort zone and connect with them on LinkedIn. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, here’s why you need to make a LinkedIn profile – now.  Periodically catch up with what’s going on in their lives and when it comes time to start applying for your dream job, not being a stranger will have paid off.

5 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

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Imagine you’re Andy Sachs timidly entering the prestigious office of the infamous Miranda Priestly for an interview that has the potential to make or break your career. Not a good time to make a human-prone mistake. But, as members of the innately flawed human race, we all make mistakes. We can do everything in our power to strive for professional perfection, but infallibility is sadly reserved for immortal icons like Anna Wintour. While it may be a nuance to mess up, we do have the ability to learn from our mistakes and avoid making them in the future with the assistance of expert advice.

Maybe it was your grandma shoes that bombed the interview, but, if not, here are interview mistakes you may have made and can avoid in the future.

A happy medium

The ideal interview demure is a happy balance of “owning it” harder than J. Alexander and reverting to hiding behind your shield of hair. Those may be two extremes, but strive for a happy medium that says “hey, I’m awesome, but I know I have to pay my dues.” Having too much confidence may make you come across as a pompous child with jaded indifference. Having too little confidence may make you come across as nervous and inexperienced.

(Don’t) be yourself

Contradiction time! In your interview, don’t be yourself, be your interviewer. If you’re a Lagerfeld lover while your interviewer is a classic Chanel coveteur, your differences may clash. While you don’t want to concoct a fake identity, aligning your interests with the interviewer will go much further than attempting to sound unique. Relatability will take you far. Take advantage of the glorious World Wide Web to social media stalk your interviewer to learn about their interests and work history.

Push your ego aside

While you may be being interviewed, the interview isn’t about you. Sorry. We have the tendency to be a little self-centered and assume an interview revolves around your needs and wants, but the actual goal of an interview is to convince the interviewer that you would be a positive contribution to the company. Don’t ask about benefits. Don’t ask about vacation time. Don’t ask about money. All of those questions can be asked and answered in good time… aka when you get the job!

Did you do your research?

If you don’t know about the company you’re interviewing at, you might as well just walk out the door. Doing your research is essential for nailing an interview! Number one, you should have a genuine interest in the company and, therefore, know about them. Number two, aligning your answers and questions with the company’s mission and projects will set you apart from the other interviewers who slacked off on their studies.

Ask!

Most every interview ends the same – do you have any questions for me? Yes, you do! Check out our post on Interview Questions You Need To Ask for the answers.

Have you had any interview mishaps in the past? Comment below to share your story and what you learned!

Fashion Friday: Edgify

Welcome to our new segment, Fashion Friday! Many of our readers have been asking how to dress for a fashion internship. How do you look fashionable yet professional? Asked and answered! Now, every Friday your favorite fashion internship website will debut a new outfit from our Polyvore profile!

For the edgy gal strutting the streets, cat eye shades and studs are your best friend. Paired with an oversized blazer and simple shift dress, punky meets professional.

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Find details from the look here!

Intern Spotlight: Arielle Schrader

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School: Belmont University

Major: Public Relations

Graduation date: May 2015

Current city: Nashville, TN

Hometown: Southaven, MS

 

S: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience.

AS: I’m a PR gal and creative who is passionate about fashion, leadership, and relationships. Originally from a small town in Mississippi, I knew I needed to be in a city that could provide me with ample opportunities in the public relations industry. Since I moved to Nashville three years ago, I have participated in six amazing internships, while holding positions as a Campus Tour Guide, an officer of Belmont PRSSA and an officer and sister of Alpha Gamma Delta.

 

S: Where have you interned to date?

AS: Two Nashville-based public relations firms, the Country Music Association, Nashville Fashion Week, the Office of New Student and Parent Programs at my university and Educational Services of America, a provider of alternative and special education schools and programs.

 

S: Why do you intern?

AS: To find my passion. I have always been very ambitious towards my career path, so my sophomore year I participated in my first internship simply to start early and get ahead of my peers. After that first internship, I realized internships are actually a great way to learn more about what you do and do not want to do, while also gaining valuable experience and making connections. Thus, I began interning in a wide range of industries with the purpose of discovering where my greatest passion lay.

 

S: What would you say is the most valuable thing you’ve learned through all of your experience?

AS: There is always room for improvement. You may land amazing internships and be praised for impressive work, but no matter how big your accomplishments are, you should be seeking challenges that push you to work harder and learn more. Don’t ever let yourself get comfortable.

 

S: How would you advise someone to push themselves? Self-motivation can be tricky business.

AS: Self-motivation is most successful when it is driven by another factor. For example, one of the things I value most is excellence – always striving to become the best I can be. This value motivates me to seek out challenges and growth opportunities. I would advise others to think about their values and passions. Then, evaluate how they can use that value or passion to motivate them. Find what motivates you!

 

S: What’s been your favorite internship and why?

AS: Oh goodness, this is a tough one. Each of my internships have been such valuable learning experiences there is no way I could choose just one favorite. I can say I really enjoyed interning full-time with the Educational Services of America this summer. I was allowed to take on a lot of responsibility, especially with large projects. I was given creative freedom and room to experiment and explore. I felt more like an employee than an intern.

 

S: Would you say the discrepancy between working as a full-time intern and a part-time intern is clear? Is one more beneficial than the other?

AS: There is definitely a difference between the two, but part-time and full-time internships are beneficial in different ways. Part-time internships are a convenient way to gain great experience while you are taking classes during the school semester. Full-time internships provide an opportunity to be fully engaged in an internship. When you are in the office everyday, you form better relationships with supervisors, have more responsibility and learn how to manage your time outside of work. Full-time internships are experiences every student should try to have on their resume!

 

S: Who are some of the mentors who have inspired you?

AS: My supervisor on the Orientation Council has been a huge inspiration. He always expected the best from us and never settled for anything but our best work. Ever since, I never let myself do anything less than my best. He also challenged us to “live beyond reproach.” Ethically, PR professionals, as well as other professionals, can find themselves in sticky situations and be tempted to do act unethically to get ahead. As young professionals, it is very important to remember that our actions represent our character.

 

S: Do you have any advice for writing a cover letter?

AS: A cover letter doubles as a writing sample, so give as much attention as a school or work assignment. When you are applying for several internships, it is easy to get lazy and just copy and paste each letter or just send one paragraph in the body of an email. When you do this, you are losing a great opportunity to display your communication skills. Make sure each cover letter is exactly that, a letter personalized to the company stating why you feel you are the best fit.

 

S: What about for resumes, since it is very important part of your application and is always up for debate by means of presentation?

AS: Tailor your resume to the internship you are seeking. You should include only relevant experience and skills based on what they expect from an intern. This method is extremely helpful when you have enough experience to cover almost three pages, like I do. Open the internship description and requirements, then highlight the specific experience and skills you have that directly line up with what the company is seeking from an intern. Just like a cover letter, you should never use the same resume for every internship application.

 

S: As 1 of 10 orientation council members at Belmont University, you interviewed 325 applicants. That’s a lot! Did you see any common mistakes interviewees made?

AS: It was tough! Anytime I was not in class, I was interviewing someone. The most common mistake we noticed was the lack of genuine answers. I heard a lot of cookie-cutter answers, things the applicants thought I wanted to hear. When you interview for any job, it is so important to be yourself because employers can tell when you are not being authentic.

 

S: What’s the most common cookie-cutter answer you’ve heard, and how would you advise someone to answer differently?

AS: “I’m a hard worker.” With this type of answer, the interviewer does not learn how you are any different from the last person they interviewed. If you really are a hard worker, answer the question with an example or change the language of your answer. For example, “I work harder than other people. In college, I always took five classes and had an internship while keeping a great GPA,” or “I am someone who takes initiative during difficult projects and only stops working when the project is complete.” Your responses should give the interviewer a good sense of who you are and what you are about. Answer questions in a way that authentically represents you!

 

S: You seem to be super busy on campus with all of your leadership positions like being President of Belmont PRSSA and PR Director of Alpha Gamma Delta on top of interning. How do you structure your time management?

AS: I schedule everything I do in my iCal, keep very detailed to-do lists and actually stick to it. By “everything I do,” I mean my meetings, meals, showers, workouts, coffee dates, everything. My to-do lists keep me focused and help me avoid getting caught up on Pinterest or Buzzfeed for an hour. On top of all of this, I am an extrovert who needs to spend time with people, which means little sleep and lots of coffee. When it comes down to it, I am very passionate about everything I do, so I make time for it all.

 

S: From working for Nashville Fashion Week to assisting at Country Music Association events, you must be an event planning master! What’s been your experience with event planning, and what advice could you give to someone looking to become involved in event planning?

AS: I have been involved with the planning, check-in, seating, decoration, catering, sponsorships, and media of several events. I have two pieces of advice. First, do not expect an easy, glamorous job as an event planner. Event planning is hard work and almost never goes as planned. Secondly, get involved. The best event planners started gaining experience in the industry early and kept notes, contact info and ideas they now use in their career.

 

S: Any fun stories or mishaps from any of the events?

AS: I have learned firsthand that mishaps occur at every event, no matter how well the team has prepared. At the CMA Music Festival nightly concerts, we used three golf carts to escort members of the media who had heavy equipment. At the end of the second night of the four night festival, one of the golf carts ran out of gas, then the headlights were blown in another golf cart. So, we were down to one golf cart and several media teams ready to get back to their cars and head home. In these types of situations, you just have to stay calm and work diligently to resolve the issue. It’s all about customer service!

 

S: You’ve interned in the fashion, education and entertainment industries and worked with clients in the health, festival, venue and non-profit industries. How does this mesh and where does your true interest stand?

AS: Within each internship, I focused on helping to create mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics– the core of public relations. However, I learned each industry has its own way of accomplishing this goal. Personally, I feel most passionate about promoting brands and organizations in the fashion and education industries.

 

S: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

AS: Don’t spread yourself too thin. When you do, you are unable to be extraordinary.

 

S: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to fellow interns?

AS: Always strive to be a better version of yourself. Discover your talents and values and then strengthen them, instead of trying to develop the talents and values other people possess. Your well-developed talents and character will set you apart and help you stay grounded in who you are.

 

S: What’s next for you?

AS: I am actually moving to NYC this month. I’ll be there for one semester interning with the Department of Public Relations at Hearst Magazines. It’s my dream internship and I am so excited to get started!

 

S: Closing thoughts?

AS: If you live in NYC, I would love to meet you this fall!