Whenever someone finds out that I intern for Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, I almost always get asked whether or not my life is like “The Devil Wears Prada.” I laugh because it is and then isn’t.
Yes. and no.
Let me start out by that Anne Hathaway’s character was an assistant to the Editor-in- chief and i’m just a fashion intern that works out of the fashion closet.
Also fashion isn’t at all as glamorous as it seems.
Not one bit.
I have a little bit of experience underneath my belt and I would like to share what I have learned over the past year.
1. Be Prepared To Pay Your Dues and To Pay A LOT of Them.
Not a single person in that office hasn’t interned. They’ve all been there.
Being an intern is basically like working for free and proving your worth in the process.
People want to see that you can keep up with the order of things before there’s a paycheck attached to your actions.
I know what your thinking and I agree, it does suck but if you really like what you’re doing it won’t matter. Just keep your end goal in mind.
2. Your Boss Notices Everything.
You think they don’t notice. But they do. I cannot reiterate this enough.
That’s why it’s so important to stay dedicated and focused.
When you’re reliable and immersed in what your tasks are, this can lead to bigger tasks and more responsibility. Maybe even putting you in the running for job openings that aren’t publicly posted.
3. Always make yourself available.
What I mean by this is, when your boss comes in and asks the intern team for help.
No matter what it is and no matter if you know how to do it or not.
Say yes and figure it out later.
The fact that you’re always there when they need you reinforces tip #3
4. Play Nice
Since I work at a magazine, there are different interns for every department. There’s photo interns, fashion, accessories, advertising and features/editorial interns.
I say this because more often than not the interns you’re with are the ones that end up getting jobs in the field.
Master hint: The bad interns always seem to get the good jobs. So don’t be so quick to burn a bridge.
Master Hint: Being cordial to someone you don’t necessarily mesh with isn’t fake. It’s called being an adult.
5. Stay In Touch
There’s nothing wrong with lurking on someone’s Instagram. We do live in a digital age now after all.
Don’t be afraid to follow either. If someone you’ve previously worked has gotten a new position, congratulate them.
This keeps your image and name fresh in their minds.
Also make a Linked In and stay in touch on there as well.
6. Experience Different Aspects of the Same World.
In fashion, there’s so many things that keep this ball going.
My very first job was working in retail and although low on the spectrum of places to work, it’s still fashion experience.
Fashion retail is different than working for the fashion department of a magazine, which is different than working for a fashion PR company which is different than working for an actual brand. And all of those are vastly different than working for a stylist.
Master hint: I only recommend styling jobs for people who are serious. Styling is an extremely draining field and come fashion week you might not love your job anymore.
Try different things out to see where you fit in. You might end up liking it or hating it. Either way both experiences will help you.
7. Pay Attention to Special Requests/ Preferences
Maybe your boss like water with ice in the morning. Have it waiting for them when they arrive.
Maybe your boss prefers clear hangers.
It’s the little things that count.
These are the little things I’ve picked up over the short year of being an intern. I actually love interning. It’s a great way to make connections. And to meet long term friends.
Albeit, it’s a little challenging sometimes but the challenge is what helps one learn. Interning is the time to mess up and do better.
Go forth in the world my friends and prove to the head honchos, why you deserve to be there.