I was 20 when I landed my first internship at a German fashion magazine. I was thrilled, but I knew I only got it because I was working as a model during that time and they knew me from photo shoots and liked me. Modeling opened a lot of doors for me, but this time I really wanted to impress the people there because I was a hard working girl and not because I was the model they had fun with at shoots.
In order to prove myself as a serious career girl, I worked my butt off. Here are 3 things I learned from interning in the fashion industry!
#1 You need to know EVERYTHING that goes on in the industry!
When I started my internship I felt really confident. I had been modeling and traveling for years, so obviously I knew the industry and the designers. When I came in for my first day, I realized that knowing designers was definitely not enough. The other intern there was killing it. She knew everything about every brand, about every PR-Company we worked with and I felt like she knew about every single person working in the industry.She didn’t have a fashion background like I did, so everything she knew – she knew because she spent hours and hours of researching the information and really working her butt off to the improve the knowledge she had. This made me realize, that if I really want to impress the others, I had to be informed about more than what was written in the papers. Being properly informed about the industry you work in makes you look more serious. Especially in fashion, every person who has a designer purse claims to be a fashionista. But it’s more than that. It’s about the story of a brand, the current struggles, the current inspiration and much more. So take a look behind the scenes and keep learning.
#2 See other interns as help and not as competition!
Being a team-player is one of the most important things if you’re trying to work your way up. People want to be around people they like. That doesn’t mean that you have to please everybody, but try to be open-minded when it comes to other interns. Just because they are aiming for the same career as you, doesn’t mean you cannot become friends with them. Always remember how much you can learn from people who have the same goals as you. So try to reach out to them, meet for coffee or ask them out for lunch.
The other girl and I started to become really good friends and yes, she actually made me a better intern! The other editors loved how close we became and how well we were working together. They called us their “power duo”. So when she left one month before I did, it was my time to prove myself and show them what I learned from her, and I did! Ever since, the people at the magazine tell us how much they loved our work ethic and how we lifted each other up! And guess what, the other intern (who I now call my friend) is starting a job at that magazine soon and I honestly couldn’t be happier for her.
After your internship, stay in contact!
So your internship is coming to an end and you have to go back to college or university. For a lot of people, that means the end of your work relationships. Don’t let that happen to you! I cannot stress enough how important it is to try to stay in contact. Add your co-workers on LinkedIn, or even ask them out for lunch, if you got along great. Tell them how much you loved working for them and if you feel like they are in a lot of stress at work, offer your help. Just because your internship is ending, it doesn’t mean you will be replaced within a second. Maybe they have a production on the weekend where you can offer to assist. They might never actually call you for help because they don’t want to bother you, but they will 100% appreciate the fact that you offered your help and that you are still willing to work hard.
By Hannah Lutterbach