Welcome to the second of my internship guides! In this post I'm going to be talking about how to find and apply for internships.
What kind of internship do you want?
There are a few different types of internships:
Fashion week internships can be anything from a day to a couple of weeks long, are normally for PR companies, and will normally involve a lot of menial tasks like preparing a delivering invites, dressing at shows, and working front of house at shows. They're normally a lot easier to get than any other internship, and are a great way to build up experience easily.
Part-time internships are a great option whilst studying. These are quite common with start-ups where they might need someone to run their social media from home, or help them out with marketing once a week.
Full-time internships normally range between a few weeks to a year. Anything under six months will usually be unpaid (but not always), some places pay travel (normally only zones 1-6) and some don't. These internships are normally the hardest to get as they will be very competitive as undergrads, placement students and graduates will be competing for them.
There are a few different ways to find internships.
If you're looking to intern over London Fashion Week the best thing to do is to go on to the LFW website, go to the schedule, click on a show you'd like to work (don't be fussy, it's still massively competitive) and email the sales and press contacts that are listed (I'll go into more detail about emails later on). It's normally best to do this a month or two in advance.
If you're looking for internships in general there are a few great websites out there.
Following these sites on Twitter is also always a great idea as it means you'll get all the latest internships straight to your feed.
Another great site is Fashion Monitor, however for this you need a subscription (check whether your university has a subscription - UCA does). This site lists contact information for basically any fashion, beauty or lifestyle brand you can think of, so even if they don't have internships listed online, you can still send an email offering your services.
Speed Is Everything
It shouldn't be a surprise when I say the fashion industry is competitive - even when it comes to unpaid work. A general rule of thumb I tend to work on is that if an internship's been listed on one of the above sites for over 24 hours it's probably not even worth applying to. It's harsh but true. Places get so many applicants that they usually won't even look at your application unless you're one of the first, so my advice is to bookmark those sites and form a habit of checking them every morning and evening.
Create a Creative CV
One of the benefits of the fashion industry is that you get to be creative and express yourself - so why stop at your CV. A CV can be a great opportunity to demonstrate your skills right from the first impression, so whether your talents lie in illustration, InDesign or sewing, use them to create your CV.
When I send emails for internships, I normally put the subject as 'intern for shows' (fashion week) or 'application for internship' (anything else). I always try to find a name of the person I'm emailing (and spell it correctly!), if not, you can just address it to the company. Introduce yourself very briefly (your name, what you're studying, that kind of thing) and say that you're interested in interning for that company. Having a reason why you want to intern for that company is always a plus, but try and stay clear of the 'I really love your clothes!' and focus more on what's relevant. For instance, if you're applying for a marketing internship, mention how much you loved one of their recent marketing campaigns. Then go on to a full cover letter, detailing your previous experience and skills as succinctly as possible, attach your CV and perhaps a link to your LinkedIn profile, and then thank them for reading.
Speaking Of Which, Linkedin
If you're not familiar with it, LinkedIn is basically like an online CV. I find it a great go between a CV and a cover letter - I can list as much as I want and go into detail without worrying I'm writing too much, if someone's on my LinkedIn, it means they're probably interested. It's also a great tool for looking up potential employers (although do bear in mind unless you change your settings people can see who's viewed their profile) and seeing their work history, what their job is, and maybe finding things in common with them before an interview. Plus, even if they see you've viewed their profile it just shows you're proactive.