As another semester quickly approaches, it’s time to start planning for your future. I don’t mean just this future semester, but life after college, the real world. While most people dread having to take on internships at boring offices, answering phones, and getting coffee, I’ve learned that interning can be as fun as you make it. No matter how low on the food chain of the corporate world you feel, you will leave any internship with new knowledge that will help you in ways you’ve never expected. Half of the strategies that I use as PR Director for Trim, I’ve learned through my many internships. When I say many, I mean I’ve never gone a semester or a summer without interning – I am now completing my 4th internship, if you ask my roommate she’ll tell you I’m addicted. I’ve created a list of different tips and tricks to interning to help you get more out of your experience.
1. Getting an Internship:
– Don’t be afraid! No matter what size or status of the company, go for it! Put yourself out there and you never know where life will take you. To get my last internship, I literally googled the email of my boss and contacted her.
-Perfect your resume! Even if you have to fluff up some smaller stuff that you’ve done, you want to make yourself look as versatile as possible. Use career services if needed, I’m sure they would be of great help.
-A cover letter makes a big impression! The last interview I went on, the company assumed that I was a senior in college even though I’m only a sophomore. When I asked why she assume that, she said it was because of my cover letter. Try to make yours personal and inviting so that the company will want to know more about you.
-Intern as much as you can. In any industry whether you’re a medical student, business student, or want to work in the fashion industry, there are so many different job possibilities, why not explore them all? So far, as someone who wants to work in the fashion industry, I’ve been at a small boutique, technology company, fashion showroom, and now a publication. I still hope to explore interning for a designer, a real public relations firm, or even communications for a non-profit organization. You’re still young and have the chance to explore your options, so why not take advantage of it!
2. Interning Necessities
I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments while interning. You always want to be prepared, especially in the fashion industry, you’re expected to look highly presentable 100% of the time. Horror story #100: I wore a white button down and black skinny’s to work one day, not knowing I had anything important to do, I spilled coffee all over my white shirt. An hour later I found out I had to prep the editor of a large magazine for an important interview. I was so mortified I ran and bought Tide To Go on my lunch break praying that the coffee stain would come out. Here are some important things to keep in your bag at all times.
– Static Guard: My number one pet peeve is static. The feeling makes you so uncomfortable and can make any outfit look unflattering. Static guard works like a charm and is a life savor in many situations.
– Lint Roller: When wearing any dark color, you’re going to run into fuzzies from your jacket, or maybe even some left over dog hair on your pants. Lint rollers are perfect to make your outfit look clean and put together.
-Gum: Coffee breath is not very appealing to have when meeting important people.
-Tide To Go: Coffee stains are also not very appealing to look at…
-Lipstick: Even if you’re wearing the most drab outfit…or all black (like me, every day of my life), lipstick is a great way to add something extra to your outfit and make it appear to be more sophisticated. I personally prefer a dark plum or a dark red. Find a color that matches your skin tone!
-Mirror: Mirrors are important to have anywhere you go. You never know when your tooth will accidentally catch some of your lipstick, or when your salad gets stuck in the corner of your mouth. Having a mirror is a sure way to make sure you’re staying presentable.
3. Dressing for an Internship
Personally, I could never be one to wear a full suit to work every day, I need some flexibility in my wardrobe. However, if you do have to wear one, make sure you get it fitted so that you are comfortable sitting in an office all day. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a few essentials you must keep in your closet when you score your dream internship.
– Blazer: A blazer gives structure and class to any outfit.
-Dress Shirt: Personally, I prefer button downs or sheer material. These are great to dress up with jewelry or dress down with boyfriend jeans.
-Black Pants: They may not be your typical dress pant, but they’re still classy enough to wear to the office and a lot more comfortable.
-Heels: I was so scared when I noticed that everyone in my office wore heels every day, especially with my commute from New Jersey to NYC. However, I eventually noticed that these thick boots with heels are comfortable and easy to walk in, not to mention they match almost any outfit.
-Watch: I feel like a watch is a great accessory to complete any outfit. Not to mention they’re great on the job when you have to avoid checking the time on your cell phone.
Another trend that I’ve seen this season that is huge is faux fur vests and leather leggings. The both have very classy aesthetics and are comfortable to wear to work.
So in conclusion, internships can be very frustrating, but the simple and complex life lessons that you gain from your experience can truly help you in the real world. Good luck!