STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF, WORK HARD AND MAKE IT HAPPEN.
As I mentioned briefly in my last post, I have recently started a year long internship with ASOS in their Digital Commerce Department. I am also unbelievably excited about this and I thought it might be helpful to share my experience of finding, applying and interviewing for internships. Many courses, especially fashion related ones, often offer or require a year in industry and more often than not, it will be mainly up to you to source your own placement. This is something that can end up being really stressful so I thought that I would share my experience.
So, I study Fashion Management at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and I absolutely love it. For anyone wanting to go into the fashion industry, definitely have a look here because it gives you such a good basis for going into any graduate job in business, not just fashion. Also, University in Scotland is free. Just saying. In our third year of uni we get the option of taking the academic route, taking on a one semester placement, or doing a full year in industry. I’ve known since I first found out about my course I wanted to do a year long placement as it is an invaluable experience and will help so much when getting a graduate job. My university has a placement office, who do research and find relevant placement opportunities, as well as supporting you in finding one yourself. I did apply for some that the placement office sourced but I also was constantly looking for one myself. When looking for a placement in the fashion industry, FashionWorkie is your best friend. It has lists and lists of jobs, internships and work experience opportunities in the fashion industry all over the world. I will mention that if you want an amazing placement, you will need to be willing to move to more fashion focused places. It is difficult to find somewhere to support a year long internship if you are from somewhere that is not a front runner in the relevant industry. Obviously, Scotland is not very fashion forward, hence why I’m in London…
I feel like something a lot of people don’t realise when applying for placements or jobs in general is how proactive and resilient you need to be. Internships don’t just go looking for you and no one else will find one for you. I think I genuinely applied to around 40 internships and of that, around 5 got back to me and only 3 offered me an interview. Do not get discouraged, just keep trying. It will work out. I also think, from my experience anyway, many students do not realise how beneficial a part time job is when applying for internships. I’ve had 3 or 4 part time jobs over the years including being a visual merchandiser for Morrison’s clothing (which I hated) and a sales advisor in Miss Selfridge (which I loved). Companies want to see that you have a proven work ethic, enthusiasm for your industry, determination and a bit of knowledge as well. I can say that out of my uni friends, those of us with part time jobs found finding an internship quite a bit more straightforward than those without.
So before this posts gets waaaay too long, I’m just going to make a list of my top 5 tips for getting your dream internship:
- BE PROACTIVE – no one will find it for you. You need to go out and look for yourself.
- BE RESILIENT – everyone hears ‘no’. It only takes one ‘yes’.
- PERSONALISE APPLICATIONS – no company will be impressed by a blanket email and cv sent out to hundreds of similar companies. Prove you have done some research into the company and are genuinely interested in the role.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR FEEDBACK – asking for feedback always makes a good impression and it helps you in the long run.
- BE YOURSELF – If you make out you have a lot more experience than you do, or act like someone else, you’ll find it really difficult to keep that up for a whole year.
Anyway, I hope this post has been helpful if you are looking for or thinking about applying for a placement. I have wanted to do an internship at ASOS literally since I was 13 and I discovered the course I wanted to do at uni offered a placement year and went looking to see what companies offered internships. If I can do it, there is no reason you can’t.
I hope you enjoyed this post and look out for another one soon all about my application and interview experience with ASOS.