ARTICLE

  • BY VANESSA MENRAD

A YEAR OF INTERNING.











Where should I start? It has been a hell of a year.



Going through three different internships in two different countries with no proper income was a long and exhausting journey, with a lot of surprises. I would still recommend it to anyone, so I put together everything I learned and things you should definitely pay attention to as an intern.



First of all, it is so important to put yourself out there. At university, we live in this bubble of creativity and prototypes without realising what is going on outside. My whole view of the fashion world has changed ever since I started working in the industry (watching ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ does not do the job, I promise).



Learn about positions to find your perfect match.



It starts with the different areas that are available within the fashion universe. It can get quite overwhelming as it seems as though the pathways are endless. If you’re a bit like me and cannot decide for your life what dream you would like to pursue, why not try as much as possible?



I was lucky enough to get three different insights into the fashion industry, which helped me decide what I wanted in my professional life. Being with each company gave me an overview of what positions are available and which areas could interest me for my future (don’t just look at the job you're doing, be aware of all the different people around your workspace). An example: It’s easy to say you want to be an ‘editor’ because of what you heard, but seeing an editor in action might actually change your view on the job.



Another way of shaping your plan for life could be asking your co-workers about their professional background, it can be very interesting to hear how they might have got the position they are currently in.





Make note of the people you meet.



This is your chance to get to know the industry. Throughout my internships, I met some truly incredible, hardworking people that inspired me and helped me move forward. I collected email addresses, phone numbers and names that I can get back to for any kind of opportunities.



When you start your internship, always carry a notebook with you, ready to make a note of anyone who you might want to talk to later on. It will pay off.



Keep challenging yourself.



I know it can be very easy to get comfortable, to take what you get given and just live with it. But it’s super important to challenge yourself throughout your time as an intern. Otherwise, it will just get boring. Plus, it can be very rewarding to feel like you’ve mastered something.



Experience is the key to success.



I’m sure this is no news to anyone, but it needs to be mentioned: Experience in the fashion industry is the key to finding a position after university. Having a degree is an incredible achievement, but sadly in the fashion world, it does not mean much if compared to working experience. Companies want to know that you have worked in the industry before and whether you can handle the work you will get given.



Don’t let them overrule you.



Keep a positive attitude, don’t let people get you down because of the way they treat you. Interning can be hard and challenging, but if you go in it with the right attitude, it will pay off. I personally think that you should be learning useful skills at an internship and shadow the people who work there, not spend all day in the kitchen making cups of coffee. Obviously, it is usually part of the intern job to offer tea or coffee to co-workers and you should definitely do so (especially if you’re making yourself one), just don’t make yourself their servant. Know what you’re worth.



And most importantly, don’t give up!



Obviously, there were up and downs, I wasn’t always cheerful and optimistic, but I knew I had to keep motivating myself to make the best out of the opportunity I got given. Sometimes, I had to remind myself that I was doing it for a good reason, because yes, sometimes the intern has no chance but to do the boring tasks. But if you do the boring work right, your colleagues will know that you are taking your job seriously. Sometimes there can even be an opportunity coming out of an internship, so always be prepared to give your best.



The intern life is a rollercoaster of emotions, stress and motivation, but that’s okay. You always have to remember: We all started here, everybody’s been in a similar position. And once you’re settled in and you start getting more responsibility it will actually be super exciting and nourishing.







Lastly, I put together a (very condensed and short) summary of where I actually worked and what I did:



My first internship was a 4-week fashion cupboard placement for Harper’s Bazaar where I helped unpacking and returning samples, prepare for shoots and other tasks.



After that, I travelled to Berlin for a 3-month Graphic Design internship with Schön! Magazine/ Interview Magazine, where I did Layouts for Online and Print, helped design website ideas and created animations for Social Media.



Finally, I came back to London for my last 3-month internship with Holmes Production, where I helped within the Production process (preparing of production kit, helping with location scouting, helping onset and so on) of photoshoots, fashion shows and events.



If you’d like to hear more details about any of these internships, fill out the contact form or send me an email, I’ll be happy to help.



I am so unbelievably grateful for all the opportunities I had, all the people I got to work with, the companies that made my placement year so fun and exciting and all the positive energy my friends and family sent me throughout the year. I really hope my journey will help anyone who’s interning right now or will intern in the future.









credits//


t-shirt//Weekday (Organic Cotton)

shoes//Converse

bag//Seidenfelt (Vegan leather)

earrings//Absence of Colour

rings&necklace//Lane Market Brighton


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web design//HelloAries

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