interning. it's a necessity these days. whether you want to be a lawyer, in IT, or (like me) in fashion - having experience is vital. i have interned at 2 major UK magazines, and have 2 more lined up at The Guardian and Benefit UK, and have learnt so much along the way that my degree would never have taught me. i wish someone would have told me a few things before my internships, so i thought this might help a few people out!
i have compiled a little list of top tips and handy little tricks which have helped me out on my interning career. i hope they come in handy to any of you out there!
1 - WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.
as an intern, you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities and jobs at once, so it is absolutely vital that you have a pen and paper to hand at all times. it might sound a bit obvious, but sometimes you may THINK you'll remember the name of that PR you need to call at that place about that pair of shoes...but then get asked to send some post, and the name completely wipes your memory. no one will get angry at you for taking down a few notes, in fact they'll appreciate your organisation! and trust me, there's nothing more embarrassing than calling someone and completely forgetting why you're ringing.
2 - LEARN THE LINGO.
there are a few terms in the intern world that will become common features in your vocabulary. the first being returns. everyone has to deal with them, from PRs to magazines. in my own experience at publications, returns are the clothes sent for shoots, and need to be sent back straight away. the second term is dockets. a docket is probably one of the most important files as an intern, as every return you do needs to have 2 dockets. 1 IN the bag, with the designer and item description, and 1 IN A FOLDER SAFE proving the item has been sent back. trust me these little buddies can save your life when you are asked if you have sent an item back, proof is always needed. another tip? FILE THEM AWAY AS YOU GO otherwise they go missing!!
3 - REMEMBER PEOPLE'S NAMES.
this is so important when you're handing out post, need to ask questions, or simply want to offer to make tea. the first few days can be spent learning, but then (in my opinion) you need to make the effort to remember. it shows consideration, and it can be super embarrassing to keep having to ask people who's who!
4- OFFER TO MAKE TEA.
it's just polite and nice :)
5 - DON'T MOAN OR GOSSIP.
at the end of the day, yes. you are working for free. yes. you are doing the same thing over and over again. but that's what an intern is for. without an intern, the daily routine of an office would literally fall apart, what you do is important! there's no point moaning, as there are 50000000 other people who would kill to have a fashion internship! also, don't get caught up in any gossip. it's ok for an editor or assistant to have a moan, but you're there to do your job and LEARN, not gossip.
6 - USE YOUR INITIATIVE.
nothing feels as good as being praised by an editor or stylist for using your head. offer your comments and thoughts, as they are valued and it's always good to get an outsiders view on things. obviously make sure the time is right though, nobody likes a know it all ;) (hope that isn't too contradictory...)
7- QUESTIONS QUESTIONS QUESTIONS.
it's super scary on your first day. you don't know anyone, where anything is, or what to do. you have to ask questions, so don't feel bad! people expect it :) it is daunting when you think you're being a pain, but everyone would rather you asked a question and did the job correctly than guess and do it wrong! nobody minds so don't panic!
8- GIVE A LITTLE SMILE, ENJOY YOURSELF AND DON'T WORRY!!!
this final one is something i think we all need to do everyday!! don't mope around the office sighing because it's early, or you're getting coffee. plaster a nice smile on your face and look around - you're doing something so many people would love to do! it's all experience, and anything you do will go a long way for your future. you read these horror stories about interns who are 'paid nothing to do everything...just getting tea all day...ignored' and obviously everyone thinks working at a magazine will be like the devil wears prada! but it's not, and everyone is always lovely if you're lovely! having a bad attitude won't get you anywhere in life, and one day, when you're being paid to do something you love, you'll really cherish interning! also, don't panic too much about what you wear. sure, working in fashion has a little bit of pressure on what you wear, but as long as you don't turn up wearing a mini skirt, sequin boob tube and skyscraper heels everyday i'm sure you look fabulous! comfort is key in interning, as it's a lot of walking about :)
i'm DEFINITELY not an expert, but i hope these little tips helped out :) and give people a little bit of help if you are interning! don't be scared, take a breath, and enjoy yourself :D xo