At this point in the semester, all of you are probably placed at an internship. Some of you may not be interning this semester, but are required to intern in the spring. Whatever the case, it is never too early to start thinking about and researching which positions are open and which interest you!
Over the summer, I decided I wanted hands-on industry experience so I immediately got on Symplicity. It is an awesome tool provided by the school to search for openings in a variety of fields pertaining to fashion, such as visual merchandising, sales, logistics, public relations, etc.
After applying through the site, I found a great internship for a contemporary women’s fashion wholesaler. Although the internship was in sales, a field I was not primarily looking to work in, I accepted the position. It was a small company and I was actually able to be of help in every aspect of the operation, whether it was visuals, textiles, customer service, or even accounting.
My time at that company was beneficial, however I knew I still wanted to explore the buying “side” of the retail process. When buyers came into the showroom at the wholesaler, I wanted to learn more about how they worked. This is when I started talking to my classmates…
Networking was the tool which helped me to obtain my current internship for the buying and planning retail team at Jimmy Choo. I used to talk to one of my fabulous classmates everyday about her internship there and I was fascinated by what she was learning. When an intern abruptly left the company, my peer had me in mind to fill the void. Knowing I was already interested, she told me about the opening and was able to schedule an interview for me. Along with the awesome connection I had, I studied the company to prepare for the interviews and got the job!
Whether conscious or not, networking is one of the best tools to facilitate the internship process. In my case, the internship opening happened in the middle of the summer semester, therefore it would have been more difficult to find out about it because I would not have thought to look at postings then.
All in all, I have learned that word of mouth is underrated and that timelines are flexible. Basically, where there is a will, there is a way! So start looking at openings now and talk to as many people as you can, because opportunities can present themselves in unexpected places.