How To Go From Intern To Full Time In The Fashion Industry
Getting hired in the fashion industry is your ultimate goal, right? Then you need to learn how to be a rockstars fashion intern! You have followed my steps to land internships over the summer or through out the school year. Now let’s make sure you make the most out of your internship and leave a lasting impression.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of the fashion internship saga in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashion Rockstar Internship Series. If you want to learn how to learn how to land and make the most of an internship check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page.
5 Biggest Mistakes Fashion Interns Make
Now that you have landed your awesome internship in the fashion industry make sure you are making a great first impression and getting the most out of your time. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes fashion interns make which cause them to NOT get a job offer.
1) They Wait For Someone To Tell Them What To Do
Students are used to sitting around waiting for their teachers to give them a homework assignment or project. In there real world that kind of attitude will leave you on the short list for hiring managers. To be a rockstar intern to have to take initiative! Keep your ears open for things that need to be done and speak up! Offer to do it. Constantly ask what else you can do to help.
If you do find that you have down time make your own list of small tasks that you can do either to improve your skills or make your new coworkers lives easier. Teaching yourself a computer program they use is an excellent use of your time. Organizing their files or work space will definitely go noticed.
2) They Dress Like A Student
If you dress like an intern people will think of you as just an intern. Your appearance makes an impression on everyone you come into contact with. That includes your team members, your boss, and higher ups. Take a look around your office and compare how your boss and other managers dress. Now look at how any interns or assistants dress. Where do you want to be? Remember, just because someone doesn’t say something about the way you dress doesn’t mean they’re not thinking it. For more specific advice in this area read: How To Dress For The Job You Want In The Fashion Industry
3) They Watch The Clock
The fashion industry is known for some late hours, especially when it is close to market week or before shows. Interns used to be cheap or free hired help for fashion companies, and many unfortunately took advantage of this fact and work keep their interns working very late. Times have changed and new laws have been put into place to protect students from this happening.
That being said, it is even more important for you to make the absolute most out of the time that you do have in the office. This worst impression you can make is watching the clock until it’s time to leave. That tells people you don’t really want to be there or you have something better to do.
There are often a hundred little things that need to happen every day. If the company you are interning for has a strict cut off time for interns, then at the end of your day make a list of everything you didn’t get to or things left unfinished. Go over those things with your manager so they are aware what still needs to be done and as a team you can have a clear picture what you need to do first thing in the morning. That way you can hit the ground running!
Doing this will also teach you one very valuable skill: Time Management. When you write down everything you do every day you will start to see how long different tasks take.
4) They Don’t Connect With Their New Colleagues
Building relationships with your co-workers in all areas of the business (sales, design, marketing, etc.) is crucial for opening doors for opportunities in your career. People move around in the fashion industry. The more people you know the more opportunities will come your way. Knowing colleagues at various companies will keep you aware of things happening in the industry. You will also get a better idea of what it is like to work for various different companies. And your new found friends might know of new openings in the department before it is even posted!
I am not suggesting that you become best friends with every single person you work with. But they at least need to know who you are. You want to build a rapport. Say hello to them in the coffee area. Introduce yourself and tell them you are the new intern working for so-and-so. This visibility with your colleagues will keep you in their minds.
A rockstar intern will take this to the next level and connect with as many people as they can via LInkedIn. When it is time to depart send them each a good-by email thanking them for the opportunity to work with them during your time as an intern. Tell them what you learned or what you most enjoyed out of the experience. And close by inviting them to keep in touch with you and give them your personal email and link to your LinkedIn.
5) They Don’t Express Their Interest In Staying On Full Time
While you are working as an intern hopefully you are making an amazing first impression with your manager and coworkers. However, don’t leave it up to them to make the first move when it comes to offering you a job. Don’t assume that if your manager doesn’t offer you a position at the end of your internship that they don’t want you. A full time position may not be available at that particular time. Also, your direct manager may not be the person pulling the purse strings and making the final decision.
Here is how to make this happen. A couple of weeks before your scheduled time is up ask to meet with your manager one on one. The point of this meeting is to have a dialogue with your direct manager about what you can offer. Think of it as an interview. Thank them for the opportunity to work there. Tell them what all you have learned and what you most enjoyed. Then TELL THEM you would really like to be considered for a full time position. Explain how you think you can CONTRIBUTE to their business. Even if they don’t offer you a job right there on the spot doesn’t mean a position might not become available soon. By having this conversation you stay on the top of their minds and when an opportunity does come up you are the first person they call.
Now that you know HOW to make the most out of your time as an intern read the rest of the Fashion Rockstar Internship Series!