With so many candidates vying for the same positions, it is important to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
Here, Brett Mayer, a career coach in LIM College’s Office of Career and Internship Services, provides his top seven tips to help you get a fashion internship.
1. Choose a college with strong connections to the fashion industry
Colleges with strong connections in the fashion business usually offer coursework that is tailored to the needs of that industry. This means that you can acquire skills and knowledge that are directly applicable to working in fashion. This can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to applying for fashion internships and jobs.
Plus, fashion colleges in New York City will have a pipeline of fashion companies who regularly hire their students as interns and for paid positions. For example, LIM College students regularly intern with top names in fashion such as Gucci, Versace, Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, and many, many more.
2. Research companies
Before you start applying for fashion internships, take the time to research the companies and positions you're interested in. Looking at a company’s website or social media is useful, and Mayer also suggests using Glassdoor. This will give you a better understanding of the company's values and expectations, and help you tailor your application materials to the specific position.
Building a strong network is paramount when you’re trying to secure a fashion internship and one of the best places to start is with the alumni of your college.
“Alumni know what the internship process is like, they know what students are looking for, and they know what the students can bring to the table,” Mayer said.
Networking with your peers is also important. “Some students have found internships because their friends interned somewhere and these friends recognize their talents,” he notes.
4. Apply early
Many fashion internships are highly competitive, so it is important to start as early as possible.
“If they’re looking through applications, they see yours before any others,” Mayer said.
Make sure to be aware of deadlines so you have plenty of time to prepare your application.
5. Utilize campus resources
When looking for fashion internships, it is important you make the best use of your college’s resources. At LIM College’s Office of Career and Internship Services, career coaches can help you build your resume, prepare for interviews, and so much more.
“It's also about what you make of it,” Mayer said. “Everyone at LIM has access to these resources, but it is those who ask questions and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there who succeed.”
6. Pay attention to online profiles
There are many websites and platforms students can use to find fashion internship opportunities, such as LinkedIn and Handshake. You look at company profiles and job postings, which can also include possible scholarship opportunities. Since some states have pay transparency laws, you may also be able see if the internship will be paid or not and what the salary would be.
It is important to remember companies will look at your profile too. Mayer’s advice for this is simple, “Make sure your profile looks like one you’d want to see from someone else if you were hiring.”
7. Look for fashion events
There are many fashion events students can get involved in, especially in New York City. These events give students the ability to connect with professionals in the industry and potential future employers.
“Many of our students at LIM volunteer at New York Fashion Week,” Mayer said.
“Not only does this give you a lot of insight into the industry, but you can add it to your resume and it connects you to another network.”
The process of finding an internship can be stressful, especially in a competitive field like fashion. But with the right preparation, you can increase your chances for success and experience what the fashion industry has to offer.