I’ve worked in the fashion industry for more than 13 years and have gained some amazing career and life lessons. I started off interning for Sydne Bolden in New York City, and then went on to work for InStyle magazine, Conde Nast and more. Working in the business is indeed fabulous; however, it’s not all Champagne Days and Louboutin Nights.
I am passionate about interns, because I believe that experience is the absolute best teacher. I have had more than 100 interns work for me throughout my career across the United States. Some have been amazing, and some have been, well…awful.
The moral of the story is…Hard work pays off. My amazing interns have landed dream jobs at companies including Marie Claire magazine, Bally, Sonia Rykiel, Macy’s, New York Fashion Week, and more. I want you to be able to up land your dream job as well. So I wanted to share my Top 5 Tips to standing out in a good way. Cheers to pursuing your passion and following your dream!
1. NEVER EVER, EVER TELL YOUR BOSS NO
As an intern, you are there to help the process run smoother and reduce the stress level from the environment. With that said, the more you object to your assignments, the bigger headache your boss will have. Before you say ‘no,’ say ‘yes’ and then figure it out on your own. You were given the task because she trusts that you can handle the responsibility. Like Tim Gunn said, you just have to “Make it work.”
2. DRESS FOR THE JOB YOU WANT
No matter if you’re in the fashion closet or making coffee runs all day long in the snow, come to work dressed well. The way you look not only reflects your work, but it also represents your company. I have an intern named Kim that is always super stylish and flawless. However, she doesn’t allow her fashion sense to prevent her from getting down and dirty and getting the job done. Her style is so cool, that she inspires myself and even our clients to try new trends. Always dress well and dress smart.
3. LONG LUNCHES = LOSERS
Daily long lunch breaks are not the most common thing when you’re a fashion intern. While your boss doesn’t want you to starve, he or she needs to know that you are less concerned with your turkey on whole wheat and more focused on completing your work. Sometimes you may have to eat at your desk or eat as you work. It’s the name of the game, and will pay off soon and very soon. Pack portable snacks that you can nibble on while juggling garment bags on the escalator. Only the strong, strategic and stylish truly survive.
4. SHE’S YOUR BOSS, NOT YOUR BFF
Your boss may love Beyonce, rock the same lipstick as you, and be just about 5 years older than you. However, this never means that you casually treat her as your friend. She’s your superior, and it’s crucial that you show respect. I’ve had some interns want to tell me about their personal problems and have girl-time chat before they have done their work. This is a No-No! Make sure you draw the line. While she may be fun, she’s still focused, and you should be, too.
5. BE THE FIRST TO ARRIVE AND THE LAST TO LEAVE
When I started my job at InStyle, I was a freelancer, which meant I was not permanently on payroll. I was so thrilled and excited to have the job that I always arrived before my boss, and never ever considered leaving before her. You want to make sure that you are always two steps ahead of what your superior requires of you. When you’re not physically at work, it’s quite difficult to be OnIt.com. Well my hard work paid off, and I ended up interning at InStyle for less than a week before I got hired full time. My hard work paid off and paid off well.
Photo Caption: Daisy Lewellyn & Her Amazing Interns, Team #EffortlessChic
Photo Credit: Mia Marcua