I know I have literally been the worst blogger ever in these last few months so I've decided to tell you all why I've been so absent.
I started a Fashion Journalism course at UCA in September 2011 - I've always wanted to have a career in fashion and with going to a girls' grammar school, university was 100% on the cards for me, so of course this was my chosen and dream course (or so I thought).
I was interning at magazines in the uni holidays and it gave me so much more enjoyment than the course itself was giving. First year finished and I was interning all summer which lead me to the decision that if this was really what I wanted to do then uni wasn't the right path for me; getting stuck in and making contacts within the industry is what would land me my dream job a lot sooner than any fashion course at uni would, and with also hearing this advice from people I was working with whilst interning - I decided to leave.
So from September 2012 onwards I interned at More! magazine, Fabulous magazine, went back to More! for a paid placement (they asked me back and to get paid - yay!) then I landed a three month internship at New! magazine from December to March. When that finished I was well under way to a paid job with over a years experience in the industry.
New! became my longest internship and I think the longer you're at somewhere the better, as you learn a lot and it seems more worthwhile. It wasn't my favourite placement but no matter where you are you always learn something new. The only downfall of doing a long placement is getting phonecalls/emails from other magazines asking if you're available - I missed out on Company and Elle whilst I was there! (this shows that if you're hardworking and make yourself memorable people will pass your name on as everybody knows each other) You're probably thinking well of course I could have left but dedication is key in this industry and like I said everybody knows each other, so if the word gets out that you walked out for another placement - it doesn't reflect well on you.
Since I finished at New! in March - I got contacted to go to Marie Claire. Marie Claire was my dream publication I have always wanted to work for from when I was about 13/14, so I jumped at the opportunity and it was so busy there - I loved it!! Then it was on to Stylist magazine which I finished mid April - but of course these were still all unpaid and just paying different amounts towards your travel expenses.
Then on to my BIG news! A couple of weeks ago I got contacted by a lady who I worked with at a magazine last Summer saying she had now moved to Net A Porter's 'The Outnet'. She had emailed to tell me that a PAID fashion internship had come up and wondered whether I was interested in applying - so of course I went straight on to Net A Porter's career website and submitted my application!! A few days later I got an email through saying I had been offered an interview (I was over the moon to say the least!!). My interview was on Friday 26th April and I was super nervous - it was with somebody on the fashion team and a recruiter. I walked out thinking it had gone OK but you literally never know. On my journey home I got a call from a random number - It was the recruiter who had interviewed me asking me if I was free on Monday to come along and do a paid trial week!! I was so so happy and of course confirmed that I would be there on Monday - she told me that it was just a trial as they still had quite a few people left to interview.
So, I went a long on Monday and I was loving it. On Wednesday I got given my log-in and email address (surely this meant I was staying?!?!) Then a little while later they sat me down and told me they would love to keep me on if I wanted to stay... OMG my dream of getting a paid job in the fashion industry came true and it felt even better than I ever could have imagined!!
I live in Kent so I was travelling for 2+ hours each way - meaning I was doing 14 hour days - leaving at 6:30 am and not getting home until 20:30 pm. Whilst working Saturday and Sundays to fund my dream career and it had all FINALLY paid off!
If I had a £1 for everytime someone told me that the fashion industry is so hard to get into and ridiculously competitive I would be rich. If you are hard working and go out of our way 24/7 and put in lots of hard work and effort you WILL get a job.
So here's some advice:
- I know getting internships is extremely hard at first but they get easier with the more experience you gain and then it will come to the point where you don't even need to apply anymore because if you're good enough people will start contacting you.
- The fashion industry is totally word of mouth so never bad mouth anyone - it's not professional and they'll more than likely hear about it.
- Go that extra mile - that is what will make you get noticed.
- Smile with every request you get given.
- Finally, constructive criticism is worth taking on board when given from somebody within the fashion world with whom you are interning with. But remember, with success comes jealousy and you have to learn to ignore those who try and put you down with your success. You should be proud of how far YOU have got and the hard work that YOU have put in. Nobody else has done this for you, it is down to YOUR own efforts.
- Most importantly - DO NOT GIVE UP.
If you have any questions leave me a comment and I'll get back to you :)