Internships: My Tips and Secrets

Off Duty / On Style

If you’ve been following along closely then you saw that last week I did a post about tips on navigating New York and living in the city (see that post here). However, I wanted to do a separate post about internships in general. I am a huge believer in the importance of internships, I am a campus ambassador for the Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, who famously had 15 internships in college. She’ll tell you herself that no one needs that many, but that it is critical to have at least two. Internships are great because they give you a chance to see what jobs are available in more of a real-world setting than a classroom.

If you’re reading this I am assuming you have similar interests to me being fashion, writing, social media, etc., but some of these ideas will likely transfer over to other fields as well. I have had a decent amount of internships myself so I want to help you guys out since I know how stressful it can be. A little about me, I have been a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista for what will be my fourth semester this fall and an editorial intern for them for what will be my third semester. I interned in New York City with Timo Weiland as a showroom intern and Yumi Kim as a marketing intern this past summer. I also had a summer fellowship with the Tab US. This brings me to a total of five internships, which is not including my other clubs, activities and running this blog. After those experiences here are my tips.

1. Join CollegeFashionista: If you’re interested in fashion, I absolutely recommend CollegeFashionista. This is a virtual internship so it can be completed anywhere! The workload is not overwhelming and it helps you gain a lot of courage since you have to go up and talk to strangers. Additionally, I have made some of my closest friends through this internship and the company has a lot of awesome industry connections.

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GETTING THE INTERNSHIP

2. Be Bold, Apply A LOT and explore your options: These people get their inboxes flooded with emails every single day. Try to find a way to make yourself stand out, but know when you are becoming obnoxious. Keep in mind that you probably won’t get your first choice, second or even third. I applied to over 200 internships for this past summer and it was beyond stressful. However, I know that I ended up in exactly the right companies for me because of how much I learned. When interviewing, try to decide what kind of company you want and ask about the work atmosphere. This makes a huge difference at your internship.

WHEN YOU GET AN INTERNSHIP (Congratulations!)

3. Go Above and Beyond: If you have any ideas about ways you can help the company, tell them but do it in a respectful way. Organize a clear game plan or outline and show it to your direct supervisor, not the CEO or your fellow interns. Even if your ideas are not implemented, they will respect the time and thought you put into your work.

4. Appreciate It: Don’t take even a second for granted. Watch your coworkers around the office and absorb as much information as you can. Remember how hard you worked to get there and how many people you fought for this opportunity. Your Instagram and Snapchat account can wait until you’re on a lunch break. Also, take advantage of the city you are in. I’m from Wisconsin, which isn’t exactly plentiful with fashion opportunities so in New York I took full advantage of all networking and events that I could. Use Facebook and find out what’s happening in the city you’re in and meet some people. Two great events that I went to were the Intern Queen Party and Her Conference.

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Me at Her Conference!

5. Don’t Follow Bad Examples: Fashion is more of a laid back industry in some regards concerning when people come in, how they dress, etc. Don’t compare yourself to others and stick with what you were told. If you were told to be in the office by 10, show up by then every day even if no one else is there. Being the first one to arrive and the last to leave really does go a long way.

AFTERWARDS

6. Stay in Touch: Fashion is an industry that revolves around networking so make sure to preserve the relationships that you make. You never know where people will end up so get their personal email addresses and phone numbers. Try to check in around three times per year at least. This goes for your fellow interns as well, you never know where people will end up!

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The team at my Timo Weiland internship

Honestly, this post could have been a lot longer but I wanted to keep it short and sweet. If you have any other specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

xx,

Kelsey Knepler

6 thoughts on “Internships: My Tips and Secrets

  1. Courtney Bentley says:

    This is SO true! I did an internship for Boeing when I was a senior in high school and immediately realize what I thought would be my dream job was far from it! Thanks for sharing these tips, I am actually looking for interns for my fitness business so this was helpful for me! xo C

    Liked by 1 person

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