6.03.2013

Surviving NYC: Land the Internship of Your Dreams

photo credit: lookbook.nu

NETWORK
The first step is networking. If you're not a social butterfly it's time to step out of your cocoon. Surround yourself with like-minded people and people you aspire to be like and always carry your business card with you. Never miss an opportunity to self promote and ALWAYS dress to impress. You never know who's watching. A quote that has seemed to resonate with me since a young age- 


“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” -Coco Chanel

Research the company you're interested in interning with and start looking for ways you can connect with someone who works there or who knows someone works there. Reach out to that person and let them know you're interested. 

Before the interview
Rehearse your elevator speech (this is your 30 second or less pitch to sell yourself) and try on your interviewing outfit beforehand to avoid any potential wardrobe malfunctions. When you're prepared, you'll feel at ease and your confidence will be able to truly radiate.   

What you need to succeed: Persistence, ambition and passion.
1. Persistence
When I applied for my current internship I had to go through several people to assure my portfolio had been received and reviewed. My professional, yet friendly approach got me referred to someone in a higher position, ultimately leading me to the right person I needed to connect with to land me the interview.

2. Ambition
Most people do over the phone interviews if they live out of the area. While this option was offered to me, I didn't like the idea of not letting my potential future employer get to see the real me. This provoked me to fly to NYC, where I was able to show off my style, personality, and skill level to prove I was the right girl for the job. I'm a firm believer that going the extra mile sets you apart from the rest.

3. Passion
If you're serious about a career in fashion (or any career for that matter), you won't let anyone or anything stop you. Life is too short not to do what you love. Have a career that makes you want to get you out of bed everyday.

Reflect on what makes you different and capitalize on it. 
We all want to fit in, but what about standing out? Whether it's your shining personality or your innovative personal style, don't be afraid to show off a little. At the end of the day, it's you you want them to remember.

Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. FOCUS ON YOU. 
I started taking on extra classes back in the fall (22 hours, with new classes (year round) every 11 weeks and only 1 week break in between) because I had planted a seed in my mind and set a goal- I was going to be in NYC this summer- do or die. While other students compared themselves to me thinking they should be doing an internship this summer as well, it was my lack of social life they were overlooking. What may be best for one person isn't necessarily best for someone else. We're all on our own paths to success, so comparing yourself to another person doesn't make you any more or less  successful.

Follow up
After your interview, be sure to send a thank you card letting your interviewer know you appreciated the time they took to speak with you. This is just another chance to impress, so take advantage!

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