While fashion internships are typically accepted on the assumption that all basic professional needs (fashion industry experience, networking, resume building, etc.) will be met, the most rewarding benefits of an internship are often the ones that we don’t anticipate. Here’s our attempt to be contradictory and offer you a list of the unexpected benefits of a fashion internship (that you can expect).
Friendships with Co-workers
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is competitive—most fashion hopefuls know that it generally takes more than the mere appearance of an internship on their resume to score their dream gig. Those who have subjected themselves to thorough research prior to committing to this cutthroat field have likely been force-fed the concept of networking countless times and are fully-aware that industry connections are often the golden ticket to landing a job. Because of this, many fashion interns seek to gain purely professional gains from their internship. If you expand your sights beyond the professional realm, you may come to find that your fellow interns and superiors are worthy of sustaining an actual friendship for the duration of your internship and even years down the road.
Familiarity With a New City
Some fashion interns are essentially just errand runners, often spending so much time out of the office that the idea of forging actual relationships with their colleagues is laughable. Somewhere between maneuvering through traffic or public transportation to deliver press samples, picking up supplies for photo shoots, attempting to immaculately order their boss’ “sugar-free, iced vanilla latte with soy milk and an extra shot of espresso” and keeping a panic attack at bay, these interns are becoming better acquainted with their surroundings.
With time these interns won’t need to rely on a GPS to navigate the city, but will instead resemble a human version, knowing which routes to avoid during rush hour, which streets are one-ways and most importantly, all Starbucks locations within a mile radius of the city. This is truly an invaluable skill to have as many job applications require a familiarity with the surrounding location.
Fortunately, most fashion interns are acknowledged as actual employees, making them eligible to partake in company meetings, attend holiday parties and, best of all, receive discounts. Depending on the type of internship, this could mean early access to sales, employee discounts on products/services or even free entry into industry events.
If you’re a fashion intern that doubles as a diehard fashionista (i.e. you kick start every morning with WWD and binge watch the latest season’s runway shows upon immediate release), you revel in the idea of early exposure to key fashion industry events and product releases. If you happen to intern during the developmental stages of a project, you’ll likely get to witness much of the decision-making process.
For fashion interns, this means sneak peeks of upcoming ad campaigns, fashion collections, collaborations, magazine issues, fashion shows, photo shoots and, if you’re lucky enough to intern for School of Style, potential special guests for future classes.