Subject: One cheek or two?
Entering into the world of fashion at eighteen, full of beans and eager to impress, no-one really prepares you for the full-throttle closet shaped rocket hurtling towards you. It's scary, it's tiring, it's hectic. But once you've got a handle on all of that, and have a few handy tips under your belt, it's SO worth it.
First off, lets start by addressing the not-so-subtle elephant in the room... we all walk into the fashion industry thinking it's going to be like the Devil Wears Prada... but as The Intern 247 has cleared theres very few similarities, what will happen is a lot of bleary-eyed tiredness, some confusion and many post-work wine sessions. So, why do we do it? Why do we slog away in a job that leaves us with a next-to-nothing social life? Because we love it. Moan all you like, but working in fashion is one of those things you hate to love. It becomes a part of you and, try as you might, there's no getting away from that (not that we would want to anyway!).
As with every job, there are always a few do's and don'ts; ever met someone for the first time and gone in for the handshake whilst they've leaned in for the inevitable cheek kiss (a go-to for everyone working in fashion FYI!)? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and worn it out. Don't worry, none of us knew what we were doing when we first started out. Even now, I often ask myself "What is the socially acceptable thing to do here?!" It's perfectly normal... you just get better at pretending you know what's going on around you!
Don't be afraid to be creative. That's what this industry is all about, right? No-one ever improved and developed by copycatting. Share your ideas no matter how wacky they may be; it's better to be remembered as 'the one with the crazy ideas' rather than 'the one who never speaks'.
An Oldie but Goldie - taking and making notes goes a long way! Your pocket notebook is your new best friend. Don't just nod along when someone is teaching you something; jot it down and make sure it doesn't just go straight in one ear and come flying out the other!
It goes without saying that you have to brush up on your fashion knowledge. There's never been a better excuse to splurge on magazines and trawl online style columns. The more informed and aware you are, the more seriously your colleagues will take you.
The best and most important piece of advice, you ask? Ask questions! Ok, there are limits; don't bombard your superiors with nonsensical Q's that'll leave them a tad annoyed and you more than a tad red-faced. But the best way to learn, is to find out as much useful information as possible. Use it to your advantage - the people around you have already been in your shoes. Listen to them and watch how they work; trust me, it'll come in useful one day.