Subject: Q & HEY
My lovely freelancer Erin Heeks thought it was about time I answered a few questions. So here goes.
Although I have a full time job as a fashion editor I do work on The Intern 247 everyday in my personal time… so these questions are targeted to that aspect of my life. The life I thought was kept quiet but ever since the BBC and FashionUnited - that side of my life is blown.
What got you interested in your chosen field of work?
When I first started The Intern 247 it was all about sharing the images id taken from my year out. It wasn't about showing off - because if I'm honest I'm the only one out of my friends who work in fashion - so I knew no-one would be impressed if i met Jenna Lyons (CEO of j.crew mum) but i wanted to show the people that wouldn't know who Jenna Lyons was to understand what working in fashion was like. What being an intern in fashion actually meant. Trust me I wasn't Anne Hathaway and I wanted to show people that working in fashion isn't about eating leaves and wearing Prada.
I guess what made me start working on The Intern 247 more is the amount of emails I get from people starting out. The more emails i get the more posts I have to create to answer them!
Is this the job you imagined doing when you were young? If not, how is it different?
No! I never knew I would run my own site and be a kinda intern agony aunt? Ooo. Is that a new concept? I always knew I wanted to run and do something I'm passionate about… so I guess I am.
How did you get to where you are now?
If it wasn’t for interning I would have never been pushed to share my experiences. I have the companies I worked for to thank!
Have you interned before? How was your experience, and how did your experience influence the way you act towards your interns?
Yes! Hello?! The whole point of this site. Most of my experiences were fantastic, eye-opening and have shaped my work ethic today. I think being a serial intern myself I am hugely compassionate for my interns today. If they're late because of the tube or travel - I believe them. If they need to go to the doctors I let them. If they need to leave early for a family dinner I let them. I have huge respect for them and I think in term they respect me. I’m very open with them, they know about my whole career. The good, bad and the ugly… maybe even more than The Intern 247 readers know. I think it's important to show your human side and let them know that you have been in their position 10 times over. I want to make sure they are learning, they understand everything they are doing and more importantly why they are doing it! There were so many times as an intern I didn't understand what the overall goal was… so I didn't get why I was being ask to a specific task.
I guess the corny phrase of I know what you're going through really helps.
What do you think is the most important part of working in your position/field?
I think the most important part of running The Intern 247 is sharing what I've already been through to help others coming up. So many people email me with questions as they are just starting their first internship. Because my blog/website isn't a conventional fashion blog I feel a duty to make sure it stays like that and that I'm putting out a positive message thats educational.
What do you think is the best way for a person to find their niche?
If you cant think of it in 5 minutes it’s not your niche. It needs to be something that comes to mind instantly.
Photography? Graphics? Cooking? Wearing all black? Swearing? Comedy? It can be anything but if its not something you can think of instantly then don't force it… its not for you.
Like cooking… that’s not for me.
How do you think someone should go about getting to the position they want to be in (career-wise), assuming they want to be in the same field as you?
If you want to create a website or blog… just create it, get it out there and work as hard as you can making it something you're proud of.
In terms of a 9-6, intern, gain experience, talk to a lot of people who are in the position you think you want to be in. Be inquisitive ask a lot of questions and never say no… unless it’s needed.
Also don't be scared of taking a job in case you hate it.
Everything is temporary.
What do you think is a person’s most important feature/trait?
Their personality? Wait is that too general? If we are talking about life in general … their honesty.
If we are making it work related - their willingness to learn.
If you could go back in time, would you do anything in your career differently?
If I was given extra time then yes I would have gone to New York sooner and for longer. But if not, then no as I wouldn't have spent the time I did with the companies I worked for before I went to New York.
Oh and I wouldn't have worn a school uniform on my first day at my second internship - grim.
What’s the top thing you look for when hiring someone/getting an intern?
I like someone to ask good questions, be inquisitive about the company and the role… they don't need to know everyone about the company because at the end of the day the person hiring doesn't care if you know when the company was founded.
They do however need to know you're interest and you're willing to learn.
Oh and if you can make me laugh. You're in.