Subject: The Intern 247 X Pepper Your Talk Interview
‘The intern 247’ started on the plane coming home from New York and looking through my iPhone camera roll on what had been a mad year. Truly mad! I was sending photos to my friends and family and a lot of them said...
“H, you should share your experiences!”
Which I never really thought about doing - I certainly wasn't a blogger, I spent a lot of the year working with big-time bloggers and they were on another planet to me.
PYT: When did your fashion journey begin?
I looked into working for a magazine, writing or something creative in that field. I had it in my head that I wanted to decide what goes on magazine pages.
That dream was finally crushed by watching the September Issue and realising you have to be like 37+ (basically super old) to be an Editor. I'm too impatient to wait around (little did I know I would be an editor at the age of 22), so I did a university course that teaches you everything apart from design - buying, merchandising, garment technology, pr and marketing. The course was called Fashion Management at Nottingham Trent University.
How many internships have you applied for and how many rejects do you feel you got?
I honestly couldn't tell you how many I've applied for - Hundreds?! I applied to companies that weren't even offering internships, so that's a lot of emails! I have had a success rate of 20%. Most emails you send out won't get a reply.
Why did you choose to take on so many internships? Did you have a game plan or specific destination you were trying to get to?
So as part of my university course we had the choice to take a year out to intern - of course, I took it! Most people did an internship with 1 company for the whole year. I did 2 internships for 6 months each.
Whilst I was completing my second 6-month internship, other opportunities came up so I split them up and went to other places.
Having had friends who had completed a whole years internship at one company, I can say every single one wish they had interned at more than one place. You learn the job in 3 months. After that it's repetitive. It's best to branch out and make contacts! Major key.
How did you apply for them/ find them? Did you leverage previous contacts etc.?
Getting my first few internships was hard, so I went in the classic websites: Fashionworkie, UK Fashion Jobs, FashionUnited.
Once you have a couple under your belt, getting the rest is a lot easier. Getting Emilia Wickstead was a big turning point for me. The whole fashion industry is obsessed with her.
Buying Intern - New Look
Fashion Intern/LFW intern - Emilia Wickstead
Press and Marketing Intern - LK.Bennett London
Features Intern -Drapers
PR Intern -Starworks Group
Marketing Intern -French Connection
Lifestyle and Events Intern -PRC New York
Tell us more about 'The Intern 247'
I picked up a good following pretty quickly with some key fashion influencers like Kristie Clements (former Editor-in-Charge of Australian Vogue) and Richard Gray (Fashion Director of The Times). That's when I thought I'll bite the bullet and make a site. So I did.
I want 'The Intern 247' to feel like a community. That's why I have the intern diaries, where interns can send in their stories and experiences. I also have the hot seat where I interview girls and guys from all around the world on their experiences.
I’m anonymous for a couple of reasons. Mainly because I hated the thought of me as a blogger, I also didn't want my bosses to read my blog in case I ever went on a massive rant! I ultimately want to keep giving my honest opinion on the fashion industry. The good, the bad, the ugly and to slam down any stereotypes along the way.
So many interns out there feel anonymous in their companies or feel that their bosses or heads of departments have no idea who they are. So I thought "Hey, I'll be anonymous with you".
I've gone from intern to boss in a short space of time, so that presents a unique opportunity to give everyone an inside scoop.
Use your initiative. Don't wait to be told anything!
Also confidence, they hired you for a reason so you're more valuable to them than you think.
People skills! Learning how to deal with people is a hard task but one everyone needs to grasp quite quickly.
What is your biggest piece of advice for graduates looking for internships/jobs?
Think seriously about every opportunity that comes your way, any unique opportunity is worth considering and don't go down the safe route.
Jeremy Scott didn't play it safe and look at him!
Thank you to D at Pepper your talk for featuring little old me.
If you have any questions after reading this - let me know.