As I mentioned in my previous post “What work experience in the fashion industry is really like” I have worked with many companies such as: Cosmopolitan magazine (which my previous post was based on) Showpo, David Jones, Myer, Ternary, One fine day Wedding fair, Mercedes Benz fashion week Sydney, Swarovski, Australia’s next top model, We are kindred, Elle Magazine and Twitter AU. And while working with these companies I have learnt a fair bit about the industry.
I would just like to make a disclaimer and state that I am not saying I know everything about the Fashion industry because I surely don’t, I’m just sharing the experiences and thing’s that I have learnt so that anyone who is reading this may gain some information if they wish to pursue a career in the industry and get get a little taste of what they could expect.
1. There is a lot of waiting around (as an intern/work experience) when assisting on fashion shows.
I’ve assisted on many fashion shows, my first one being for David Jones. I was going in expecting it to be like a dance concert, being a dancer for the previous 10 years, it lead me to believe that it would be fast paced, exciting and just a little bit stressful.. It is while the show is on, hurrying to get you’re model changed and back on the catwalk in time, keeping your rack clean and organised and helping out anyone around you. But while the models are in hair and makeup and they’re prepping the catwalk and doing all their other “important people stuff” There is a lot of sitting and waiting around for hours until rehearsals or the show starts. That’s working “back of house”, working “front of house” is a lot different although there is still a lot of waiting around. The plus side? You actually get to watch the show rather than being stuck in back of house dressing the models. Front of house includes ushering people in when the show starts, leading people to their seats, packing gift bags and a few other odd jobs.
2. Sometimes you’re there to do the jobs no one else wants to do.
Like going to get your boss a hamburger from hungry jacks at 9am because she’s hungover….(Yes..I really had to do that). Part of being an intern is knowing your there to do the jobs no one else wants to do or has the time to do. Don’t get me wrong, interns are a very important part of a company. Without interns life for the company you’re working for would be made a lot harder. You may get stuck with jobs you weren’t expecting like coffee runs, lunch pickups, cleaning duties and other random adhoc duties but the only way to get where you want is to start from the bottom.
3. Some people aren’t very nice.
Every now and then you will get the odd person who treats all interns like complete crap, knowing they’re an intern and making them feel like they’re an intern. I’ve had multiple people forget my name after I’ve interned at company for months, people completely ignore and disregard you and you’re feelings. You really just have to get past it though, a lot of the people you work for would have been an intern once so hopefully they remember what it feels like and try there best to make you feel welcome.
4. Opportunities can come out of no where.
It was during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney, I was walking around carriage works (where the event was held) with my friends from college as we had some time to kill before we had to be front of house for a show when one of the directors stopped me and told me to be at a certain room at a specific time. I had no idea what it was for but I said yes. When I arrived I was told it was for the Swarovski show and that it was being filmed for a challenge on Australia’s next top model! I got to see Jennifer Hawkins multiple times at Fashion Week and the Myer shows and Alex Perry as well. It was a really great experience getting to see behind the scenes and how they film the show. Also getting to see a few social media stars and celebrities at Fashion Week was pretty cool.
5. It can lead somewhere
I’ve heard a lot of success stories from people who have interned at a company for a week and have landed a job and others have interned at multiple places for years and have received jobs eventually. Interning and doing work experience is really great way to get your foot in the door at a company and create connections for later on in life. You need to look at interning as a stepping stone in your career.. If you’re not sure what part of the industry you would like to work in, try them all.. Intern at a magazine, an online boutique, a PR company, a talent agency, try styling, social media, visual merchandising. the list is endless and there is no harm in gaining all the experience you can in all different areas, it will only give you a better chance of receiving the job you really want.
I hope this post gives you an tiny inside look at the industry and helps you make a decision on where you want to go.