Tag Archives: Advice

Sep07

Advice for Internships By Samantha Lauro

Samantha Lauro

You Were Chosen For a Reason:

Every person has the quintessential, “I don’t know what I am doing” feeling when they start a new job. It is only natural, as you’re in a completely new environment consisting of client approval rather than grade percentiles. There will definitely be moments that challenge you and even make you question your chosen career path. Your most important asset is how the anxiety is managed, as what ultimately defines the situation is the end result. Therefore look at the long run rather than getting caught up in the moment.

Morning Routine:

I suggest treating yourself to a coffee, or general beverage/snack, at least once a week to keep your mornings interesting. This especially goes for those who commute; not only does it expose you to new locations around the city, but it also takes the mindlessness out of the daily routine. I am a self-proclaimed, or self-diagnosed, caffeine addict so to me this is essential.

What to Wear: 

Attire is important. It is the first impression people have of you and sets the tone. The rule of thumb is usually, dress a level beyond the position you are aiming for. I concur, but my personal thought is that one must gage the social climate and dress appropriately. In other words, integrate yourself with the office culture but maintain a professional appearance. If your place of work is on the casual side, I recommend mixing professional and dressed down pieces to keep the balance.

Going to a Work Event:

This is a great opportunity to get to know co-workers. Be social and make connections. It may be intimidating but I have found most people to be open and friendly, plus casual conversation is a great way to gain insight on the field you are embarking in. Be yourself and be genuine; at the end of the day a real relationship is far more important than a list of completed office tasks or superficial conversation. Enjoy yourself!

Stay Off Your Phone:

To become fully involved and connected with jobs and accounts one should avoid distractions. Put the phone down and get the full experience. Use 100% of your mental capacity and it will pay off with regard to work quality and work relationships.

Junior Associate Mentality:

Think of yourself as a junior associate rather than an intern. People will tell you not to sweat it because “you are only an intern” but I say rise to the occasion. Don’t give yourself a proverbial out. You are working at a real company and the work you do will have an impact in some way, especially if you elevate your thinking.

Meetings:

Pay attention to details and take notes. Observe and absorb the general information and the essence of the gathering. Note the interaction, strategy, attitude, posture, and language. There are so many external and intrinsic lessons to learn, as meetings show thought process, culture, and final result. Always have an opinion about what is being said, and try to contribute when appropriate. You never know when you will be asked about your thoughts, therefore, listening intently is key. Additionally, ask questions to show that you are attentive and interested in learning. If you are nervous ask questions after the meeting or through a follow up email.

When in Doubt, Go for It:

There will be quite a few times during an internship where the opportunity to go beyond what is expected presents itself. Many times it means putting oneself on the line or taking a chance. Admittedly, this is pretty scary especially in a new place. Personal examples of this included emailing my thoughts on an account after sitting in on a meeting, creating a POV, presenting an idea to an art director, and asserting my opinion despite the fact that it challenged the idea of another co-worker. Before every decision I contemplated whether or not I should act, and I went for it. I can say with confidence that it was worth it, as each became a personal victory despite varying degrees of success. Take a chance on yourself, it will pay off and show initiative.

Don’t be Afraid to Stay Late:

Staying late can be daunting. If there comes a time where you need to stay late to get something done embrace it; buckle down and get to work. You want to show your team that you are dependable and dedicated, therefore don’t run out of the office at 5:00pm on the dot. In the process of staying late you may even meet some coworkers who you would not have met during the day. Additionally, if you are working on a project for someone, always check with them before you head out for the day.

Commuting:

Commuting is exhausting and can be mind-numbing. A good percentage of the time I was passed out on LIRR, but for the days when my mind was left wandering I often searched for a way to pass the time. I suggest making a playlists to keep it fun; good music makes every situation better. I also recommend podcasts, as they are a great way to wake up your mind for the workday.

Time Management:

One will quickly realize that time is fleeting, especially if there is an abundance of work to be done. Stay on top of your work and things will run smoothly. Additionally, quality is essential so do not rush through your tasks at hand. It can be hard to say no to projects when multiple people come to you for help at the same time. If you think you can handle more work then go for it, but do not take on more responsibility if quality of work will suffer. It helps to know deadlines and be open; ask your supervisors when things are due and create an open dialogue. Lastly, keep a schedule to keep track of jobs.

Carry a Notebook:

I am a firm believer in carrying a notebook at all times during an internship. You can record what is going on, keep track of work and information, and have a daily account of your internship experience. It is also great for writing down ideas when inspiration strikes.

Work Quality:

Quality on one task can determine whether people will come to you for other jobs. Put in maximum effort. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions, as an internship should be about developing your skills.

Be Hungry:

An internship is a learning experience. Strive to learn as much as possible, and experience all that you can. Ask to attend meetings, look for work, volunteer, and enquire about opinions. Be assertive, in a mature way, and you shall receive.

Think Outside of the Box:

Creative thinking is valuable. As an outsider you do not have preconceived notions/stigmas from the industry and are not assimilated to the general way of thinking. Moreover, you hold a fresh perspective and come from a place of different experiences. Use this to your benefit and go against the grain. Also, some of the most wacky and outrageous ideas can be the best, or at the very least can stimulate thought, so make sure to speak up.

End of Internship:

Meet with your supervisor one last time before you leave to debrief. It can be a great way to gain valuable feedback on your performance and can showcase your progress. Be sure to thank your supervisor, as graciousness goes a long way.

 

May05

Landing The Job: Marie Alcober

1098038_10153178729605160_2066378516_nOnce you land your dream internship, where do you go from there? Many students take on internships with the hopes of coming out with a job. Although it’s never a guarantee, there’s always opportunity to put yourself out there and get noticed. Recent Ryerson University journalism graduate Marie Alcober shares insight into how she went from an intern to a web producer at the Business News Network (BNN).

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a curious, fly-by-the-seat-off-my-pants kind of girl. I don’t shy away from new things and I’m not afraid to admit that I know very little. That’s what’s so great about the journalism industry. I get the opportunity to meet smart people and learn from their expertise everyday.

How did you first land your internship with BNN?

To be able to graduate, I had to complete an internship program during my fourth year at Ryerson University. The only goal I set for myself, really, was to do an internship that would really put me out of my comfort zone. I figured that this was my last chance to try something different before going into the “real world.” Initially, I had planned to do reporting in the Philippines, where I thought I could test my resilience. But when that didn’t pan out, I thought of the second hardest type of journalism that I thought I could never do: business. So I emailed my internship coordinator and she gave me a contact at BNN. I emailed the network’s executive producer and got an interview in two weeks.

What attracted you to this company?

The fact that it’s the only TV channel in Canada that focuses only on business and finance news. It’s a great place to have an immersive learning experience because you don’t get pulled into different areas of news.

What skills did you learn during your internship?

I learned to actually read reports—cover to cover. Journalism school teaches students to listen for “juicy quotes” but a lot of reporting is simply poring over documents. Surprisingly, in most cases the more interesting points are only glossed over in page one. You’ve got to dig deep.

How long did you intern with BNN?

Six weeks.

What was the most valuable thing you took from your internship experience?

When you throw yourself into a situation knowing that everything about it will be new and unfamiliar, it sort of gives you a sense of self like never before. That’s probably the most valuable thing I took from this—a self-assurance that I can dip my toes into all sorts of new and unfamiliar endeavors and not be afraid of them.

How did you turn your internship into a job?

The truth of it is, I simply asked. I let my supervisor know that I would make myself available for them if they ever need any help. I asked if I could stay on as an intern, so I could get the hang of everything, in case they needed someone to fill in during the holidays.

What role do you have within the company now?

I’m part of BNN.ca‘s web team. I edit and post videos and wire stories to the website. I also write mini-articles that go along with interview segments. Basically, I help make sure that the television segments are translated into web content that’s hopefully valuable to both the core BNN viewers and the wider online audience as well.

What advice do you have for other interns?

Don’t pretend like you know it all. The veterans will see right through you. And besides, it’s easier for you to absorb your surroundings when you let yourself become a blank slate.

Feb06

Intern Spotlight: Jacky Le

1797057_10153791614345725_818946895_nName: Jacky Le

Intern Position Title: Digital Intern

Company: FASHION Magazine

Location: Toronto/Vancouver

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a West Coast boy at heart raised in the yuppie and yogi-filled city of Vancouver. I kind of fell into writing and journalism during high school and eventually I cultivated a love for the fashion publishing industry, which has led me to relocate here in Toronto. I have a huge affinity for Beyonce, London fashion and pop culture, and I never shy away from a dance floor.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

For FASHION I was able to land the internship with a good word from an editor at FLARE Magazine where I had interned prior. Honestly it’s all about who you know and leaving a good impression from the get-go, that can really determine what your next job will be. Also, I landed the FLARE internship after spotting a tweet from one of the editors. It truly shows the power that social media has in our generation.

What attracted you to this company?

In my opinion FASHION & FLARE are at the highest echelon in the fashion industry within Canada. I always believe it’s important to learn from the best so that obviously influenced my decision on where I wanted to intern.

What skills are you learning at your internship?

Digital and interactive media plays a huge part in the fashion publishing industry now. People always say digital is where things are heading and I slightly agree. Unlike print, the turnover rate for content is super fast paced so you always have to be on the ball and ready to product content, as well as know what is current and in the news.

What has been a highlight so far?

Getting to be an integral part of the team. And I get a kick out of seeing my name in the magazine masthead as well.

Most challenging part?

Learning that it’s okay to make mistakes. As an intern this is the time in your career where you should be making mistakes. Simply learn from them and make sure you never make those mistakes again in the future when you enter the real work field.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

If I’m not skimming the internet or looking for pitches and buzz-worthy articles, I’m most likely working on an assigned post. As well, I’m scheduling tweets and Facebook posts for the ongoing days.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Fast-paced. I think that’s two? Oh well…haha.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Pick a magazine that you would ideally want to work for. Once you land that internship, chuck your ego and pride at the door and soak up as much information as you can. Be polite and always look as if you’re having the time of your life even when you’re not.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

Katie Grand, Nicola Formichetti , Derek Blasberg. As well as my former teacher Tyler Udall.

What is your dream job?

Senior editor at Vogue UK or W Magazine.  A boy can dream…

 

Nov05

Career Path Interview: Online Fashion Features Editor Julia Rubin

38-julia-rubin-photojennamariewakani

Julia Rubin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and now works as the Associate Online Editor for Fashion Features at Teen Vogue. She gives insight into her internship experiences and shares some advice for students hoping to break into the ever-growing fashion industry.

During college, where did you gain internship experience?

I interned every summer in college. I interned at Yves Saint Laurent in New York for my first two summers and I was in the creative services/visual merchandising department. We were responsible for anything visual that was not designing the clothes, so that was the window displays, general store curation, what events looked like, and it was great. I loved it, but I knew I wanted to try something else. So that third summer, I spent half the week interning at Chanel in the communications department and the other half in sales and marketing at Phaidon, which is a publisher, and they have lots of really cool art and fashion and food books. I did those internships when I was in school and was always in New York, but knew that none of them were totally the right fit. During the school year, I worked for the arts and culture magazine at school, kind of like The Village Voice for Penn. So I worked there since the first day of school and rose through the ranks and eventually was the Editor-In-Chief. In my junior year I started up the campus blog. It was great. It was the point when I realized I loved writing, loved editing, and loved the Internet. Even though I interned in fashion, I was much more interested in media, and because of my background in fashion, it was easy to put the two together and start off as a fashion writer and editor.

What was the most important thing you learned from interning?

I just really loved that as an intern, you’re an observer. I’ve always been really interested in seeing how groups of people work, what structures are like, how everything works, and all the nitty gritty stuff. In terms of general skills, just seeing that the people who were the happiest were the people who were really really into what they did. That’s how my team was at YSL for example. They were all so obsessed with all the visual stuff; they lived it and breathed it. So I wanted to find something that I felt that way about because that’s why they were so good at their jobs. That’s ultimately what led me to realizing that my passion was writing and editing.

What was the most challenging part along the way during the job hunt when you were fresh out of school?

For me, the hardest thing was coming to terms with the fact that I wanted to be a writer and editor. This is a pretty difficult industry and it can be a trying thing on a personal level. So just deciding that I was going to do it and diving in head first, was definitely the scariest.

How did you land a job at Teen Vogue?

My first job out of school was with a fashion news site called Styleite. I was there for two years and I started out as an intern and was promoted a few different times. By the time I left, I was the managing editor of the site. In my first year at Styleite, I received an email from a web editor at Teen Vogue. It was really the coolest email I’ve ever gotten. She told me that she read my stuff on Styleite and she really liked my article on Karlie Kloss. We ended up keeping in touch, helping each other out and having a professional email relationship. A year later, I got an email from her saying that there was a position opening on the web team that she thought I’d be perfect for and her boss would be reaching out. And she did. The rest is history.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

July was a very exciting month for me because a bunch of crazy things all happened at once. This was all within a matter of weeks, which was insane. I went to Berlin for a Selena Gomez event, which was really cool because I had never travelled anywhere, much less internationally, for work. That was super cool. Then I came back and found out that a feature story I had written for the magazine was green lit for an upcoming issue so I was hurrying to get that all together. It was super exciting because this was the first print story I had in the magazine and it was about teenage heroin use, which is a really crazy and important topic to cover right now. So I had to put the finishing touches on that. Also, Teen Vogue launched its video channel and I was able to be in one of the videos.  I don’t think I’m particularly good on camera but I was very flattered and really excited with how it all turned out. So it was cool to be able to do so many different things and it was very much a realization of how multi-faceted it is being at a magazine. Even though I’m on digital, I write lots of stories for the website but am still able to write for the magazine and work with video, so it was very cool to see all that come together and be a part of it.

What advice do you have for students hoping to get into this industry?

What I did was reach out to people I had some sort of connection to and really respected. The connection can be small. Reach out to people who are not total strangers and keep up with those people. Figuring out what you even like is also really important and just looking around. I found my first job from a tweet. A friend of the woman who became my boss told me to get in touch with her. It’s all just weird things like that. Always be open. Also don’t feel like you have to say yes. If you get a job opportunity that comes your way and you know that you’re not going to be happy there, don’t take it. If you genuinely think this is not something you want to do and you just want to say yes to end the job search, that’s not great. Wait until something comes along that could be an opportunity for you and a good launching point. Even if it ends up being something you don’t like, that’s okay too. Don’t be afraid to change direction. That’s okay. Get out as soon as you can. Life is too short.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I think that what I’ll ultimately do, or continue to do, probably doesn’t exist right now. When I started college, the job that I had by the time I graduated did not exist. It just didn’t. When I graduated high school in 2006, the idea that you could be a paid writer and editor on the Internet, writing about fashion, going to all the same events that the print editors were going to, it was just unheard of. Those jobs just did not exist and if they did, they were very few and far between. My job at Teen Vogue didn’t exist until I started there. So I kind of have to imagine that what I do next doesn’t exist yet. The media industry is something that is just rapidly changing and the digital world really is expanding. I tell anyone who is looking to be a journalist now that there actually are more opportunities because magazine website staff keep growing and web-only places have fully fleshed-out mastheads now, which is great. I find it really encouraging.

Oct22

Startup Tips From Techweek NYC

Aspiring entrepreneurs, digital media specialists, investors and all-around tech lovers gathered at 82 Mercer Street on October 17th for Techweek, the first to launch in New York City (it was originally founded in Chicago in 2011). This NYC edition was full of summits, workshops, the LAUNCH startup competition and fashion tech runway show.

It was great to see so many passionate people following their dreams and who are eager to become their own bosses—many of them students or recent graduates. So this was definitely an event to take notes if you’re thinking of starting your own company, not to mention a great opportunity to network like crazy. Here’s a quick list of some of the key points that I learned from spending the day surrounded by such innovative and inspirational people with contagious entrepreneurial spirits.

1. Collaborate.

A great way to get your company out there is to work with other like-minded businesses. Whether that may be through some special cross-promotions or creative partnerships, there are so many different ways to do this. Think outside the box. This is how you can set yourself apart. An awesome example of a company coming up with cool collaborations is  Warby Parker, the affordable and stylish eyewear company that also helps others (for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need). One of their most popular collaborations was with the Man of Steel movie franchise, bringing the iconic Clark Kent-style frames to life. They’ve also teamed up with Ghostly, The Standard Hotel, and Pencils of Promise just to name a few. Through these projects, they’ve been able to put themselves on the map and are becoming a go-to eyewear destination, both online and off.

DSC_0666

Tim Riley, Director of Online Experience at Warby Parker

2. Be open.

I think the best way to thrive in such an innovative environment is to have an open mind. Sure, you have this fantastic idea, but always remember that things can change quickly. Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes said it best during his panel on making it in New York City, “Don’t get married to your idea, be open to redesign.” He wrote Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office, a book that takes a look into how the hip hop mogul took the business world by storm. Great ideas take time to develop and sometimes you have to go through quite a journey before reaching the final product—Jay-Z is no exception. Having an open mind makes this process much smoother.

DSC_0670

Kelly Reid (left) interviews Zack O’Malley Greenburg (right)

3. Build up a strong team.

Yes, you want to be independent, but everyone could use a solid support system. When starting up your own company, there’s a lot of planning (and stress) that goes into it, so it’s important to put together a reliable team of people you can depend on to help follow through with your vision. The co-founders of Hukkster, Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, agree that “when you start your own thing, it’s constant pounding the pavement. When you have a team, it’s nice to have people helping you along the way.” Hukkster is a shopping app that aims to help customers find the best deals. They formed their team from a network they created and got references of people who would be fitting for the company.

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Hukkster co-founders Erica Bell (centre) and Katie Finnegan (right)

For more info on Techweek, be sure to visit www.techweek.com

Oct08

Success Story: Landing The Job

I’m sure all of you have goals of getting hired after completing an internship. For many students in such a competitive industry, it’s hard to do. But this passionate and hardworking graduate managed to go from a Style Guru intern to Social Media Director at CollegeFashionista. Meet Sammy Luterbach and find out how she did it.

 

Sammy1Tell us a bit about yourself.

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to move to New York City and work in fashion. To skip over a lot of blood, sweat and tears and make a long story short, I did just that. Along the way, I discovered my love for cats, leopard print, and legal pads.

How did you first land your internship with CollegeFashionista?

Before I started school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I made a day trip to the city with friends to try to find a job. A boutique I wanted to work at wasn’t hiring, but one of the employees there wrote for CollegeFashionista. She asked to take my friend’s photo for the site, and I was immediately intrigued. I asked her about CollegeFashionista and checked it out the second I was near a computer (pre-iPhone; yikes!).

After finding out this was an online internship I could be a part of, I emailed Amy Levin, founder of CollegeFashionista, directly asking how I could get involved. We set up a phone interview, and the rest is history. I became a Style Guru one month after the site was launched four years ago.

What attracted you to this company?

I love fashion, and I love writing, so the fact that CollegeFashionista combined both initially attracted me to the company. The longer I worked and the more CollegeFashionista expanded though, I loved that I didn’t have to be in New York City to feel connected to the industry. By interning for CollegeFashionista, I could be in college in the middle of Wisconsin, work from my apartment and be a part of a fashion movement with other people like me.

What skills did you learn during your internship?

I always like writing, but CollegeFashionista helped me explore more of a journalistic approach. Although I’m not a strong photographer, I definitely learned more about photography and became better throughout the years. Most importantly for me, I learned all about social media. I specifically remember the conversation years ago where Amy convinced me to sign up for Twitter! On top of that, I improved my leadership skills, developed more of a business mind and even did some event planning. Through everything I did with CollegeFashionista, I gained confidence and a voice.

How long did you intern with CollegeFashionista?

Almost four years! I began in September of 2009 as a Style Guru and worked continuously until I moved to New York and started working for the company this past July.

Sammy3

What was the most valuable thing you took from your internship experience?

Be genuine. There are so many people who will be catty, competitive and show-offy to fight to the top, but that will only get them so far. Hard work and passion will get you to where you need to be. Also, never expect that you think you know it all. Before CollegeFashionista, I thought I wanted to be a designer! This internship helped me learn otherwise.

How did you turn your internship into a job?

Turning my internship into a job at CollegeFashionista wasn’t something I planned for, although I definitely dreamed about it! I was the first employee to be hired by the Levin family, so I didn’t have anyone to emulate. I just fully dedicated myself to CollegeFashionista and always asked for more work. I tried to go above and beyond what was asked of me. I became an important part of the team through my work and passion for the company.

What role do you have within the company now?

I am the Social Media Director and Editorial Assistant. I manage all of CollegeFashionista’s social media platforms, operate the newsletter, help with special features on the website and work with the Head Style Gurus to spread the word about CollegeFashionista on campuses all over. Plus, there are always extra projects that come up on a daily basis depending on what’s happening in the office and on the site!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment.

Dynamic. Everyday is different in the office, but it’s always fast-paced and full of energy. We work extremely hard but also manage to find the time for candy breaks and fun music.

What advice do you have for other interns?

Be genuine, work really hard and always say yes – you’ll figure out how to get it all done.

Oct03

Sharing Wisdom: Starting Up Your Startup

Many students have dreams of working for the biggest companies in the world, while others hope to become their own bosses and turn their business ideas into companies of their own. And in today’s society, it’s more doable than ever before with the incredible growth of the innovative startup world. There are tons of great ideas floating around out there and the hardest part is often getting them off the ground and up-and-running.

We asked five startup company founders for some words of advice from their own experiences that will hopefully be that extra push you need to bring your ideas to life.

 

Aime-Designer-Monica-MeiMonica Mei, Founder of Aime Luxury, The Shop Society and WhatImWear.In (@AimeLuxury)

“Entrepreneurs have strong spirits. It’s not only about your educational background or your area of expertise; it’s about having a good idea AND the hustle needed to succeed. It’s also about surrounding yourself with the right people – your team, mentors and collaborators will be your support system to see it through. Starting your own company is a rough yet rewarding road to travel on.”

 

Alex Kolodkin, Founder of Set Scouter c23756

(@AlexKolodkin)

“Find your drive and find a mentor. Let their experiences guide you and your passion propel you.”

 

 

 

julieJulie Smithson, COO of SmithsonMartin (@SmithsonMartin)

“Yes! You have something great but don’t think that someone will drop a cheque on the table right there for you.  If accepted into the community, you have to work for your raise and learn the steps to be a start up company. ”

 

 

 

Brennan McEachran, CEO and Founder of HitSend Inc. (@i_am_brennan)Brennan

“Tip 1: Get a great team – Working at a startup is tough. There are good days and there are bad days. Going through all of that alone isn’t something most people can do. Find a team of people to go through the roller coaster with you. When you’re having a bad day they’ll carry you through it. It’s needed.

Tip 2: Focus on Customers – Get your product in the hands of your customers as early as possible. Learn from them where your app falls short and where it’s doing fine. Focus your efforts on solving pain point for your customers — just remember to take feedback with a smile and a grain of salt. Don’t forget to stick with your vision (sometimes early customers can take you off course).

Tip 3: Revenue – As much as the startup world loves to talk about investing, the truth is revenues are far more important. The companies that are able to grow large without revenue are the exception not the rule. The rule is: cash is king. Keep an eye on your cash and you’ll be able to ride through the bumps… then when investors do show up you don’t have to give them your entire company!”

 

0d20992Noura Sakkijha, Co-Founder of Mejuri (@Mejuri)

“Having a great team and knowledgeable mentors make a big difference. You have to make sure that you are looking at things from different perspectives and having a strong support structure makes it ten times easier. There are so many experienced advisers who are willing to help young entrepreneurs so do not be scared to ask for help.”

 

 

Oct01

Intern Spotlight: Taylor Hicks

Taylor HicksName: Taylor Hicks

Intern Position Title: Styling Intern

Company Name: Emily Current and Meritt Elliott (MAUDE)

Location: Los Angeles, California

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Taylor Hicks. I am currently 18 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where I major in Merchandise Marketing. I was also recently chosen to be the Fashion Director of FIDM’s student-run magazine FIDM MODE. Finally, I have had four amazing internships in the past year at companies such as Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, Jimmy Choo, WhoWhatWear, and Teen Vogue.

 

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

I am currently interning with celebrity stylists and designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott. I landed this internship by essentially doing my research and frequently following up. I knew I had a deep interest in celebrity styling and therefore, wanted to gain valuable experience by interning for major stylists. I found Emily and Meritt’s official website and after doing a little digging, I came across a contact email for inquiries. I immediately sent an email to the contact, explaining my previous experiences and interest in styling. I had to follow up at least two times before I received a response. Once I heard back, I was given an interview a week later and got the internship on the spot! I have been interning for them ever since.

What attracted you to this company?

I have always had a passion for pop culture and styling for as long as I can remember. Also, I have been a massive fan and admirer of Emily and Meritt’s work with their denim line Current/Elliott and celebrity clients like Emma Roberts and Mandy Moore. That said, it was a no-brainer when it came time to decide which celebrity stylists I was most interested in interning for. Today, Emily and Meritt have a total of six celebrity clients, including Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Sophia Bush, Mandy Moore, Ashley Tisdale, and Nikki Reed. Their styling aesthetic greatly represents the young, experimental lady who is seen by many as a true trendsetter, which is exactly where my heart lies when it comes to celebrity styling.

What skills are you learning at this internship?

There are an abundance of skills that I have learned from interning for Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, which include time management, networking, project management, decision-making, etc. The skills that my internship has taught me are invaluable and have helped me grow in my professional career by allowing me to dive head first into the world of styling and maneuver my way through every situation.

What has been a highlight so far?

The highlight of my internship has been all of the individuals who I am fortunate enough to work with on a daily basis. From Emily and Meritt’s team and their celebrity clientele to the employees at the public relations companies; each of them have made my internship more incredible and educational. I pinch myself every single day because I have been given the opportunity to work with people who believe in me and trust me while allowing me to live out my dreams.

Most challenging part?

The most challenging part of my internship has to be accepting the fact that nothing is ever going to be perfect and that obstacles and set-backs are inevitable. I tend to be a perfectionist and I am a tad bit OCD when it comes to organization and execution so it has definitely been a challenge to accept that I will make mistakes and there are always problems. However, I have come to learn that being a stylist is so much more than just creating looks because a large aspect of the career is problem-solving, which is a challenge in its own right.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

A typical day for me as an intern is insanely busy and unpredictable, which I love. I usually begin my day at the studio, organizing all of the racks of clothes to be set up for a fitting or returned to PR companies. After I have returned all of the clothes and accessories to PR companies, I head back to the studio to get prepared for pick-ups of new clothes and accessories for the next fitting. Then, there are some days when we have fittings or photo shoots and my day is completely spent preparing for those or working at them. The most exciting part of my internship are the fittings and photo shoots because everything is so hands-on and in the moment. These two events are when I am able to learn the most and see how my bosses work their magic.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Stimulating.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

The best advice that I can give to someone that is just starting to look for an internship is to have a deep passion for what you’re doing and to never stop trying. You will always have to follow up with people because of their busy schedules and not everyone is going to tell you ‘yes.’ However, this should never stop you from chasing after your dreams because I know so many people who are living proof that ambition and hard work can take you wherever you want to go. Also, kindness is always in style and it will take you far in life because people who are nice are always remembered.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be in styling, whether it’s celebrity styling, editorial, or being a fashion director for a major department store. I love merchandise and that is exactly what I want my career to surround itself around. Ultimately, I want a career that allows me to indulge myself in every aspect of fashion and I think working at a magazine like Teen Vogue or a department store like Bloomingdale’s could allow for that.

Aug20

Sharing Wisdom: Finding Career Inspiration

As students who are on your journey towards finding a long-lasting career and landing the jobs of your dreams, it’s always reassuring to see others who are doing exactly what you hope to accomplish someday—or at least something similar. Having something or someone to keep you motivated and driven is beneficial in the long run because you’ll always strive for more and it’s that extra push that can help set yourself apart from the rest. We wanted to see where some students find their own career inspiration and get insight into what keeps them going in the right direction.

 

ErikaGrahamErika Graham, Asbury University

“This is kind of weird, but I find career inspiration through my social media accounts (Instagram especially). I use social media to get a glimpse into the lives of people whose jobs I want to have, and what they do on a day-to-day business. Since I want to get into the magazine industry, I follow all the editors at all of my favorite magazines—not just the famous ones like Nina Garcia or Joe Zee, but the closet assistants and editorial assistants as well. You’d be surprised at how many tips you can pick up from Instagrammed shots of an associate market editor’s visual inspiration board or seeing what news catches their eye on Twitter.”

 

Tere Cortes, University of Texas Pan AmericanTereCortes

“I find career inspiration from a lot of different sources. From my friends, to people who I work with. I try to ask as many questions as possible, to learn different perspectives of something. I also try to read interviews and advice from people who have already the job of their dreams.”

 

 

EricZaworskiEric Zaworski, Ryerson University

“The constant flux of the Internet, and the sheer amount of people online who have started careers with it makes it hard for me to concentrate on much else. I follow so many other writers, photographers and musicians who, thanks to the Internet, have made it possible to do what they love, find others who like what they’re doing and build tangible communities, networks and careers there.

The communicative power and reach of the Internet–the ability to share, post, connect and discover, all from a pocket-sized device–makes it an exciting time to be an artist, in any capacity. And we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible! That makes it the most exciting part.

I’m inspired by others online who have shaped their reality with the same tools I have on my desk and in my bedroom. It’s what keeps me motivated to continually push towards what I want to make out of my life.”

 

Jessica Tucker, Memorial University of NewfoundlandJessicaTucker

“I take the industries I have an interest in and learn as much as I can about them, immersing myself if possible. I am particularly inspired by successful people in these fields and read bio pieces about them in newspapers and magazines and follow them on social media platforms to gain a better understanding of what their day-to-day careers are like. I am also inspired by my friends. I think that surrounding yourself with genuine, hardworking individuals is a source of career inspiration in itself.”

 

 

SaraCastillo

Sara Castillo, University of Texas Pan American

“I always find career inspiration by reading the stories of successful people in my field. It is really interesting to hear how those people accomplished their goals by going from having nothing to finding their dream jobs. Makes me feel that I can create my own story as well and gives me motivation to overachieve, to find ways to be more involved in my career and to not settle with little things but to always aim higher. I believe that inspiration comes from your passion and how bad you want it.”

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 12.06.43 AM

Christina Dawes, The Ohio State University

“I find career inspiration from a variety of different sources. My instructors and favorite bloggers have helped shape and define my career aspirations. My peers have also inspired me with their fresh, innovative perspective on fashion. With the fashion industry forever growing, there are new job positions being created each day. My career path is inspired by the dynamic people who are using passion and originality to create their dream jobs.”

Jul30

Intern Spotlight: Hilary Taylor

DSC_0049Interviewee Name: Hilary Taylor

Intern Position Title: Planning Intern for AnnTaylor.com

Company Name: ANN Inc.

Location: New York City, NY

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

As a fourth year Retail Management student at Ryerson University, I have worked from the retail floor to the head office, soaking up every learning opportunity along the way. I am a passionate and driven student who is inspired by being told that something isn’t possible, or that I can’t do it. Hearing those words heightens my motivation and pushes me to my limits. Retail is what excites me, but I’m someone who finds happiness in accomplishments. I love finding a great deal while I’m shopping, running for an extra minute or mile, working that much harder. My passion for retail expands past the classroom, as I am the president of the Retail Students Association next year, and returning back to work at LOFT in the Eaton Center when I get back to Toronto. My eagerness to learn sets me apart from my peers, and I am continuously searching for new books to read, articles to share, advice to take and experiences to embrace that will further me in my career and my character.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

ANN Inc. actually came to Ryerson and did a presentation about the internship for fashion and retail students. After the presentation I approached one of the presenters and told her how amazing the opportunity seemed, that she’d be hearing from me and gave her my business card (and now that I know her well she said I made a good impression by doing that and she remembered me). The application was pretty extensive (it was offered on the ANNLOFT careers page) and I worked with our career counselor to perfect my resume. A recruiter from ANN actually called me to set up an interview before I submitted my application and to this day I’m not sure how they got my phone number without my application (it’s not on my business card!) — but we set up an interview, I submitted my application and completed my interview via Skype. A few days later, they called me and said I got the job! I then had to complete a bunch of visa paperwork and try to find an affordable apartment in NYC, which turned out to be a more difficult task than the actual application. For the month of May I offered to work at LOFT in Yorkdale (this was something I offered during the interview process to set myself apart from other applicants) in order to get a taste of the company culture, and a better taste of the Canadian market: a job to which I will be returning in September.

What attracted you to this company?Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 11.08.14 AM

ANN Inc. has a great company culture. It’s all about women understanding women, and creating product for women. I really liked that and it is definitely something that I can relate to. Internships in retail planning are also very hard to come by in Canada so I jumped at the opportunity—and obviously the location played a big part in the decision!

What skills are you learning while at your internship?

I have learned so many things during my time in NYC and at ANN Inc, both personal and professional. I’ve learned a lot about working with people, and when to keep my mouth shut! I have learned so much about the retail business and how customers can tell you so much about the positives and negatives of your business. My excel and math skills have definitely improved as well.

Can you describe what a normal day is for an intern at your company?

I work a LOT on excel! A LOT! I consistently work on mini projects, analyzing metrics to make business decisions. For example, I will look at current under-performing products (based on retail metrics like stock to sales, inventory count and gross margin) and decide on appropriate markdowns. I am in charge of keeping the team up to date on certain metrics that change every day and updating certain methods of communication. I also update several spreadsheets where we are testing different things and how the customers react. For example, we test different “free shipping” amounts to see which amount the customer resonates with best. I sit in on really interesting meetings with company executives, which is a really great experience to be able to watch them in action. The internship program hosts lunch and learns, where we hear from one company executive at a time about their experiences and advice for us entering the workforce. We are also working on a project with other interns so I am in charge of creating short term and long term plans for our new business and forecasting dollar and unit sales. All of these things make up a typical day!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Feminine.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

Show your eagerness to learn and your passion will also shine. One common piece of advice I’ve heard is that your passion shines through when you’re not trying to show it (or else it comes off fake). Also, don’t be afraid to set yourself apart. Yes, it may be awkward going up after a presentation to hand over your business card, or to speak up about something that is unique about you, but that’s what makes you memorable and brings you to the top of the list for possible hires.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

I have a blog full of pictures that I find all over the Internet. If I had the time I’d love to have a blog with pictures that I’ve taken…but maybe when school is done. The pictures are of outfits that I love, and that I think encompass my style. I love seeing new ideas of ways to wear the clothes I already have! I also love quotes and song lyrics. I’m one of those girls that writes every single quote and lyric down that connects with me and any time I’m having a bad day or just looking for a little pick-me-up, I go back to that list.

What’s next for you?

I return to Toronto in three weeks and start getting ready for school! I am the president of the Retail Students association at my school this year, so I am already starting to get ready for a crazy year. I’m hoping to move into a job in retail planning or allocation when I graduate. My ideal places to work would be Winners or HBC, but who knows! I may end up back in NYC.

What’s your dream job?

My dream is to become the CEO of a large retail company (like Bonnie Brooks!) but to move up at a company through the buying/merchandising path. I’d love to be a DMM (divisional merchandise manager) and oversee the bigger picture of buying for shoes, accessories or handbags. (I’m an accessories girl all the way!)