Education Information

Finding a Fashion Industry Internship

In the search for a fashion industry career, the internship is key. Securing a fashion internship is so important, in fact, that many internships are built into educational programs and you can't graduate without one. What's the scoop on internships, and what can you do to get one?


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Education Information

Picturing a fashion internship in New York could have you conjuring images of Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wore Prada. While your own internship experience may not be as whimsical, it could be necessary for your success.

Varied Fashion Internship Ideas
Though thoughts of an internship might have you picturing slaving away over a drawing board or sketchpad, internships aren't just for aspiring fashion designers. In a recent Web posting searching for interns, design house Elle Tahari offered opportunities in the following areas:

  • Design
  • Production
  • Sales
  • Merchandising
  • Fabric

While some internships are paid or offer a stipend, most fashion internships in New York trade work experience for college credit. In essence, your internship is a master class at an established design house.

A Day in the Life of a Fashion Intern
Responsibilities vary widely depending on the internship you choose. Here are just a few typical duties for interns in the fashion industry:

  • Merchandising interns: analyzing pages of sales figures and update fabric books
  • Design interns: research design trends and create mock-ups
  • Sales interns: visit stores in the area and assist with team selling reports

While nobody should expect interns to be perfect at their work, you may be expected to persevere through long hours and strict assignments. As you pay your dues in the industry, you have the chance to impress the hiring managers who could be responsible for your future career. 

Hard Work in the Fashion World
No matter what your goals or specialties are, expect to work hard every day with a fashion internship. The internship can be a solid step on the road towards making connections and working in the industry, and students often find themselves proving their mettle through long nights and thankless tasks. One might compare a fashion internship to a medical student's year in residency.

Getting a Fashion Internship
Here are a few simple tips to get you started:

  • Stay organized: Most internships require a certain application date and paperwork including transcripts and proof of enrollment. Stay on top of these details and you should be less likely to miss a deadline.
  • Get professional: A good cover letter can make your application stand out from the rest. Find out if your school has examples on-hand of sample cover letters to help you understand the writing style.

Although educational program or internship cannot guarantee a particular career or salary, the connections you make during a fashion internship can prove useful years down the road when you return for job interviews. In the fashion industry, name recognition can go a long way.

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