Someone from university asked me the other day how I find my internships within the fashion industry, so I thought I would do a post on how I look for creative opportunities. There's tonnes of advice online on how and where to get work experience, but not much relevant to young people living in Scotland and the UK, so here we go, 10 easy ways to find and apply for internships that have worked brilliantly for me!
1. Use Creative Scotland
The organisation Creative Scotland has a fantastic opportunities tool where employers post jobs, internships, workshops, events and calls for participation.
2. Networking Events
Networking is an invaluable way to meet people in the creative industries, as it's about who you know, not what you know. If you don't know where to start, try attending events, such as blogger meet ups, press days, 'Creative Circles' or 'Talking Heads', fashion shows, exhibitions and launch parties.
3. Pounding the Pavement
I have found most of my employment the old fashioned way- walking miles and miles round all parts of the city with a CV in hand, going into relevant places and talking face-to-face with people. You never know, your dream company might want an intern just like you.
4. Get Business cards
It doesn't matter if you don't technically have a business, you need a card stating in simple terms what you do (whether it be 'fashion blogger' or 'art student' or anything in between!) that you can hand out to influential people so they can easily contact you and more importantly, have something physical to remember you by!
5. Cold Calling
Whether you prefer phoning or emailing people, it never hurts to hunt down the contact details of the organisations you want to work for and simply send them a message saying you'd like to get involved.
6. Have a Portfolio
I say portfolio in a fluid sense, meaning it can be anything that shows a varied and relevant collection of your previous creative projects achievements, such as a well written CV, personal website, or folder of work.
7. Social Media
Follow your favourite companies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with any vacancies or opportunities, and also to stay informed on their latest projects so when you contact them, you have relevant comments and suggestions to make.
8. Create a Blog
This isn't a necessity of course, but personally I have found it particularly useful for looking at freelance writing opportunities as it gives me a bank of posts to refer to, and it also keeps me up to date with the fashion world, and allows me to connect with people of similar interests. If you are particularly computer savvy it is also a chance to show employers your IT and design skills.
9. Comb through Job Sites
It's not often that websites like Gumtree or Indeed post relevant creative internships, but you do get the occasional opportunities with pursuing. Also, try out Fashion Workie, it has lots of stuff for fashion lovers, mostly in London but sometimes elsewhere, and also new site FYI aka Find Your Intern.
10. Aim High
I'm no stranger to low self-esteem, but when it comes to bettering my chances for a successful career in the creative world, I big myself up, big time. I often see job postings that are slightly, or VERY, above my experience or qualification level, but I go for them anyway, because quite frankly, one day I'll get lucky, and it's always interesting to hear feedback if you get rejected anyway!