By Alice Hindalov
For students who want to work in the ever-changing and highly competitive fashion industry, getting ahead means snagging one of the sought-after industry internships, whether in publications, PR or fashion houses. This is no easy task, and the beautiful and experienced people at the Fashion and Business Association (FBA) are here to help. Here is what you need to know if you missed their Bootcamp event last Monday.
Most freshmen come to school with little to no experience, but that shouldn’t discourage you, says Co-President and Gallatin Senior Cruz Granados, who has been interning in the fashion industry since fall of his freshman year. “Show how your babysitting experience is valuable,” – someone is trusting you with a human life, after all, so you can add punctual, responsible and trustworthy to your list of attributes. Add relevant classes and projects to your resume. Use your cover letter to let the company know how knowledgeable you are about what they do, and highlight your language, Office, Adobe or other skills. Bianca Minuto and Liz Smith, also members of FBA’s e-board, underscore that most companies are willing to take chances on you based on your attitude and willingness to learn. “They want you there,” says Smith, and it’s true: according to an Internships.com survey conducted in December 2012, almost 70% of companies depend on past interns for new talent. NYU students, known for our independence and maturity, are in high demand.
Of course, Granados and the e-board members are quick to remind the listeners that no amount of luck can outweigh hard work and being proactive. Join mailing lists, stay up to date on companies you’re interested in, find ways to reach out. Liz Smith suggests emailing the generic “info@” email address that many companies provide on the “Contact Us” or “Careers” page and requesting an informational interview. Tell them how thrilled you would be to speak with someone from the department you want to join. If you don’t have a preference, ask if someone can help you figure out which would you best. If you don’t know where to start looking for an internship, Minuto and Smith strongly recommend you visit NYU’s very own Wasserman Center for Career Development, the best and most undervalued resource at NYU. Apart from helping you find an internship or even a job, staff at Wasserman can help you identify how to turn your strengths and interests into a career, work on your resume and even practice the interview. And while even FBA couldn’t tell us the formula for success, being well-prepared, knowledgeable, and confident are definitely key ingredients.