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Guest Post: Tassels and Toiles Talks Interning

Hi there! I'm Em from Tassels and Toiles; Martha kindly let me do a guest post for her blog, which is really exciting! I mainly blog about fashion and lifestyle, with a bit of beauty thrown in here and there, however more recently I've been blogging about my interning experiences. So today, I'm going to be talking about the pros and cons of interning.

Before we get stuck into the good stuff I'll tell you a little bit about myself.. I'm studying Fashion Design and Marketing and University, with the hopes of going into Fashion PR and Marketing. I started my placement year at the start of June and since then I've interned at 3 different companies. If you want to read more in depth about my interning experience then this post is for you (shameless self promo there). I've interned at a small brand in Huddersfield as a studio assistant, Temperley London as a wholesale assistant and now I'm interning for Charlotte Mills as a PR and Marketing Intern. I think that's enough about me; so on with the pros and cons!

The Pros of Interning:

You’ll learn so much if you put the right amount of effort in, whether it’s just little tips and tricks you’ll pick up along the way. At Temperley I got to listen in to one of their marketing meetings and it was so interesting to hear what they were discussing. Since being at my current placement I’ve learnt so many things, such as how to put together a newsletter, as well as getting more practice writing press releases; we’re starting to organise some events and I’ve learnt so much more about shoes, and how they’re put together. All little things like this are really useful to know, and they’re things that you’ll only pick up through experience. 

You’ll meet so many amazing people, that are in the industry you want to get into. Which means you’ll hopefully have a few people you could get in contact with after your internship/ after you graduate! 

You might get the chance to travel. Whether you manage to go abroad on your internship or just somewhere different in the country you’re in, the experience will be amazing and it looks so good on your CV to not only say that you were interning but you travelled as well. I was lucky enough to go to Paris with one of my internships, which was amazing. The days were so long we were getting up at 6 to get to the showroom and not leaving till gone 8 o’clock but the experience was incredible. I also interned for a few weeks in London and I’m hoping to go to a wedding fare (with my current placement) in October. So even if it’s just travelling with the team for a day it’s a great opportunity and you should jump at the chance.

The experience looks amazing on your CV, compared to graduates with no experience on their CV it will really make yours stand out. Also if you’re hoping to get into the fashion industry it’s something I can’t stress enough. The competition is crazy and so many people have interned, the more experience you have the better chances of getting your dream job! You’ll have so much fun interning, it’s so exciting to be out in the real world of working for a while.. It’s completely different to being in full time education.

The Cons of Interning:

When it comes to interning, it’s more than likely going to be an unpaid which means you’re probably going to have to get a part time job on the side of it. You’re going to be poor and tired the whole time, but the experience is worth it. Another point I thought was worth mentioning, if you’re taking a placement year you get next to no student loan. You get like 1/3 of it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re on an unpaid placement (not living at home) or a paid placement (not living at home) you still get the same amount. 

When most people decide to 'intern', they expect it’s going to be unpaid so look for placements local to home; however in my case this wasn’t an option. I searched high and low for a placement back home but I couldn’t find one that was suitable. The only 2 that I found were PR for a lady that knits in her spare time, and PR for a hairdressers that branched out into men’s street wear. They just weren’t appropriate enough for me, so I’ve had to stay in Huddersfield (where I go to uni) and my parents are helping out a great deal with my rent. I’ve actually really enjoyed living on my own so far, ask me again in 6 months and I might have changed my mind.. but if you’re somebody that gets home sick easily this may be hard for you.

If you don’t enjoy it, then it’s hard to put in 100% especially if you’re not getting paid for it. I found this really hard with my first placement, I wasn’t what I wanted to do, I didn’t feel like I was learning anything and I found it really boring. So it was hard to stick at it, but I did, just until I found a placement that was more suitable!

If you’ve taken a placement year (like me) and you’re interning in something you love, but it isn’t the focus of your university, course you’ll probably struggle a bit more than other people when you go back to university for your final year. For example, I’m studying Fashion Design, with Marketing and Production and I’m doing a Marketing and PR internship. So compared to my friends that are doing fashion design internships or more production/garment tech placements I’m probably going to struggle more when it comes to the technical side of my degree, when I head back after placement year. This is something countless people have told me, but I’d prefer to be learning and furthering the skills I want to use after university rather than the skills I’ll just need for my degree, if that makes sense?

There is a lot to think about when wanting to start interning, not just money but are you going to have the motivation, time and energy to make the whole thing worth while? If the answer is yes then go for it! Jump in with both feet and put in your all. I promise you’ll have the most amazing time and you’ll learn so much. 

With Love; Em 

I'll leave my social media links down here, just incase you want to check them out!

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