Find us on Google+ sophielouisew_: The Intern Post | How To Find An Internship & How To Make The Most Of It

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Intern Post | How To Find An Internship & How To Make The Most Of It

recently, i've had a lot of positive feedback on my 'Life As A Beauty PR Intern' series, and a few of you expressed an interest on a post about how i went about getting myself an internship which is what I'll be doing today. apologies to those of you who this doesn't interest, but if i can help just one person bag themselves a internship then i feel this post has been worthwhile. it will be half about how to get yourself an internship/how i went about getting mine, and half on what to do once you've got your internship and things that i have learnt from mine. 

How I Got My Internship
i made my mind up that i definitely wanted to go for an internship in fashion/beauty PR, but the way i went about it would work for an internship in any sector you want your internship in. before anything else, i just googled both 'Fashion PR Companies in London' and 'Beauty PR Companies in London' and collected all the e-mail addresses of them. i wasn't fussed who their clients were, where in London they were based - i just wanted experience in the job i want to do. obviously if London isn't your local city and PR isn't what you're after then just change this for what you want to do and where abouts and you'll soon compile a good list of contacts. 
then you need to get e-mailing. i e-mailed almost each and every company that i came across, whether they had current vacancies or not; nine times out of ten, internship/work experience isn't advertised in fashion/beauty as there's such high demand for it - you need to ask! in your e-mail be precise and to the point:
1. if you're studying a degree then always say this and if/how the internship and experience will benefit you 
2. state when you are looking for an internship (e.g. Summer 2014/January-March 2014), how long you are prepared to work for, and where you are based
3. mention your blog (this is obviously more for those of you after a fashion/beauty internship). it will give them a good idea of the sort of person you are, but i also found with PR that they knew I had an appreciation of how they work
4. say why you want to work in your particular industry and what experience you have/what you think you can bring to the company 
5. end it with 'I look forward to hearing from you' as I found companies felt more obliged to reply!
and then it's the waiting game. if there's a company that you're desperate to work for, don't just give up. send a follow-up e-mail asking if they received your previous e-mail as you're still interested in a position with them. if you still get nothing, three e-mails is the limit - something along the lines of 'i hope my last couple of e-mails have reached you, and would love to be contacted in the future if any internship opportunities arise'.
once you start getting replies, it will more or less go from there - interviews, inductions etc!
another great way to find internships is through Twitter - follow PR (or whichever companies are relevant to you) accounts as they will occasionally ask for internships. if you're after a Fashion internship then follow @UKFashionIntern  who are constantly advertising for both paid and unpaid positions. 

What I've Learnt and Think You Need To Know
the biggest thing i think you need to know is that you need to be prepared to work unpaid. if you can get a paid internship, then you're extremely lucky. a lot of places i found will pay at least something towards your travel (usually London Underground Zones 1-6) and some lunch aswell. i was lucky and got £50 travel expenses a week which they let me put towards my petrol too, which leads me on to my next point... you need to be fairly prepared to travel. i'm based in Essex, which isn't a million miles away from London - or so I thought until i started commuting. i live close enough that it's handy for day trips, but soon a 40 minute drive, 10 minute walk and then over an hour on the tube twice a day soon takes it toll but this will just show your employer some dedication. if you put in this effort, they are potentially more likely to up your travel budget to accommodate how hard you're trying. 
the next few things i think are probably more particular to the internship i did, but i completely think they will apply to an internship within any PR company or the majority of internships which are fashion/beauty based. 
1. Dress comfy - Fashion is not the way forward. to me, fashion and beauty have always come hand in hand and i sort of assumed i needed to put in maximum effort in the fashion/beauty stakes, but i soon learnt this is not the case. comfort & practicality are key - you'll possibly be up and down stairs, getting your hands covered in newspaper print/dust from boxes and deliveries, and sitting at a desk for a long time sometimes just calls for leggings, converse and a tee! (if you want to see what I wore for the majority of my internship, i blogged weekly with a few OOTD's, and you can find the links to my Intern Series in my product directory)
2. Be early, and stay late - it shows dedication. obviously this depends on train times, and my last train home happened to be pretty close to home time so I couldn't stay, but I was always at least 20 minutes early. 
3. Don't be offended if you are asked to re-do something - you will not be expected to walk into the company and be able to do things to the standard they have built up and are used to when they've probably been doing it for years. when i was doing press releases i was always asked to make amendments, but this was helping me in the long-run as i was being taught how to do things to an industry standard. 
4. Don't feel disheartened and as though you are just doing small tasks - Every little job that you do will be helping someone in the office in some way, you will never being doing a task just to keep you busy, it will always have a purpose! 
5. Always ask for jobs to do - i learnt this the hard way by keeping quiet when i first started, but always ask! again, it shows enthusiasm and that you are efficient with what you've been doing. 
6. Get involved - i never felt like 'just the intern' when i was working; i was happily made to feel like part of the usual team and found that getting involved really helped! don't keep quiet in the corner; join in the office conversations because your input will be just as valued as anyone elses. 

i know this has been a horrendously long and wordy and rambly post, but i really hope this can help some of you in any way! if you have any more questions on how to go about getting an internship or what i've learnt from mine then please feel free to ask either in a comment, or tweet me (@sophielouisew_) as i'm pretty likely to reply straight away and you don't need to keep coming back here to check if i've replied. 
if you've made it to the end of this post, congratulations! 


  1. Thanks for doing this post! I would love to intern somewhere in the future and this really helped! xx

  2. Always be useful ! That tip helped me so much during my time as assistant stylist. When you do, you get noticed. Great post Sophie:)

  3. Great advice! Thank you! ..X

  4. I've tagged you to do the this or that tag it would mean alot if you was able to do it

    brogan x

  5. Such a great post, definitely something I'd like to do in the future and so this was really helpful! :)


  6. Great post, I found my internship via twitter and I am loving it!

  7. These are some great tips! I'll definitely keep them in mind :)