At school you may have been chastised by your parents to “focus” and “get on with it!” At university or TAFE you may have reveled in the unique pressure of “pulling an all-nighter” to make deadline with a greater emphasis on consequences of inaction. Now we are all grown up and potentially face deadlines throughout the working day, what happens when we procrastinate or submit below par work? At the end of the day, many of us are not brain surgeons or rocket scientists however our reputations and livelihoods continue to depend on meeting or in fact exceeding expectations.
Attention to detail, dynamic client relations and being well organised remain firm favourites for Human Resources and employers worldwide. With the advent of social media, the immediacy and somewhat informal nature of the various platforms have blurred the lines – it is virtually accepted that typos and random “predictive text” adjustments generate some strange responses and posts at times however, if your work continuously features errors that make it hard to understand or interpret, you may be judged with having a lower IQ than is fair. It takes skill to be succinct and really maximise Twitter or allow a picture to tell a thousand words with Instagram.
A couple of my industry colleagues are in the position of seeking an intern to assist with the administrative side of their growing businesses. The excitement of bringing someone on board to assist in the behind the scenes aspects that would enable them to concentrate on strategy and client meetings has been diluted by the process. From receiving applications with names misspelled or receiving applications with competitors’ business names instead of theirs – to simply not following instructions such as submitting example work, connecting via several platforms to demonstrate competency or sending through applications which are hard to follow and lacking a covering letter explaining their suitability for the role. Many have blown it by not doing their homework. They have wasted their own time and my colleagues’.
The consequences of their lack of attention to detail and demonstrated care are that they are not forging a sense of trust – if they are unable to follow basic instructions in order to secure work, there is no way you would let them near the phones or computer, representing your business. Copy and pasting may seem the easiest way to do repetitive tasks but be careful! Attention to detail is vital. Ensure you get the employer/recruiter’s name and place of business correct and customise a response detailing why you would add value to their company, backed by examples. Same goes for why a publication should read your press release and feature your product.
The realities of interning for a fashion, magazine or public relations company are often far removed from expectations – you will not be sitting F’row with a dog on your lap in oversized sunnies or rubbing sunscreen on bronzed Adonises. You will be updating databases, making or ordering coffee, chasing RSVPs, stuffing gift bags, paying invoices with suppliers – for FREE! There are a lot of mind-numbing but essential administrative tasks no matter what level of management you achieve and we all have to start at the bottom to learn the ropes – the very first lesson is nailing the application and then following through with your claims of being a highly connected and analytical social media guru.
While an amazing fast tracking stepping stone for someone cracking into the industry, where experience and connections are as vital as your grades, you will be pushed to meet deadlines, bring passion and initiative to the workplace and if you are lucky and find a mentor, you will learn a hell of a lot about strategy while making vital connections with media and within your chosen industry. You will not be Samantha from Sex and the City, nor will you be dining at Catalinas or wearing head to toe Gucci; you may not even have the opportunities Andie from The Devil Wears Prada experienced (especially the access to the “Fashion Cupboard” Mecca. There may be a few freebies left over from promotions if you fully embrace the opportunity to learn and grown and gain experience. It is completely up to you – what do you want to be when you grown up?
Make it easy for teachers, employers and clients to make an informed decision and check your work before hitting send/post!
Intern girl on phone: http://www.elleuk.com/var/elleuk/storage/images/style/what-elle-wears/tuesday-17th-july/charlotte-lewis-elle-fashion-intern/14000067-1-eng-GB/charlotte-lewis-elle-fashion-intern_TA.jpg
Intern girl writing: http://www.canada.com/life/6738361.bin
Drowning in paperwork: http://fashionlaw.foxrothschild.com/uploads/image/MessyDesk(1).jpg
Girl in Fashion Cupboard: http://www.seventeen.com/cm/seventeen/images/n816551701_824759_434-xlg.jpg
Magazine girls fighting: http://www.seventeen.com/fashion/blog/the-17-fashion-interns-give-yo