October 21, 2011

Intern Diaries: Some Advice

Hey guys! My name is Christina Corrado and I am currently a Corporate Sales Intern. I cannot reveal where I intern but for the purposes of this column I will refer to it as Company X.   

I don’t have class on Wednesdays, so every-other week I intern from 9 AM – 5PM. This is not the first time I have worked at Company X; I interned there two summers ago for a month while I was still in high school. Recently, tons of people have asked me how I got my internship at this well known company. Honestly, in the fashion industry, who you know is KEY! I have learned that networking and making connections with people who work anywhere in the fashion industry is extremely beneficial. This is how I obtained my internship; I found out that the CEO of the company lived in my town and got to work! Basically, I stalked her (not literally though) and somehow managed to get her email address (LinkedIn is a perfect tool for this). The next day, I composed a professional email to her. In the email, I introduced myself, told her how I found out about her, and presented her with my resume. She simply forwarded my email to someone in the sales department who, later, asked me in for an interview!

I enjoyed my summer so much at Company X that I reached out to my contacts again last summer for another internship. Unfortunately, after my interview, the company informed me that I did not get the internship. Right away, I followed up with a “thank you” note, but also asked them what I could work on in the future/what advice they had for me so that, next time around, I would obtain the internship. Much to my surprise, the woman who interviewed me told me that she was very impressed by my follow-up and she saw that I had clear commitment to the company and obtaining the internship. By sending this simple email back to her after I was denied the internship, I was offered an internship once a week during the upcoming school year while I was at Fordham (because she knew Fordham was close to New York City). This leads to another piece of advice I have for you all…

Email, email, email! Don’t overdo it but, for example, if you send your resume to someone in the company and they don’t respond to you, keep sending it! It can’t hurt at all; it can only make you seem more dedicated. It is not hard for someone to accidentally just delete your email or throw out your resume, but make sure they know you want the job or internship! By following up after my Company X interview, they saw how dedicated I was, so now I am lucky enough to intern there!

Once again, always take advantage of contacts that you make and the people you meet. No matter where you meet someone, they can most likely be beneficial to you! For example, say you are out in New York City at a restaurant and meet a publishing associate for Vogue and you simply find out their name – use it to your advantage! Do a little research on them (again, LinkedIn), find out their email address, and email them as soon as you can! Make sure you include something like, “….It was a pleasure meeting you last night at …” and make sure to reintroduce yourself so that they remember you.

Hope you all find this advice helpful! It certainly has worked for me!

Keep reading to find out more about my internship this semester!

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