My name is Morgan Peterson and I am currently a rising senior at North Carolina State University. I am majoring in Fashion and Textile Management with a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing. I spent this semester at the London College of Fashion in the UK studying Fashion Business. I took classes in Public Relations, Fashion Entrepreneurship, and Social Media and Online Communications. While I was in London I also had the opportunity to work and dress shows during London Fashion Week.
I had the most amazing time and it was so hard to leave early.
Throughout my time at university I always imagined that the summer after my junior year I would have a huge corporate internship at a big fashion label in New York City or London. Little did I know that a worldwide virus would interrupt everyone’s lives.
I quickly realized that in order to have a killer internship I was going to have to get really creative and prove myself.
Here’s what I did…
I went on Instagram and found a ton of companies and brands that interested me. They ranged from boutiques, brands, marketing firms, literally anything fashion related – you name it. I probably reached out to 80 different people. I emailed all of them my cover letter and told them what I could bring to the table. I told them I wanted to help, and I told them how I could help them during this uncertain time.
My cover letter started with,
I am reaching out to express interest in assisting your company during the pandemic. I understand that now is a stressful time for businesses as circumstances are changing daily. I believe that I can assist your company in marketing, social media management, and customer relationship management. I am very flexible and adaptable which should be an asset in this new normal in which we are living.
After explaining what I could bring to the table, I then went into more about myself and my experience in the fashion industry. I ended with bidding goodwill and attached a copy of my resume and pressed send. Slowly, I started hearing back from people. Some said they really appreciated me reaching out, but they weren’t looking for anyone because their internship programs were cancelled. It turns out that the smallest places I reached out to were the most willing to work with me.
Through this process I now have four internships. I’m a Public Relations Assistant for a small PR firm, a Social Media Intern at a luxury handbag company based in Rome, a Marketing and PR Intern at a new styling concierge service, and a Marketing Sales Associate at a local women’s clothing boutique.
I found that the only way to get where I want to be professionally is by reaching out and creating opportunities for myself. My father has always told me, “Morgan, you have to create your own destiny.” Those words have never resonated more with me. Although the current situation has brought so much stress and hardship into everyones’ lives, I have been able to find ways to function and work in this new normal.
My advice to people still looking for internships is to not give up. Even if companies don’t have an internship position for you I can assure you that they will be very impressed with the fact that you are reaching out. Make sure you write down when you email people so that you can circle back to them if they don’t respond within a week or so.
Examples of how to spend down time productively
I just completed a Digital Marketing course through the Business of Fashion. I gained vital information about how to grow a brand digitally and I have been able to apply what I have learned to all of my internships. I also am in the midst of taking a Fashion Styling and Image Making course through the Business of Fashion.
I strongly encourage you to take courses similar to these because if you’re not able to get real life experience through an internship, at least be proactive in your research in your field. I have even found a college student who is starting up his own fashion label. I am currently helping him source and manufacture his products as well as assisting in Marketing, PR, and Social Media Management.
There are opportunities all around you, you just have to chase them! Good luck.
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