31/05/2016

Getting an Internship in PR Beauty | Lessons Learnt

After nearly giving up on internships this summer, thinking I'd left it too late and put all my eggs in one basket, I thought I'd have a browse on the web and try to find a PR internship in either beauty, fashion or lifestyle. I found a fantastic website Fashion Workie and applied to as many as I could.
Lace Black H&M Dress
Dress: H&M
Shoes: Topshop


Lace Black H&M Dress



I probably applied to around ten and thought I'd give it a rest for one evening (this was at 1am) and went to sleep; not really expecting to hear anything from any of them. I think that finding an internship in your first year and second year is a lot harder than once you've finished your degree. Most places are looking for graduates to fill these roles (even if they're unpaid) and since a lot of them don't specify what they are after, it's hard to know what to apply for.

SS16 H&M Topshop


However, to my surprise I had an email the next day from a PR company in Bromley asking for my available dates and soon asking for an interview. I was thrilled! The company was only a twenty minute bus ride door to door from Scott's house so it really was ideal.

I stayed at his the night before and as I was unpacking my bag I realised I had foolishly left my dress at home ( what is wrong with me!), so I had to run into town before the interview at 11 and grab a dress. Luckily I had spotted one in H&M a little while ago and so knew I could just go in there and pick it up.
SS16 Topshop Shoes


The day of the interview comes, H&M have the dress, bingo. I quickly get changed in the Bromley shopping centre toilets (the class) and pegged it to the interview. Fortunately the office is located right next to the shopping centre, which will be great during my breaks, not so great for my wallet however.
SS16 H&M Black Lace dress

The interview came and I felt so much more prepared than the last one. I had a rough idea of what would be asked and knew what my answers would be. The ladies interviewing me where lovely and one even went to my old school! I even told them my little dress story at the end as they where complimenting it. ( Not my usual style but I felt the interview went well and it was the right environment). So an hour or so afterwards I receive an email from them asking to do a press release example for Olympia beauty an event in October which hosts beauty blogging awards, competitions but is predominately a tradeshow for brands to sell their products to salons and clients. Long story short they liked my press release example and now I'll be interning for Catalyst PR over the summer!


And I'm so excited to be doing this, I can't wait to learn and experience working in an office. A think there are a few lessons to learn from my experience:

1. It's never too late to apply and change your game
I thought all internships would be gone by the time I applied but a lot were still available. The trick is to just keep at it and keep applying, if you're getting no where with your applications take a step back and question why you're not getting the results you want. It's very easy to blame everything and everyone else; ' people are looking for graduates' ' They want people with more experience'. This may be true but if this is the case think how you are going to solve it, not using it to excuse yourself. I believe that changing my cover letter and approach really helped me.

2. Learn from mistakes, don't give up because of them.
Not getting anything from my first interview was naturally a really big knock for me. But I knew what I had done wrong and knew how I was going to go about it differently this time around. And it seemed to work! So again just take a step back and learn from previous experiences.

3. Don't get desperate
I understand that this point may not be for everyone, but really think about the internship and if you actually want to do it for the return. My internship is unpaid but my expenses are covered and I'll get a lunch allowance. It's very convenient for me because it's so close to Scott's house meaning I can spend my evenings with him and have a short commute. Considering the placement is 3 months, realistically I wouldn't have been able to do it had expenses not been covered. I've had friends who have gone on work placement, unpaid without covering travel costs and they've regretted it. Really think about whether you can accept a work placement.

It goes without saying that finding internships are hard to get and it's so easy to feel discouraged. I'm fully aware that my advice won't apply for all sectors but I really think that not giving up is the answer.
SS16 Topshop Block heels

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