Being a junior at Ohio State the first thing all of my fellow business major friends were asking when we got back from summer break was "Have you started looking for internships for next summer?" and this was back in September. Most companies start hiring summer interns as early as August and for some reason I felt so behind everyone else. The stress of finding an internship is one that most college students go through. Even if you are a second year its something you should start thinking about. Trying to find an internship in the fashion and retail industry has been really difficult, it's such a competitive market. Since I am not a fashion major making myself stand out against fashion major for a merchandising opportunity is tough. So here are some tips I've picked up since looking for an internship.
1. If you have connections use them
If you have any connections no matter how small use them. Thats your way in the door, talking to people is so important. Whether they are family friends or your friends in college all you need is the email of an HR or Talent acquestion rep for that company. Shoot them an email expressing your interest and attach your resume. Even if they don't have openings now they will hopefully keep you in their records if they have something in the future.
2. Be diligent
If you apply and haven't heard anything back in over a week reach out again. I have heard from a lot of HR reps that they have never received a letter requesting an interview or having interest in their company. So if you have the time send a letter because during this time they get tons of emails asking for opportunities and a letter will really make you stand out compared to other candidates.
3. Update your LinkedIn
Make sure your LinkedIn is fresh and updated so that HR reps can see the best version of your professional self. Also make lots of connections so that you can see all the of the people you can reach out to in inquire about opportunities.
4. Join Organizations and Programs
If you have no connections join organizations or programs where you can make connections. I don't have many connections in the fashion and retail industry so I am currently in an Industry Immersion program here at Ohio State through the Fisher college of Business. I am in the retail portion of the immersion program so for the first semester they bring in people in the retail industry such as HR reps, CFO's, and managers. This program brought in companies from Cheryls cookies to Express and have truly given me to talk to real people who have provided me professional opportunities.
5. Know where to look for opportunities
Linkedin is always the first place I check for job opportunities. I also check the company career websites of companies I am interested in as well as Handshake, and BOF (Business of Fashion). I check these sites at lease once a week because new opportunities are constantly popping up and you don't want to get lost in the shuffle of applications.
I hope this helped you guys out Good luck on the internship hunt and thank you so much for reading!!!