Intern Advice: Tips From the ELLE Canada Editors

January 18, 2012

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately asking for advice on how to snag that coveted fashion internship. While I’m far from an expert on ‘how to succeed in fashion’ and I’m not even sure what I’m doing half the time, I’ve gotten some pretty great advice from the ELLE Canada editors that I want to share with you.

When you start an internship, it’s easy to feel completely lost and totally dumbfounded. Especially if it’s your first one. You’ll always be wondering what the editors look for in a potential hire, what they think of you and your work, how you can do better, how you can do better than the intern before you and the intern after you… this line of thought is never-ending.

So even though you might not be able to quiet that self-doubt and self-questioning for good, I hope these little nuggets of wisdom straight from the ELLE Canada editors will help inspire and guide you as you navigate your way through this crazy and amazing industry.

Noreen Flanagan, Editor-in-Chief: “I think one’s attitude is really critical. Being able to write and pitch ideas is also essential, but for someone new to the industry, I’m more interested in their attitude in the beginning because their skills can be developed. On that note, here’s what I look for in interns: Someone who is curious, witty, and intelligent with a healthy touch of humility. The interns who catch my attention see an opportunity and seize it with ingenuity, creativity, and grace.”

Christina Reynolds, Senior Editor: “Keep up on fashion news and current events. You have to be able to put the fashion news in context.”

Vanessa Craft, Beauty Director: “Never complain, work hard, and keep smiling! Not terribly groundbreaking information, I know, but it really goes a long way. People remember the interns that go the extra mile. Be well-versed about what’s happening in the industry and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions or for advice. Having a genuine sense of curiosity and passion for this business is rarer than you think, and it is what will truly separate you from the pack.”

Alannah O’Neill, Associate Editor: “If you’re interested in fashion editorial, write every day. Start a blog so that you can stay up-to-date with industry news. Attend your local fashion week and network as much as possible. Read as many magazines as you can get your hands on.”

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