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Internships, Work Experience & What I've Learned

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Words by Ruby Anthony

My journey to becoming a student at The Fashion Institute wasn’t an easy one – it took a failed attempt at a university course and a gap year before I discovered what would end up being one of the best decisions I have ever made.

In just a few months, I’ve achieved more than I thought was possible. From assisting at the 2020 AXA Concour’s D’elegance Event, Scanlan Theodore Runway Launch to MJ Bale & Bianca Spender Sales, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on projects that are all diversely different but equally amazing and rewarding.

Before even beginning the course, I was given the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with Charlie Holiday’s Summer/Winter 2020 Look Book shoot. As my first foray into the industry, I couldn’t wait to see what it was all about, get some experience and immerse myself in the sector of the industry that I was truly passionate about. Surrounded by flashing lights and dresses steamed to perfection, I was tasked with assisting the stylist in prepping garments, dressing models and styling the clothing for the shoot. In amongst this organised chaos, I had time to sit back and watch it all unfold, amazed at how a concept can go through so many processes to finally becoming a physical shoot. Going behind the flawless picture that I usually look at as a consumer and being able to see all the hard work and thought that goes into it, changes your perspective of the industry and makes you appreciate the process and its end product so much more.

As 2020 quickly approached, new events were popping up and I landed a spot assisting on my first large-scale event – the Sydney Ultimate Bridal Event. Overwhelmed yet enthusiastic, I was more than ready to dive straight in to the world of wedding gowns and garters. At first, I thought dressing models would be a breeze, I mean, we all know how to dress ourselves right? I quickly learnt that wasn’t the case. I credit this event with showing me that runway shows are fast-paced and chaotic behind the scenes, a drastic contrast from the put-together models who elegantly and confidently strut the runway.

Once the course officially started in February, there was no time for slowing down, new events were always being offered to us and I took every opportunity that was sent my way. Assisting on my second major event, I went backstage at the One Fine Day Wedding Fair to once again surround myself with glittering dresses and tulle as far as the eye can see. Learning from my past experiences, I was more than prepared for the minute-quick changes, wardrobe malfunctions and any other problems that seemingly always happen – but hey, you’ll never learn anything if you’re not challenged. Despite the challenges, One Fine Day was such an amazing experience as I got to work alongside some of my best friends, network with inspiring designers and models and if I haven’t stressed it a hundred times already, gain valuable experience.

After commencing at TFI, my Careers Manager Bryce and I had a meeting discussing what I wanted to achieve from the course and where I saw myself in a year’s time, and subsequently helped me land a Public Relations (PR) internship with One Daydream PR agency. One Daydream PR is one of Australia’s most reputable Beauty and Lifestyle agencies who look after incredible brands including the likes of Sephora, Olehenriksen, The Body Shop, Beauty Blender and San Pellegrino. Interning at One Daydream has been an incredibly hands on experience, where I’ve been involved with influencer and public relation gifting campaigns. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 situation, my internship has been placed on hold, but I can’t wait to continue this experience and gain more insight into PR.

Reminiscing on my time at The Fashion Institute and the valuable work experience and internships I’ve completed, every event or opportunity has taught me some valuable lessons about how to best maximize your time and get the most out of these experiences.

  • Take Every Opportunity Thrown Your Way

Make the most of your time at TFI, it’s only a year and they send out opportunities daily! All of the events and work experience give great insight into the fashion industry and are an incredible way to network and make a name for yourself in a notoriously competitive industry. You never know when the next event will be, so take them while they are available.

  • Give Every Internship Your All

Most internships only last for 3 months, so give it your all and take every opportunity to show your supervisors what you’re made of. Go that extra mile, put that extra effort into your tasks and most importantly don’t be afraid to ask questions, you are there to learn! The connections you make through your internships are extremely important and can really help when you start looking into career, so make them worthwhile.

  • Be Passionate About It

There’s no point putting your effort into something that doesn’t interest you. Use your time wisely and find what area of the fashion industry really speaks to you, challenges you and makes you want to work hard. When you find that part of the industry that you are passionate about, work hard for it and give it everything you got - at the end of the day, you want to be able to look back on your experience and be proud of what you learned and accomplished in that role. Keep in mind that your dream career might not be right for you, keep looking! TFI offers you the chance to explore as many different industries as you wish to find the right one for you.

Looking back at the past few years, the best decision I’ve made was choosing to start my journey into fashion at The Fashion Institute. I’ve been able to nurture my passion for the industry and gain valuable and teachable experience that has shaped who I want to be in the industry and how I’m going to get there.
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