Last month I was lucky enough to have the chance to intern at Vogue. For a budding fashion journalist this is an opportunity not to be missed but if you are a worrier like me then it can also be quite a daunting concept as well. Prior to starting I had already had a glimpse inside the infamous Vogue House for my interview almost twelve months previous and had gawped awe-struck at the white corridors lined with black and white Vogue photographs, bouquets of fresh flowers and the poised (and ever so stylish) staff. As my first day drew nearer my nerves soared and the fear of fitting in and being able to actually survive three weeks there started to wilt my optimism and sow doubts in my mind.
But my three weeks at Vogue are now in the past and I am somewhat kicking myself for being so nervous and fearful when in fact it there was nothing to be scared about at all! Some would think that I would emerge at the end of the three weeks with little more than excellent tea-making skills and a diet book under my arm but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It was an invaluable experience and hugely inspirational to work with some incredibly talented people. So how did I survive? Here are my top tips…
1. Relax and be yourself
This sounds like an old cliche but it is true! I realised at Vogue that there’s no point trying to pretend to be extra stylish and extra Vogue-y when in fact the people are so lovely that they’ll be nice to you whoever you are! Just be friendly, honest and hard-working.
2. Don’t dress to impress
What do you wear when your work place is one of the most stylish companies on the planet? This is a question I asked myself and one which I struggled to answer. Whilst I may love to write about trends and follow fashion week I am more likely to be found in gym leggings and an old jumper than a Givenchy ensemble fresh off the catwalk. For one I have a finite overdraft and a student budget! I stressed over this a lot in the lead up to my internship but was put at ease when I arrived. With jeans and flip flops making an appearance in the Vogue office and with no dress-code in sight you really can wear whatever you want. Of course there was a spattering of designer goodies draped on the odd shoulder but in reality there was a fair bit of high street and vintage in attendance too! Whilst you are probably expected to dress with a vague whiff of style (and this shouldn’t be too hard if you are passionate about Vogue) what they’re really interested in is your talent and not your labels.
Don’t forget the all important flat shoes as well. It may be that you have to run errands of ferry clothes to studios so packing a pair of comfy shoes to slip into wouldn’t be a bad idea (and you’ll find it’s not just the interns who opt for this foot-friendly tactic).
3. Be nice
Anyone who has interned as part of a team will know that these situations are sometimes impartial to a bit of ruthless competitiveness. When there are grad jobs on the line and favour with the manager at stake it may be tempting to dig your elbows in and try and get ahead of the pack but this won’t get you very far at Vogue. With team-work being essential for the smooth sailing of the Vogue ship there isn’t time to trip up your fellow-interns in a bid to be the front runner.
4. Make the most of it
As an intern you generally only get three weeks at Vogue so you should definitely make the most of it! Work hard, say ‘yes’ to every opportunity and ask all of the questions you have always been dying to ask. You’ll find that the time will fly by and you wouldn’t want to get to the end of it and regret not having taken time to speak to one of your favourite writers, or regret not having asked to do a certain task so be pro-active and be brave and make the most of it. It will be a tiring few weeks but well worth it.
If you follow these simple tips and be yourself then you’ll probably find that surviving three weeks at Vogue or at any magazine for that matter is a breeze and you’ll leave with fewer regrets and with your head held high. I know that I certainly did!