There comes a point in any creative degree, where you realise you most definitely need to get your act together and start applying for internships.
We know. It can be a scary thought. Especially if you’re new to the whole ‘work experience’ thing and are scarred by horror stories of coffee runs and bag carrying.
But if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that work experience pays off. And the sooner you get to it, the brighter your career prospects will be. To prove it, here are five reasons why getting an internship while you study can be more than free labour.
The industry is all about experience
It’s a tough world out there. Once you leave uni, you’re pitted against your peers. It’s like The Hunger Games and you’re Jennifer Lawrence, except instead of killing each other, you’re competing for the few graduate positions that come along.
The easiest way to separate yourself from the competition is by packing your resume full of real-world experience. A few high-quality internships are the best way to show a future employer you’re committed to making it and are capable of working within real industry.
Certain schools such as Karl von Busse have excellent internship programs, designed to set you up with their host of industry connections. It’s an easy way to score insight into the big, scary world of real-world work.
You’ll build your professional network
Sad fact: When you enter the workforce, it’s no longer acceptable to have your high school teacher and your cafe boss as your professional references.
Work experience will allow you to fill your resume with a list of professionals who’ve seen you do your creative thang. Internships also mean building your very own network of industry professionals, who’ll be able to give you inside tips and share their own journeys. From personal experience, nothing is more valuable.
You may get a job out of it
If you’re the type of person who needs a little more than the promise of resume references to get you motivated, this may give you hope:
Sometimes, internships actually do result in jobs. You can trust us when we say that, too. Each member of the Fashion Journal team got their big break through working as an intern back in the day.
In some cases, it’ll count towards your degree
For many if not most courses (such as the Diploma of Fashion Design at Karl von Busse), interning is a necessity. Students are usually required to undertake a minimum number of work experience hours, each of which counts directly towards credit for that subject. Basically, it means you’re working toward your degree and getting your industry experience up at the same time (hello multitasking).
You'll have the chance to learn from the industry’s best
At the end of the day, an internship means the chance to work under some of the industry’s best and brightest. It’s a great way to find a mentor, learn about other people’s journeys, get advice on your own entry into the workforce and get your foot in the door at some well-established companies.
KVB student, Chloe Goldsmith, knows this firsthand. After completing an internship with Channel 9’s styling team, she is now undertaking work experience at Topshop with the visual merchandising team.
“I’m being exposed to a new part of the industry,” she says.
“It is really exciting. Working as part of such a great team is really rewarding.”
See, it’s not so bad, is it? In fact, interning can be really rewarding and a great step forward in your journey to a legit career person.
For those of you who aren’t quite at that stage, and maybe lacking a little direction, check out Karl von Busse’s courses here.