The Internship Bible: Real Advice Straight From My-Wardrobe's Founder

SarahCurran
Last night, luxury e-tailer My-Wardrobe was featured on the Channel 4 TV show, The Intern. The programme gives three individuals the chance to win a six-month internship in the fashion, hotel, advertising, publishing, and property industries. On last night's episode, the three individuals were immersed in the busy 9-to-5 (and beyond) happenings at My-Wardrobe's head office. We caught up with Sarah Curran, the company's founder, to get the skinny on what every (aspiring) intern needs to know on Day One.
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Where did you intern?
"In my day, interning was termed as work experience and I would spend the school holidays working at my father's office. He owned his own business, so it was a great insight into the working world of an entrepreneur."
Who most influenced your career when you were starting out?
"I was most influenced by my father. I grew up with him working 24/7 on his business to make a better life for our family. It opened my eyes, even at a young age, to the fact that if I wanted a certain future for myself then I would have to work hard and provide for my future family."
What's was the best career lesson you've ever learned the hard way?
"I learned how dangerous email can be and emails should always be checked carefully before you hit send. I have had many email blunders over the years and I have learned to be much more focused on attention to detail across all areas of work, as a result."
How is the internship programme structured at My-Wardrobe?
"We offer one- to three-month paid internships across the business in departments such as PR, buying, editorial, and our studio. There is an interview process and on starting, an induction process, and at the end, a review process."
What have you learned from the interns at your company?
"Over the past seven years I have learned that there is so much amazing young talent out there, which needs to be nurtured. We have seen some exceptional young adults join our team and grow through the ranks of the business, which makes me really proud."
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What sets a truly memorable, must-hire-now intern apart from a perfectly fine one?
"It's about going the extra mile and being memorable. Often, it's the simplest things — a smile, that can-do attitude, going out of their way to get the job done at an exceptional level, and demonstrating that they want to learn and excel during their time with us."
What's the hardest thing a My-Wardrobe intern might ever have to do?
"The hardest thing for any intern to do is getting to grips with multi-tasking and working across the departments and offices. We have offices in London, Nottingham, Oslo, New York, and Sydney and we have a very integrated approach to working together."
What advice would you give the men and women wanting to break into the fashion retail industry?
"Understand the path you want to go down, whether it's buying, merchandising, editorial, or PR, and then get under the skin of that part of the industry. Knowledge is key with any interview and it enables you to learn very quickly. It's still extremely competitive so having that can-do attitude and demonstrating the passion for the business and going the extra mile will set you apart."
Photo: Courtesy of My-Wardrobe
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