Fashion Journalism: An Intern’s Thoughts

Hannah Ricketts

Hannah McKellar-Ricketts is an aspiring journalist and has interned for various magazines

Interns shouldn’t let one bad experience put them off pursuing a journalism career, as Hannah McKellar-Ricketts explains…

My expectations of being a fashion intern were free clothes, sexy models trotting about everywhere and watching sexy models trotting about everywhere whilst wearing my free clothes.

To my dismay I soon discovered the world of fashion writing would not involve all of these wonderful things.

My foray into fashion journalism began when I saw an ad for a features intern on twitter. The company (who shall remain nameless) wanted someone for three to five days a week for a three month period.

I was on my second gap year and was working full-time, but I decided to apply. If I put on my poshest voice and shook their hands firmly, then surely they would give me the position. They did.

The internship was unpaid (here’s one we’ve heard before) and they didn’t pay expenses either. The office was pretty small so the editors left it up to the interns to do the returns.

If you aren’t sure what a return is, it is exactly what it says on the tin; traipsing around London to return any fashion items that have been used on shoots for the magazine.

I did it once and never volunteered again, no matter how much they hinted. I was there to build contacts, get advice and gain experience from this place. I was not there to be a postman.

Everyone knows that you’ve got to do your fair share of grinning and bearing when people ask for tea, but sometimes I felt they were taking advantage.

It wasn’t all bad though. I was there during fashion week and despite the fact that I so often had to inwardly roll my eyes every time an outfit was described as “so ah-maaay-zing” or “yah yah just fant-aaah-stic”, I still had a great time.

Getting free tickets to a various shows, exhibitions and screenings was really exciting for me. You can really understand why someone might become nuts about fashion after being front-row at a catwalk.

Even if this was not an internship I particularly enjoyed overall, at least I understand now that fashion is not my forte. From this experience, I am even more determined than ever that my real writing career, when I eventually find it, will be well and truly ah-maaay-zing.

Are you looking to break into fashion journalism? Post a comment below if you have experiences you’d like to share. Follow us on Twitter @Journograds and ‘like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest job and internships

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