Want to know how to bag that all important internship? Or what to expect as Anne Hathaway in your very own version of the Devil Wears Prada? From journalism to modelling, Impact Style will be speaking to interns, bloggers and industry experts to find out how to get your foot in the door; and in the first of many installments we take a sneak peak into the world of being a Sales intern at MiH Jeans.
As soon as I finished Uni and headed home, I decided I actually wanted to do something productive with my summer. After sending out the initial few e-mails enquiring about work experience or internships in various sectors of fashion, I realised I probably should have had this revelation a while ago – all I was faced with were apologetic e-mails explaining that places were already full. However, while complaining about the lack of work experience available to a cousin of mine, she told me that she had a contact who worked as the Head of International Sales at Made in Heaven Jeans in London and she could give me a bit of advice. I e-mailed her, and two days later there I was, heading to London for an interview to intern at MiH as part of the Sales team! Luckily, they had been looking for a Sales intern and needed an extra pair of hands. After a super informal interview with the dauntingly stunning UK Sales Manager, I had successfully scored a six week internship at MiH Jeans!
The office itself was based in Chelsea, right up until February this year when the MiH team moved to Hammersmith. The company was growing in number and in power, and they realised they needed a bigger office – which was absolutely incredible. The whole building was light, airy and modern, with framed photographs of previous campaigns hung on the walls. The office was open plan, with different areas – product and design, PR, e-commerce and sales. As my boss showed me around and introduced me to everyone, I actually ended up feeling more lost and confused than I was to start with! However, the people at MiH made me feel instantly welcome, and made me feel marginally less awkward when I had to ask them to remind me what their names were.
As an intern, every single day was different. During their office move, a LOT of boxes of garments, returns and hangers had been somewhat neglected in one tiny room where you could barely step into for fear of causing a box avalanche. At first, my job was to essentially sort through every single box – re-packing jeans, folding, labelling, ordering a courier and shipping them off to various warehouses. It was a huge job, and quite time-consuming, but I revelled in the fact that I was doing them a huge favour and genuinely helping out rather than standing round a photocopier all day. It was extremely hands-on which I liked, and meant that I instantly became familiar with their endless types of jeans, shirts and jackets. Other activities during my time there included sorting through invoices, covering for reception (where the majority of my time was spent praying the phone wouldn’t ring as I was genuinely terrified of the extension number/phone system), steaming clothes in their showroom ( I often got called Lauren Conrad by the other interns) and tagging garments for shops like Liberty, Asos and Net-a-Porter. However, I did end up dabbling in other sectors of the company, like answering the phone on the E-commerce desk (where one woman phoned to ask me what size jeans I thought she should order…), helping to gift wrap complimentary jeans for important people from Vogue with the PR intern, and tarnishing buckles of belts with the production team.
Overall, my experience working at MiH Jeans was incredibly positive – this boiled down to the relaxed and friendly vibe at the company. We had a lunch one afternoon with enough Japanese food to last us a year, and a barbeque to celebrate the Olympics; it’s little things like this that really make a difference to the atmosphere within a company. Advice for anyone wanting to intern in fashion? Be prepared to send a million e-mails. Always ask people if they know anyone in fashion and don’t be afraid to literally beg for work! Lastly, give every single task 100% of your attention; you’ll be valued and and you’ll get noticed as the best/most keen intern ever!