Sometimes it seems like the list of skills you need for a fashion internship is never ending—and basically impossible to have by your junior year in college. Two years of experience, working knowledge of all Adobe programs, proficiency in Microsoft Excel, and fluency in Spanish are just a few of the skills we’ve seen on internship listings. Honestly, how does anyone have any of these requirements—much less the average busy college student?
To lessen your load and ease your painstaking search for internships, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the internship listings of the web and find the skills that every company looks for when they’re hiring. Through our search, we quickly realized that there were three requirements that were basically considered nonnegotiable; in fact, we didn’t see a single listing without them.
Keep reading to find out the most important skills you need to know to land the internship of your dreams.
Photo via @alexadmendoza
Proficiency in Microsoft Office
Translation: You need to know how to use Excel. In college, it’s easy to blow this off and think that you already know everything you need to know. However, learning advanced skills in this program can take you from just an interviewee to an intern with the company of your dreams. Yes, we can all work Microsoft Documents. But do you know how to use formulas in Microsoft Excel, or create custom designs for Microsoft PowerPoint presentations? Mastering these skills are crucial to making you stand out in the large sea of applicants that recruiters go through everyday.
Photo via @maddyhaller
Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills
In other words, you need to know how to write, and how to write well. Not only that, but you need to know how to form relationships and collaborate with others in the workplace. Seems like a skill you might already have, right? Most likely, yes, But it’s also a skill that you should never stop practicing or improving. Communication—whether verbal or written—is the basis of everything you will ever do in an internship or job. Because of this, it’s crucial to practice these skills as much as you can. Find websites you can write for, put extra effort into your group projects in class, and dedicate time to meeting students and alumni who share the same career goals as you. It may seem silly to “practice” communicating with others, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll feel when it comes time to do so at your internship—and the more likely you’ll land the internship in the first place.
Photo via @withlovethelms
Self-Motivated with a Proactive Approach
Though typically an innate characteristic, it is possible to teach yourself to become a more proactive person. If you already have an internship, stop waiting for people to tell you what to do. Don’t let yourself get bored; instead, ask your boss and everyone else around you how you can help them. Anticipate the needs of others, and help them before they even need to ask. By jumping on tasks before they’re assigned, you’ll get into a great habit of being proactive at work. If you don’t have an internship yet, don’t worry—you can still incorporate this practice into your everyday life. If you know you need to learn a specific skill or just improve upon one, find ways to learn on your own. Ask your friends to help, or seek out online programs like CollegeFashionista that are dedicated to teaching career skills to students. By taking your career into your own hands, you’re not only practicing proactivity, but you’re teaching yourself additional skills you’re sure to need in the real world.
Need to brush up on your real world skills? Apply to join the CollegeFashionista community today!