How Blogging Progressed My Career In The Corporate Fashion Industry

I started blogging years ago for no reason other than that I was desperately seeking a creative outlet. As I started to grow a modest following, I realized blogging allowed me to connect with other creative individuals, make a bit of extra money and surprisingly added a lot to my resume. 

A bit of background - I'm a senior at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and I major in Advertising, Marketing & Communications. FIT alone can afford a student major connections in the fashion industry (through professors, peers, clubs, etc.). I have many friends and acquaintances at FIT that have successfully gained valuable/competitive internships solely through these types of connections. And as many people say, connections are arguably the most vital part of "making it" in the fashion industry. While FIT has definitely helped me leverage connections in some ways, I owe a lot of my connections, opportunities and experiences to blogging.

Me at an event for my internship at B Floral.

I'm not sure of the best way to structure this post so I'm going to talk about my college job experiences in chronological order to show y'all how both blogging and FIT have helped me land internships. 

Sophomore year - The summer before Sophomore year, I started searching for a credited internship to do part-time during the fall semester. I was assigned a counselor at the FIT Career & Internship Center. Essentially, I searched the FIT job/internship online database for internships I was interested in and my professor would give me an HR email address at those companies to send my cover letter/resume to. I got several interviews and I attribute all of those to the fact that I was able to email HR directly instead of submitting my resume, like thousands of other people, to those online postings on indeed.com, freefashioninternships.com, etc. However, once I got the interviews, what on earth do I talk about in them? I'd never had an internship before and barely had any relevant experience on my resume - except blogging. While it wasn't a professional experience by any means, blogging gave me something to talk about in my interviews when I had nothing else on my resume. It gave tangible evidence of my creativity (almost acting as a portfolio) and showed my passion for the fashion industry. I ended up accepting a marketing/PR internship position at the luxury interior decor brand, Jonathan Adler. During the interview with my supervisor, he expressed great interest in the fact that I have a blog and I swear that's what swayed him to offer me the position. In other words, FIT got me the interview and my blog got me the job.

Junior year - The summer before Junior year, I interned at the fashion brand, Cami NYC. I owe this experience to a connection I made both through FIT and blogging. This friend of mine is a fellow FIT student, but I never came into contact with her until she started blogging. She previously had interned at Cami and gave me the email of her supervisor to apply for a summer marketing internship. Although I had one internship experience under my belt at this point, a large portion of what I talked about in the interview was my skills and experiences I had gained through blogging and why they would be relevant to the position. I believe I was given this internship because of both my connection at the company and my blogging experience. 

The fall of my junior year, I took a break from interning and focused on my blog and freelance social media management. During this time, though, I was searching and interviewing for internships for the spring. I ended up taking a marketing and events internship at a event design company called B Floral. I actually don't owe any connection for this internship. I found the listing for it on Indeed.com and applied through their resume submission form. I want to note that throughout college, I've applied to dozens and dozens of internships through these websites and have gotten maybe 5 replies in total (which is incredibly disheartening). I say this to emphasize how important connections are in landing interviews. During my interview with B Floral, they expressed great interest in my blog and I believe that it was largely what got me the job. There were a few other contenders, though, for a Spring internship. One was a very well known accessories company. I landed this interview because I went to a fall collection preview at their headquarters through my blog and emailed the woman I met, afterward, expressing interest in a Spring internship. The other contender was a PR company that was present at an event I went to through blogging. I wrote to the email address on the business card asking if they were looking for Spring interns and got an interview with them. I ended up politely declining this internship because it was unpaid. 

Senior year - The summer before my senior year (aka this summer) I landed what ended up being my dream internship at Brooks Brothers and I owe this entirely to my blog. One of my good blogging friends had worked with Brooks Brothers to promote their apparel and she gave me the email address of my now co-worker, Eric. I emailed Eric my cover letter and resume and started corresponding with him about a potential internship. Between this time and interviewing, Brooks actually sent me clothes to shoot and promote on my blog and they were very pleased with the content. I believe the content I created for them made them want to hire me even more. Towards the end of the spring, I interviewed with HR and then my current boss, the Director of Social Media. Shortly after, they offered me a position as a Social Media Intern. Around the same time, I actually landed an interview for another fashion brand that I was connected with through a blogging acquaintance that worked there. I reached out to this connection through Instagram and she was kind enough to put me in touch with the HR department. 

I am so happy to say that Brooks Brothers has graciously extended my position into the fall. I am graduating December of this year so Brooks Brothers will be my last internship! 

So what happens once I've obtained the internship and start the job? I strongly believe that blogging alone is not enough to find success within a fashion marketing job. It is a combination of the skills/knowledge I've acquired through blogging, past professional experiences and knowledge I've learned through courses at FIT that has helped me in marketing/fashion corporate jobs. Each marketing role within each company is unique and requires a different skillset. A lot of knowledge can only be learned through on-the-job training and experience. Blogging has certainly been helpful, though, and if you'd like to hear more about how in a separate post, let me know! 

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