Learning the basics of the fashion industry is extremely necessary for success in the business. However, putting what you have learned into practice is invaluable when it comes to truly succeeding in fashion studies. For this reason, most programs strongly encourage students undertake internships while completing their programs.
Internships are of vital importance as students will develop professional skills beyond the classroom that will help them succeed in their career. While most tasks given to interns are more mundane in nature, they make up steps in creating fashion that are necessary in the process. In addition, this opportunity gives students the chance to observe and be a part of production and design through the work of professionals.
Further, students will make connections and network with professionals in the field. They will gain knowledge from these individuals who have been involved in the industry for years. The hope is that through these connections, students will be able to find employment upon graduation, using these professionals as references. Often, these internships will lead to jobs in the same company depending on the work product the student produces during the time of the internship. For that reason, it is very important you work hard and give your all during this time.
If you are lucky, your school will offer a cooperative education internship program. These types of internships allow students to obtain school credit while working for a company in the fashion industry. These internship opportunities are more competitive in nature, and some even offer compensation similar to if the student were working for that company. Most of these internships take place during the school year, and the student is expected to juggle both the cooperative education internship and their course load.
Most programs have career services departments that are in place to help students locate and obtain internships, but students are also encouraged to locate these on their own, as well. Regardless of how you get one, an internship will help you in your career and allow you to grow as a professional.
Columbia College of Chicago: http://www.colum.edu/Academics/Fashion/internships/
Washington State University: http://amdt.wsu.edu/overview/careers/