Interning with Temperley London & Tips for Interning

I realise that I haven't blogged for a month. I also realise that my posts start like this all too often lately. This time, however, the reasoning behind it is pretty exciting, so do forgive me. 

For the past four weeks I have been interning with the wholesale team at Temperley London in their Mayfair office. I've had such an incredible time but I've also been super busy, hence the blogging hiatus. Many of my friends have been interested to hear about my internship, even those who aren't pursuing a career in fashion much to my surprise, so I thought that blog readers would be interested too, especially since I often talk about university and my career aspirations in posts. To save you from needing multiple tea breaks while reading this, I've decided to answer the questions people have most frequently asked to keep it as succinct as possible. 

How did you find and apply for the internship? 
In the fashion industry, experience is key. As soon as I was nearing the end of the academic year, I began searching for summer internships. I get a super long summer (and by that I mean 4 months - yes really) and I can't stand not being busy, so finding an internship was made even more of a priority for me. The website I primarily use is Fashion Workie as it's updated regularly and seems to list just about every fashion job vacancy there is. As soon as the prospect of summer started looming I practically stalked the site daily and saved any listings that I wanted to apply for, before sending my CV and cover letter to them. You may find yourself applying for a lot and it can be tiring writing countless cover letters but it's important to stay motivated and focused.

What was the interviewing process like? 
After Temperley got back to me, we scheduled an interview date for a couple of days time. It's crucial to be as flexible as possible regarding this as you don't want to be turned down in favour of somebody else who is more readily available. Interviews are naturally nerve-wracking for everybody there's no denying it, you're essentially trying to sell yourself in a very short period of time, so I can't say that I wasn't scared. To boost your confidence I would recommend researching the company/brand beforehand if you don't know much about it and arriving early to ensure that you're going to be on time. Being interviewed for an internship isn't too intense, I was interviewed by two people and it was relatively brief but I actually felt quite at ease as it wasn't extremely formal. I don't have any tips for what to say or how to act during interviews as I haven't quite mastered them myself yet but, as cliche as it is, presenting the best version of yourself is key. I wasn't told at the end of the interview that I'd got the role - don't expect to be - but instead I was emailed within a couple of days with the news.

What is wholesale and what did the role involve?
Now for the most exciting part, my role at Temperley, which was Wholesale Intern. Though the brand has stores and an e-commerce platform, they wholesale to a lot of major department stores and boutiques worldwide. To put it simply, this means that new collections get presented to buyers during selling appointments who then choose what they would like to stock in their store. My role was to work alongside the wholesale team with another intern to assist with various tasks during the London and Paris markets. Day-to-day tasks of mine included preparing the showroom (e.g. steaming garments, visual merchandising), assisting during appointments (e.g. greeting clients, dressing the models) and running errands (picking up a bridal dress from Selfridges head office had to be the best one), as well as various different office duties.

I enjoyed every aspect of the job, whether it was doing more physical tasks in the showroom or being in the office. Aspiring to a career in buying, wholesale wasn't my first choice but I think the role suited me much better than I expected it to and now I would definitely consider a career in the area so I'm very glad I was able to gain more insight into it.

I was also super lucky and got to travel to Paris as part of my internship. I was so nervous before as it was very out of my comfort zone to do something like that, but it was an experience I will remember forever and I had an amazing time. No matter how long the working hours were, waking up in Paris every morning for a week never failed to put a smile on my face. 

How did you manage it cost-wise?
Interning is difficult, especially if you aren't London based. You're a student, you already have no money and then you have to work for free. It can be disheartening for some. I was able to stay with my auntie and uncle who live a commutable distance from London which thankfully saved me a lot of money that I would've spent on accommodation in London. Over half of my train fare each week was also covered by expenses and my whole Paris trip was paid for too. I probably spent more on lunch each day than I would've liked to, so I would definitely try and make my own at least some days next time to save on costs there. Overall, the whole unpaid thing really didn't bother me and I never gave it a second thought. I am naturally a very career-focused person and I also enjoyed the job a lot, so I have had no regrets about spending money as I know gaining the experience will help me in the future. Plus, if you can easily drop £100 on clothes like me, spending money on furthering your career development should be no problem.

Any tips for interning? 
- Be enthusiastic. Sometimes as an intern you're stuck doing jobs that aren't so fun but you must remember that everybody starts somewhere. I never had a problem with any of the tasks I was given, even printing things out all day. You should stay positive and be grateful that you're there whatever it is you're doing, other people would kill to be in the same position.
- Demonstrate your interest. If you're not doing something that you love, it will show. The girls I was working with told me to ask as many questions as I liked and it's really insightful to hear about their knowledge and experiences. Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues anything, you won't annoy them, they'll be pleased to help you learn more.
- Offer to do things. When you're finished with a task don't sit around waiting to be told what to do. Be proactive and either ask what they would like you to do next or offer to do something that you know needs to be done or finished from a previous day.
- Make friends with your colleagues. I felt like I clicked with the girls from Temperley and got on very well with them and it makes such a huge difference if you enjoy being around the people you're working with. Especially for me being away in Paris, if I had been with people that I didn't like my experience would've been totally different. I was also working without another intern for a while so if I didn't integrate with the others in the office I would've felt alone. I find it relatively easy to talk to new people after working in a hairdressers but making an effort to get to know the people you work with is key.

Overall, I had an amazing time interning at Temperley which I just can't fully express in a blog post. All of my friends and family could tell you though, as I'm sure they're sick of hearing about it. I feel so lucky that I loved my internship this much, I was working with the loveliest people, I learnt a lot and I was so sad to leave - I miss it already. I'm looking forward to hopefully going back in September for next season but in the meantime I plan on blogging more and enjoying a bit of a break before my final year starts in October.

Any more questions about my internship? Feel free to tweet me @freyaellab


9 comments

  1. You have no idea how helpful & interesting this post is! Honestly, so wonderfully written. What a gorgeous company to work for too, very lucky lady!! :)

    Katie // wordsbykatie.com

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    1. Thank you - that means a lot! Such a wonderful company to work for 100% x

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  2. This sounds like an amazing internship (I have heard some horror stories) so glad you had such a great experience :)

    http://www.thebutter.co.uk/

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    1. Me too - I was worried before I started but it was fab! x

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  3. Aw sounds like an awesome time! I interned for a brand in LA a few summers ago and it was really great. I love that you can actually get good experience in the fashion industry if you work with smaller brands or within a smaller department. Some people think interning is like being in the Devil Wears Prada and it can actually be super rewarding. I'm glad yours was so good and I definitely think experience in wholesale will help you in buying. Good luck to you! :)

    xx
    scarlettandgiselle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! That sounds amazing, it's true there is so many opportunities out there if you go and look in the right places! x

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  4. Sounds brilliant! Congratulations on working with Tenderly, it's one of the brands the Duchess of Cambridge reaches out for!

    www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com

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    1. I know - she is the reason I first heard about the brand a couple of years ago or so!

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  5. Like the style for decorating ;)
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: BACKLESS AND MAXI

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