By Laura Faint
You can’t argue with the fact that a university degree will put you in good stead for your career, however more often than not, employers want more.
Whether it’s a part time job, volunteering or internships; employers want more practical experience than ever before. This is what prompted me to apply for an internship during my final year of university.
Being a fashion business student at GCU, I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion and have always known that it was the industry that I wanted to work in. When beginning my search, I stumbled upon an advertisement for Mallzee.com, a fashion start-up in Glasgow. I instantly loved the idea – a social shopping experience where the shopper receives a tailored, personal experience and can shop alongside friends while in the comfort of their home. With all of this, and the fact that you can earn while you shop (especially appealing when on a student budget!) it’s not hard to see the appeal!
Needless to say, I instantly applied and luckily, was invited for an interview and was offered the position. Little did I know, a fellow GCU-er was already interning there! On my first day, I discovered that Mhairi Finlayson (a 4th year Fashion Marketing student) also had the same idea as me and within no time my Fashion Business classmate, Kirsty Brough, had joined team Mallzee! We all agree that interning has really broadened out horizons and has given us a practical insight into the industry that we’re passionate about.
Many students, including me initially, will have the mind-frame of ‘uni is stressful enough, I don’t need another thing to worry about!’ but I can’t stress enough how much interning has helped me in my studies- it totally puts theory into practice and has reinforced everything I have learned so far. I would especially recommend interning within a start-up company as you really do get a clear idea what it takes to create a company from scratch.
Some things I have learned while interning at Mallzee:
1) Interning isn’t all about making cups of tea and filing paperwork- within my first few weeks I was taking part in conference calls with big fashion companies and pitching ideas
2) You get a great opportunity to network with professionals whilst interning – Mhairi and I recently got to attend a fancy event and even got to chat to Sir Tom Hunter!
3) While we do work extra hard, we often head out for team dinners to celebrate our hard work; our last one was at Cafe Andeluz in Glasgow
Team Mallzee (Minus Kirsty who hadn’t joined the team at this point and CEO Cally – he was in charge of the camera!)
Uni can teach you lots of things but there are certain things that it can’t and an internship can fill in those gaps and bring it all together. An internship really is more than just a reference on your CV; it’s a life experience that will bring out the best in you and make you stand out to any employer.
Want to be a part of the Mallzee shopping experience? Be sure to sign up to Mallzee.com for an exclusive pre-launch invite and follow us on Twitter (@MallzeeHQ) and Facebook (Facebook.com/Mallzee) Take part in our weekly Twitter chat at 8PM on Monday’s using #shoppingrevolution.
If you have any questions about interning then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org