1. What to do when you’re put into the wrong department.

    So you’ve landed you dream internship. After countless emails, CV primping and finger crossing, you’ve received an email inviting you to work at your favourite company. You spend hours putting together outfits, packing and re-packing your bag with office necessities. On your first day, you arrive early in a fabulous pair of heels, ready to make your mark and impress everybody, until… They overbooked their interns or there was a miscommunication in the admin department, and you’re shifted into the wrong section of the company. 

    There’s nothing worse than being blindsided after having high hopes approaching your internship. It’s happened to me twice. Having done 3 internships and 2 work shadowing experiences myself, I feel like a bit of an expert on the subject. In 2007 I spent a week at Seventeen Magazine South Africa and in 2010 I work shadowed at an amazing Woodstock-based illustration studio called One Horse Town.

    In June 2011, I ventured across the sea and spent 3 weeks working at Hobbs, a contemporary women’s designer fashion label (The Dutchess of Cambridge was recently spotted in one of their dresses!). For 3 months at the beginning of 2012 I interned in the Glamour and GQ magazine online department, and I’m currently half-way through a 6 month internship with Future Media Group, a wonderful Digital Media and publications agency.

    The first time I was blindsided was at Hobbs in the UK. I was shifted into the fashion department, and although I’m a self-confessed fashion addict, my skills lie in design and , After 2 weeks of assisting on photo shoots, dressing and un-dressing mannequins and passing countless pins, I spoke up and spent my last week working on target market research for the Hobbs NW3 line - much more relevant to my profession. I learnt so much at Hobbs, mostly not to keep quiet for too long if you’re feeling unhappy in a position.

    The second time it occurred was at Glamour magazine SA. I was so excited to have landed this internship, and gave up half of my Summer holidays out of sheer dedication (I don’t regret that at all). I was looking forward to working in the magazine’s design department, but was switched into the online department due to an abundance of interns. Gutted, as I felt, I decided to try my best in the online department, and ended up making some wonderful contacts and friends. Finally, a spot opened up in the print design department, and they asked me to come in an help for a week. It turned out that publication design wasn’t really for me, and I was so glad that I’d landed in online instead of the magazine department. 

    Of course, one doesn’t always have the good fortune that I’ve had, however there are certain things one can do should you find yourself in a similar position.

    1. At least you’re still in the company. Think about how many people would kill to be in this position. If you’ve been chosen as an intern it’s more than likely that you’ve beaten other people to this job.

    2. Speak up if you’re there for a short time. I only had 3 weeks at Hobbs, and had flown half way around the world to be there. I’m so glad that I let someone know how I felt, so that the experience could be truly beneficial to me.
    3. If you asked to change departments and you can’t, don’t despair. Rather dedicate yourself to your current work and stay positive. Prove that you can be an asset no matter where you work. If you turn out to be a star intern, there’s no doubt that the company would be delighted to have you back, to work in the department you had wanted to in the first place. In the mean time, try and spend time with the people from your dream department. Make an effort to chat to them over lunch or ask to meet up with them for coffee, so that you can ask them about their position and any advice they have for you.
    4. If you have more time, give it a chance and impress them anyway. Try to keep positive and try your best and everything that comes your way. You might realise that you simply adore working in that department - often it’ll be your colleagues that make all the difference. If you’re still wishing to change departments after a while, speak up and find out how to go about doing so.
     

  2. Just a few of the things I’ve designed while interning in the GLAMOUR/GQ South Africa online office.

     


  3. All work and no pay

    I’ve just started a month long internship at Condenast South Africa. I’m working in their online department, helping with the GQ and GLAMOUR magazine websites. I’ve only been here a week, and I’ve learnt so much already. It’s fabulous! Of course, interning comes with no salary, which is a thorn in my side, but honestly I’m more than willing to trade my time and effort in exchange for knowledge, experience and most importantly - contacts. 

    I’ve been putting my fantastic design skills into practice, re-designing their online mailers and archiving articles for future use. There’s been no coffee-making or “I’ll have this for lunch” requests, however we have celebrated ‘Bakeday Friday’ with a divine assortment of muffins and baked delights supplied by the office chatterbox Gillian, who is just fabulous.

    I think I’m going to do a couple of outfit posts of things that I wear to work. After all, I’m working at a fabulous fashion magazine, there’s bound to be exciting things happening in my work-wear wardrobe.

     

  4. As I have already blogged about, I recently did a 3 week internship at Hobbs, a designer label based in London. Besides shopping in Oxford street on every single lunch break, I learnt a huge amount in my short time there. The staff were so friendly and helpful to me, I miss them all terribly. These are a couple of photos from one of the shoots I assisted on.

     

  5. Beautiful bracelets from Hobbs that I was given, love them to bits….From their N.W.3 line

     

  6. Sssssweet necklace from Hobbs that I’ve been wearing - Mousey - love it :)

     


  7. Bedtime.

    It’s officially bedtime for me….Gotta get up at 7am to get ready and catch the Tube by 8am to be at work by 9. Did I mention Hobbs has the BEST coffee making machine in the world? I love it for the hot chocolate, obvs. It’s awesome. Put cup under tap nozzle thingy. Press ‘hot chocolate’ and boom. With froth and everything. At the perfect temperature. But honestly, I need to curb the hot chocolate in take. Otherwise it seems I won’t need to spend any pounds to be putting them on.

    Guilty pleasures….

    I’ll upload more photos tomorrow x

     


  8. Innit? yeah.

    This city is so beautiful. I’ve met so many fantastic people, experienced some crazy wonderful things so far, and I haven’t even been here a week.

    I’m in London for a holiday/little bit of job shadowing, which is required of me by university…..But it’s such a pleasure anyway. I’m working at Hobbs (http://www.hobbs.co.uk/) an awesome high end ladies fashion label. They’re in the middle of launching a fabulous funky line called N.W.3, which is for a younger clientele. So here I am, in the big bright city, working in their visual merchandising department, shopping up a storm and sleeping on my cousin’s floor.

    Fierce.

    Heard the most wonderful thing on Monday, at my first day at Hobbs. This girl came in and said to someone, “Just tell me the truth. Am I dressed like a Middelton today?” I died laughing. She had this big bush of brunette hair that was all bouncy, and a cute little matching 3/4 pants and blazer suit. I thought it was so funny :)

    I’ve gotta say, the vehicles and roads are a little scary. And that’s saying something, considering I’m from South Africa where at any second you could be flattened by a death-trap taxi. But yes, crossing the street here makes me nervous.

    The shopping is unbelievable. Just insane. I really really love it. The weather - not so much.

    I’m very impressed with how many people ride bicycles here…and also with how many Starbucks there are. Enough is enough.

    Went for a little walk this evening around the area I’m staying in (closest station is Liverpool Road, I’m very close to Brick Lane) and took a couple of snaps…..

    Will upload them asap…

    x

    pounds