Putting yourself out there is one of the first things we were told to do. Interns at the event were openly encouraged to give their business cards (provided by Fashion Campus NYC upon check-in) out to anyone and everyone they met. Executives from companies like Free Fashion Internships, Moda Operandi, and American Eagle all mentioned they got their current jobs by making an impression on somebody who knew somebody; networking can be one of the best ways to land your dream job in the fashion business. Never be afraid to talk to anyone, and always keep your eyes open for people willing to help.
Be careful about how you do it, though. Simon Collins, the Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons, offered up some words of wisdom. “I hate being ‘networked.’ I feel slightly violated when people ‘network’ me on LinkedIn,” he said. “They say, ‘Oh I’m just networking you.’ No one wants to be networked.”
Moral of the story: When attempting to get to know someone who you’re interested in working with, genuinely pay attention to what they have to say. Form a connection, not a contact.