What teachers don’t tell you about finding an internship

By Loïs Van Der Wildt

So let’s face it; getting an internship is blooming hard. Despite the talent and work ethic you offer, getting a response is highly dependent on the way you apply. Especially in the creative fashion field, you have to be, well… “creative”. I investigated new ways to approach getting an internship, interviewing AMFI International Fashion & Branding students. Take note!

Almut Pumpluen, on still finding a place to be a graphic design magician:

‘Googling a company is one thing, being able to analyse and detect your own fascination with their work is something else.’


An online portfolio can help get your foot in the door.

‘Of course I already had some preferences. There are companies I have admired for a long time, those really solving design problems. In the back of my head I knew to compete with experienced Graphic Designers for a spot at a well-known company would be difficult. On design blogs I read frequently, I found newcomers and other interesting projects of smaller companies. I was delighted to have found a few with a visual style coherent with my own; I believe that even if working with briefs, a company maintains its own design language.’

Photo/videographer Sophie van Hasselt, used our network to get in at Volt magazine:

‘The AMFI website is a great tool to get yourself familiar with a variety of companies and to read about students’ experiences.’


Finding good inspiration during the process can help the search.

‘For me atmosphere is very important. I want to know what is really going on behind the walls and windows. I think the best way to get to know a company is through other people. The articles on the AMFI website about student experiences helped me to form a better idea of creative agencies and magazines, ultimately influencing the direction I chose.’

Laura Meijnen, writer and print freak landed at a popular fashion lifestyle magazine:

‘As for the application process, there are many obvious ‘wrong ways’ of doing it, but a genuine and personal approach usually works best.’


Write down and keep track of your strong suits and achievements.

‘I am strongly passionate about magazines, my first choice was obvious. I gathered quite some knowledge about the company, but how to approach them? I decided to just do it: send the info@ address an email, asking for an available internship, including a brief introduction about me, my work and what I specifically liked about their magazine. Besides that nothing special, apart from keeping it down to earth and very personable.’

You’ve prepared and proofread your documents and your application. You’ve pressed send and slowly feel the anxiety building up inside. Constantly swiping to refresh your email, you calculate the chances of them reading your application, of course not excluding the tiny possibility that maybe your mailbox malfunctioned or ‘the guy responsible for internships’ is on holiday. All interns have to face this fear, and after having read these wise words you’ll be that much better off in making the most of your internship.

Photography by second-year fashion & Branding student Sophie van Hasselt.

Are you interested in sharing your internship story?
Email to discuss writing a testimonial for the HvA’s internship page. 

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