Hi friends! Sorry I have been so MIA this past month; I have been working my butt off applying to every job under the sun now that my internship is over. I was interning at Buckle as a Sales and Management Intern, however I quickly realized sales wasn’t for me and that I wanted to continue on in hopes of becoming a buyer – at least this is what I was interested in all throughout school. I had this dream of living in NYC (like any other fashion major) and working for a brand like Victoria’s Secret or Michael Kors. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for one of the biggest fashion companies in the world??
I know buyers spend a lot of their time traveling around the world – something I am also super passionate about – which was definitely another reason I had this dream of becoming a buyer. But as I was applying for every merchandising internship under the sun and was having no luck landing an internship, I just assumed I didn’t qualify for a merchandising position; Although I studied merchandising in school, I had only worked in retail on the sales floor which I guess wasn’t enough experience. Saying I was devastated is an understatement. I had never felt so hopeless in my entire life. So many thoughts were running through my head: did I pick the right major? What am I doing wrong? Will I EVER get a job? Did I just waste these last three years in school for nothing?
Three months go by and I am slowly approaching the end of my internship – without a full-time position waiting for me once I’m finished. I had spent all of July and August, and some of September, applying and interviewing for full-time positions with different companies. The same questions and feelings I had felt just a few months prior started rushing through my head once again. I was starting to feel even more defeated than before. But then something changed. It was like someone lit a fire in me. I started thinking about everything I had accomplished to this point and began telling myself I am worth it. I can do this.
I started to reach out to different connections via LinkedIn to see if they had any full-time positions open. I was going to do whatever it took to make myself and my family proud. Within a time span of three weeks, I had gone through all stages of the interview process with two different companies, two different positions. And let me just say that those three weeks were some of the most stressful weeks of my life. Knowing this was my only chance of landing a job before starting back at square one was terrifying. I had felt like those final interviews were almost like an all or nothing type thing – either I go in and give it my all and get an offer, or I go in and give it my all and get rejected.
I had spent the nights leading up to these final interviews researching everything there was to know about the company, their products, and their customer. I had spent those nights googling every possible interview question I could be asked and prepared answers for each one. I made sure my resume was as perfect as it could be. I made sure I was over prepared for these interviews – and I definitely was. It was almost like I was stressed for absolutely no reason at all. Those final interviews were some of the best interview rounds I had gone through. I couldn’t have asked for anything better from both the companies and myself.
Now the waiting game began….
A day passed and one of the companies reached out to me and felt as if I would be a better fit for a different department – product development rather than visual merchandising. Of course I didn’t want to pass this position up! So that day I spent my time researching all there was to know about the sourcing department so that I was prepared for my interviews the next day. After a couple interviews and phone calls about the position, I was offered a full-time position as a Sourcing Assistant. I WAS ECSTATIC!!! This was it. THIS was the day I had been waiting for. I had finally found a company that loved me as much as I loved them AND landed a position in a department that I am beyond passionate about. I will never forget that day and the feelings and emotions I was experiencing. For the first time, I finally felt like I had made the right decision in studying Fashion Merchandising. I finally felt wanted and like I could do something big with my life.
If I have any tips at all for landing your dream job, I would say these are the most important:
- Have an open mind. I had spent my final year at school only applying for merchandising internships because I had this mindset of being a buyer – and that’s why I didn’t land an internship until a week before summer started. I wasn’t keeping an open mind to other positions. But when the time came for full-time positions, I had learned from my mistake and decided to have an open mind. And here I am, getting ready to start a full-time position in a completely different department than merchandising but I am SO excited for the opportunity.
- Be yourself. My company values their employees and wants to make sure that you could see yourself fitting in with the culture of the company. If you visit the corporate office and don’t see yourself enjoying it, don’t fake it through the interview and tell them what they want to hear just so you get an offer. Not only are you going to hate the position in the long run, but you’re really just wasting their time, as well as your own time when you could be interviewing for a company that you’re truly interested in.
- You will be stressed. Don’t give up. You have worked so hard to get where you are right now. You have taken the time to fill out countless applications which is like a full-time job itself. The process is long. To this day, I am still receiving emails from companies I had applied to a year ago for an internship either asking me when I’m available for an interview or telling me they went with someone else – like I HAD NO IDEA! Be patient. Keep applying for other positions while you wait to hear back in case you don’t hear back. Again, keep an open mind and don’t give up.
- Research, research, research. I cannot stress this enough. In any interview, you will be asked about the company – “why this company? what do you know about this company? how would you describe our customer? who are our competitors?” You need to be prepared to answer these questions to show you have done your research and that you are truly interested in working for the company. Even if you have never even heard of the company, just doing your research will show you know something and that you’re willing to learn more. I recommend searching the company on LinkedIn and reading recent articles and press releases about the company.
- Be proud of yourself. The fact that you are even applying for full-time positions is a big deal and huge accomplishment. You are already being so responsible and showing you’re a hard worker, so don’t let those rejection emails get to you. Like I said, the process is long and exhausting, but it will be so worth it once you get the job of your dreams. You are going to do amazing things.
Until next time…