1. Your job description includes assembling IKEA shelves, scrubbing the bathtub, scooping cat poop, counting size pips for 9 hours, and keeping a straight face while standing in front of a male model and pulling up his pants.
2. Fashion bosses (e.i. head designers, head of departments, editor-in-chiefs, creative directors, head buyers, etc) can get away with a level of eccentricity that cannot be fathomed. At one place I interned, my boss always had to have fresh flowers in her hair. Freshly-picked, every morning.
3. You'd be naive to think you'll be paid, and go home on time. And because you so badly want to make it that you don't say no. You just want to keep your head down and work. You're so enthralled to be in the presence of these people and you want them to remember you, and you don't say no because then you'll be blackballed. That's just how the industry has operated for a really long time.
4. If your boss is a total Devil Wears Prada, don't take it personally. Just do your job and then vent to all your friends (or tumblr) about it.
5. Everybody looks fabulous and has fresh, flawless skin. HOW DO THEY DO IT?! It must be a secret I have yet to learn.
6. Somebody in your intern group will be flamboyantly gay. Or have a coke problem. Or is a Satan-worshipper. Or is a total bossy-boot and act like they're the one in charge.
7. Steaming and ironing is an art form only few can master.
8. Be 10 steps ahead of your boss, otherwise you suck as an intern.
9. You cannot be starstruck. It's not cool. Feigning indifference is key. Elle McPherson is in the office? Big deal. Miranda Kerr? Miranda who? Sending dress out to Nikki Minaj? Okay, whatever.
10. Everyday is a holiday. Begin all emails with "Happy ________!!!"
11. Everything needs to be done IMMEDIATELY or the world will come to an end.
12. Everybody will hate you if you bring any fried food into the office. One time, I brought some hot chips (i.e. french fries) and gosh, did I get some serious high fashion side-eye.
13. Fashion people don't like timid people. So don't be nervous. I self-hypnotise that I am emotionally bulletproof.
14. You will make mistakes. You will make a hundred mistakes. You will get yelled at for said mistakes. You will get yelled at a hundred times. Don't quit, or you'll look weak.
15. If you don't want to waste time/energy/emotional stress, get coffee orders right the first go. If she says "steaming hot", make sure it is actually too hot to touch, and use a cup-holder to carry it. If she says "four ice", she means "four ice cubes that are still cubes and floating, even if you have to walk a few blocks in the heat wave to deliver her non-fat iced latte."
16. People are going to gossip. Don't gossip back.
17. You need good friends that aren't necessarily in the industry that you really trust to keep you sane. Sometimes the experience is so outrageous, the kind of things interns couldn't tell their personal circles about. It's very belittling.
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