Internship Advice

Olivia Santarelli ′13

By Emily Sullivan ′13

Internships can oftentimes be difficult to land as an undergrad, particularly with international companies like the Hearst Corporation or Condé Nast, publishers of some of the world’s most iconic magazines. We asked Olivia Santarelli ’13, who has interned at both Seventeen and Vogue in the past two years, to share her advice for undergrads desiring to snag one of these coveted positions.

Tell us about your internship with Vogue. How did you land such an awesome opportunity?

I applied for an internship with the fashion department at Vogue through Condé Nast HR, and when I didn’t hear back from anybody, I emailed people from the Vogue masthead. It took a really long time, but I finally heard back from someone. I flew to New York for one day last April and interviewed with a Fashion Assistant for a fall internship. I found out in July that I had gotten the internship and I started in August. I was really lucky because I was able to receive school credit for the internship, so even though I wasn’t taking classes at Rhodes, I am still going to graduate on time! 

Are you planning on doing fashion-related work in the future? 
Yes! I hope to work at Vogue after graduation.

What is the most important thing you learned at Vogue? 
I learned that if you keep working hard, it will eventually pay off. I was in a group of 12 interns, so it was really difficult to stand out at first. But I never missed a day of work, always showed up early, and volunteered for everything (even the coffee runs). After a while, I was chosen to assist on a few photo shoots, which was definitely my favorite part of the internship!

Do you have any advice for students looking for internships? 
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from people right away. Over the past three years, I’ve applied for dozens of internships and emailed so many people without ever getting any responses. But it only takes one person to see your resume and decide to email you back.