Internship Diary: Not Taking It For Granted

After graduating as a Photography major at Ball State in May 2019, life as a creative in the real world had gotten off to a rocky start. I was looking for a way to get my foot in the door and felt like I was screaming but nobody was noticing me. Oftentimes it seemed like the creative community was gatekeeping success, desperate to stay afloat themselves. When I stumbled upon PATTERN, I saw that they had a very different attitude towards the industry. Their motto, “Fashioning a community”, reminded me of what I was missing from my college days. 

I applied to the internship and landed a group interview. I arrived 30 minutes late because I drove to the wrong location, and when I walked in I felt sure that my chances were shot. After about ten minutes, my nerves started to settle — probably due to Megan and Sam’s bubbly personalities, or maybe Polina’s cat ears. Either way, I learned that at PATTERN it’s less about being perfect all the time and more about the energy you bring to the office and the effort you put into getting things done. 

Throughout my time at PATTERN, there was never a shortage of things to do. They kept us busy writing articles, conducting model test shoots, attending events, and planning our editorials. At times it can be overwhelming, but I never felt like I couldn’t communicate my feelings if it got to that point. My favorite part of the internship was the test shoots. They were a great addition to my portfolio and I watched my Instagram grow as a result. I loved the all-female atmosphere of the office and getting to know my fellow interns. We all instantly clicked, which made working together much more enjoyable. I love my PATTERN family and feel grateful to have lifelong friends as a result of this internship. It’s a good feeling to be connected to other creatives in the same boat as you are. 

My advice to future interns is to throw yourself into the internship and get as much experience as you can out of it. The days fly by very quickly, and you never know when they’ll end too soon. Due to COVID-19, our internships as we had come to know them ended rather abruptly. Every event I was looking forward to attending — cancelled. The test shoots I had come to look forward to every week — cancelled. My fashion editorial — postponed. The transition to working from home was hard on all of us, interns and boss ladies alike. Each of us had different struggles in this unprecedented time.

My experience of the internship definitely suffered as a result, but I am grateful for the opportunities given to me in the beginning. Don’t take any aspect of the internship for granted. Try to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can from each and every experience. Take notes and develop relationships, because those relationships are what remain after the internship ends. It’s the difference between hitting a dead end and furthering your career. I am grateful to know Polina, Sam, Landess, Megan, my fellow interns, and the many creatives I met during my time at PATTERN. I learned so much from all of them and look forward to working with them again in the future.