Internship Diaries: Create Your Own Opportunities

My acceptance into the PATTERN internship program came through a rejection. In the summer of 2020 I tried to put together my very first fashion editorial, not knowing a damn thing about what all that entailed. I submitted with the utmost confidence that I would get published in the upcoming Reform issue. Some hubris, huh? About a month went by and I got the email. My expectation of reading the words ‘your submission has been accepted’ was met with ‘it didn’t make the cut’. Heartbroken is putting it lightly. As I continued to read the email with melancholic eyes, the executive director offered to have me in to talk about why it was rejected. Still pouting, I replied agreeing to come in and have a chat.

Sitting in the office for the first time was like coming home from a year-long trip. I knew this was where I wanted to be. The creative energy that constantly flows day in and out is so inspiring. The director and I had a conversation about my submission. What I did well, what I did wrong and what a true fashion editorial really means. At the end of the conversation I thanked her for her time and critique and told her I’d love to help out wherever I can. Before I left she highly encouraged me to apply to the internship program. Half a year later and I am still here.

After my first semester interning at PATTERN I was invited back for another go around. I obviously jumped at the opportunity. The first term was more of finding my footing, discovering my strengths and weaknesses and soaking in the experience. I covered stories on local artists, did three full fledged editorials, a huge project for City Market and did model test shoots until my eyes bled. But I loved it. I was always working on something and always working to get better which was my number goal going into my first term. 

The second term was all about how I can find my creative voice while creating good content for the publication. This led me to getting my own column through PATTERN’s website called ‘Art Identified’ which is an all encompassing art feature through raw imagery and in depth conversations. I also pushed myself to do more creative editorials with my own developed style and got my first work published thanks to the creative resources here at PATTERN. One of the hardest things to do as a creative is finding your creative voice, translating your own intentions and personality into your art. Without PATTERN, I would not have been able to do that.

I wish I had some great, introspective advice or tips for incoming interns. Truth is I don’t. My only advice is generic and something I’m sure you’ve heard before; Be the hardest worker in the room. When other people are taking it easy, go ten times harder. Not many times in life will you have the creative freedom that you have during your time at PATTERN. Don’t let it go to waste. Don’t expect someone to hold your hand the whole way, telling you what to do. Don’t wait for opportunities, create them by working your ass off to the point that people take notice. That alone will open all the doors you want.