My Industrial Placement experience: Amy Hardy at Boohoo.com
Amy Hardy, final year Fashion Marketing student tells us all about her experience working at Boohoo during her placement. From landing the internship, to working with different departments and her experience working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before I got my internship
I became aware of internships in my first year of university and knew it was something I wanted to do to gain some experience before graduating. I was looking out for internship job adverts on a number of brand websites, and since I wanted to stay in Manchester I had a choice of some of the biggest online retailers – think Missguided, Boohoo, MissPap, Missy Empire and more! The website I used to keep up-to-date with internships was www.fashionworkie.com, you can sign up for alerts too which is very helpful. I also followed a lot of brands on LinkedIn so that I could see when jobs were being posted.
This was a lesson in perseverance – I applied for a few internships and received many rejections, which was disheartening. After around 4 months of applying and many stressful days waiting for a phone call, I was then lucky enough to land an internship with the Digital Marketing team at Boohoo. At the interview, the recruiter mentioned to me that my creative CV stood out. My creative CV was a vinyl Blondie ‘Heart of Glass’ record with a shortened CV written onto it using a Sharpie. I then put it in an envelope that was completely filled with pink glitter, and sent it to the head office. I chose this as a creative CV as it reflected my personality; when you’re making creative CVs, you should always try to be original and do something that shows who you are. It’s all about standing out!
During my internship
Everyone told me before starting that I would be ‘thrown in at the deep end’ – however I did not realise how true this would be. I was given so much responsibility on my placement, which, at the time, felt very overwhelming since I had no industry experience. However, this was the best thing that could have happened because I gained so much confidence and drive within the role. It also helped me to be more independent – there’s a common misconception that fashion internships are going to be something like The Devil Wears Prada, but this was far from the truth. I was given a great deal of independence during my internship – from choosing my own imagery, to voicing my own opinions, creating my own meetings and being asked for input on numerous things.
As a Digital Marketing Intern, I helped build the email newsletters for Boohoo. These campaigns were global, which was extremely interesting as I got to establish relationships with the German and Australian Boohoo teams. Building the email campaigns involved choosing clothes, campaign imagery and influencer imagery as well a copywriting. I got to experience so much outside of this role as well – attending strategy days, getting exclusive access to see upcoming campaigns, attending showrooms and being in an environment surrounded by likeminded people.
I grew very close to my team and we are still all in touch – this was one of the best things about my internship. The social side of Boohoo was something that I did not expect; a yearly summer party as well as a Christmas party with celebrity guests, DJs, free drinks and more. There were also many perks of the job such as sample sales and free food trucks on Black Friday. ‘Work hard, play hard’ had never rang more true.
Whilst at Boohoo, I expressed my interest in doing work experience in other departments too. My manager then helped me to secure 4 weeks of further work experience in the Boohoo studio. This was very exciting, I got to see all the models, stylists, photographers and makeup artists produce all of the imagery. I also got the opportunity to style my own looks which ended up on the website – this was a great feeling!
The impact of COVID-19
When COVID-19 hit, we inevitably all had to work from home. My team quickly adapted to this. Although challenging, it was interesting to see the change within the business. For example, 90% of our email content before COVID was based on going out and party dresses. We therefore had to adapt quickly to alter what styles we were promoting on our campaigns and we decided to push loungewear and similar clothing. As a result, the company saw a huge increase in loungewear sales. My internship was supposed to end after 12 months, but due to the circumstances, I was asked to stay on over the summer and ended up finishing my time at Boohoo in September 2020.
After my internship
Going into the final year of university, I feel like I have a lot more confidence. I have more self-belief and drive due to the time I spent at Boohoo. I also have a clear idea of the direction I wish to go in after graduating. Before my placement, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to go down a creative path instead of a marketing path. Now I know that I want to go into influencer/social media marketing since this combines elements of both analytical marketing as well as creative and visual aspects.
My advice for anyone looking for an internship would be to ask around – just because a brand may not explicitly say they are hiring doesn’t mean they aren’t! Especially in fashion jobs, it is all about self-promotion and making yourself known, so put yourself out there. This is not just for big brands like Boohoo, make sure you message smaller local brands and ask, even if you just do a week or a month of interning for them. Message them on social media, find an email address or just go into the store (when it’s allowed, of course!). Not only will this look great on your CV, but it will give you a lot more confidence in the industry and expand your knowledge further.