The Advice: Surviving Work Experience

As a lot of you may know if you read my Ted Baker Wishlist post here, I did work experience at Ted Baker during my Easter holidays, which was pretty damn cool (I promise that this is the last time I mention it!). One thing that I was nervous about though was making the most of my time there - I really wanted to get the best experience out of my first fashion-related placement! I did a little bit of scavenging the internet, but also learnt a fair amount whilst I was there, so I thought I'd share with you my hints and tips on how to survive your work experience...

  • Be willing to do the crap jobs, especially at the start. This was something that I'd been told - I can't remember who by - a few years ago and it's honestly so helpful! Whilst you may not think that cutting out paper is the most exciting thing in the world, it means you get to show to people that you're willing to help, let's you network with new people and also often leads to you being able to do the more interesting and important jobs later on in your placement.
  • Network, network, network. Going into Ted, I wanted to make sure I spoke to someone new almost everyday. I wanted to find out their story of how they got to Ted, how long they'd been there, what the company was like, if they recommended doing anything specifically useful for a future career in fashion and what their favourite and least favourite part of their job was. If you think about some questions like that it's super easy to talk to people - especially for someone like me that still panics every time I converse with a stranger - plus, the people you're surrounded by are more often than not super willing to divulge their story and it makes a good impression that you're interested!
  • Confidence is key. This seems a bit ironic coming from me, who, under 3 years ago would have been turning bright red at the idea of talking to most people, even if I knew them. Getting my retail job definitely helped with my public speaking and my confidence grew as I spoke to more and more different people - my small talk has improved second to none! But everyone can still feel a little overwhelmed and intimidated, but my most crucial piece of advice is to try and hide that as much as possible. It will make you seem more approachable and paired with the two points above will make everyone there give you a whole host of tasks and jobs that will allow you to experience a much wider variety of the business! 
  • Enjoy it. It can be tiring (I certainly didn't appreciate the 6am wake up calls #unistudentlife), boring (the reality of work, though, I think) and scary, but the fact that I tried to make myself have fun, meant that I did actually have fun. It was lovely to get to know so many different people who each shared a lot of my interests, to see an actual fashion head office and to just find out about how a large international business works! 

The cutest Daschund puppy that was brought into the office one day!

A lovely thank you card from all of the girls! 

For some more practical tips, I definitely think you should bear in mind the following too:
If you can get a bursary (I managed to through my University) then do it!
Check to see if the company actually cover some expenses
Make sure you know what the dress code is prior to your placement - no one wants a last minute outfit panic!
Find out where exactly you're going and you know what times you need to be where - you definitely don't want to be late on your first day!
Not a bad view getting home - the daily commute wasn't all bad!
If you have any more hints and tips, do let me know! I hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sun - let's hope this is the proper start to spring...
Becky xx


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