Work Experience & Networking in the Fashion Industry

Work experience is crucial for entering the fashion industry and can take the form of internships, volunteering, placements, work shadowing or part time work.


Unpaid internships should be for no longer than four weeks.  The company should provide you with a meaningful training programme designed to help improve both your sector specific and generic employability skills. An experienced member of staff should be nominated to act as your mentor for the duration of your time with the company. Travel expenses should be reimbursed and flexible working hours should be on offer. 

Paid internships normally refer to placements of more than four weeks. However, a paid internship also applies if you are required by your employer to work specified hours or undertake specific duties. You can expect to receive a salary equal to or more than the national minimum wage.

The UniHub vacancy database is a good place to start looking for internships, but the suggested links also provide sources of available internships.


Volunteering looks great on a CV and is something that employers value highly. It can provide you with opportunities to improve and develop your professional and interpersonal skills, and is something you can do locally, elsewhere in the country or abroad. 

Hallam Volunteering offers a wide range of excellent relevant projects for you to get involved in whilst you are studying for your degree. If you have your own idea for a volunteer activity, why not contact the volunteering team to discuss how they can support you. These experiences will provide you with a wealth of evidence to refer to in your CVs and job applications.

Visit our Volunteering page for more information.


You have the option to take a sandwich year as part of your course, which gives you the opportunity of applying your learning, developing new and existing skills and increasing your knowledge and experience while immersed in the fashion industry. Your Placement team will support you with information about the process of applying for placements with useful information through their Wordpress site and current vacancies via UniHub. You can visit their regular drop in sessions in Head Post Office or email with any questions.You are also recommended to use the specialist links via Finding and Applying for Jobs in Fashion to source vacancies.  

Work shadowing / work experience

These are excellent ways to establish contacts in your chosen field. Successful work placements can often lead to offers of work at a later date or generate leads to other opportunities through the valuable contacts made whilst on work placement. Try to use your holiday periods and free time during term times to exploit these opportunities.

Contact local companies directly, use the local Yellow Pages or creative directories such as Sheffield Creative Guild. The Creative Directory provides web links to key organisations supporting artists and designers.  

Networking and social media

Many work opportunities within the creative sector are not advertised. It is therefore, essential that you are pro-active in your job search. In the 21st century the most efficient way of networking with others in the creative industry is through social network sites. They are invaluable as a means of seeking out professional opportunities and keeping abreast of local / national exhibitions or events. Use the network sites to join relevant associations and groups. Local networking events are run through Sheffield Creative Guild and Creative Mornings.

In addition to the more mainstream social networks such as FacebookLinkedin and Twitterthere are many more that are creative industry focused and allow you to showcase your work. These include:

InstagramBehanceWixTumblrWordpressPinterestCreative PoolDexignerCoroflotWeebly

Some very useful tips on managing your online professional profile can be found by clicking on the following link: your online presence

Last modified: 
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 14:29