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dear betty,

in the past year, i’ve felt like there was a crucial element missing in my life. i had always been sewing, painting, crocheting, drawing, writing, designing… but for nearly three years, i had set it aside for physiology books and late-night research sessions in the medical journal section of the library. i couldn’t see through the haze of my coursework, couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

something seemed amiss when my immunology notes became increasingly covered in croquis. while in the lab trying to diagnose a mock-pandemic victim, i would be simultaneously wondering what work of fashion architecture lady gaga would be wearing next. i couldn’t fight it anymore. i love medicine. i love the delicate dance of the human body’s systems to achieve homeostasis. however, you cannot deny yourself your creativity and passion any more than you can deny your body nutrition. and i can’t deny it anymore: i was made with a prominent right brain that won’t be silenced!

a tricky dichotomy.

i’ve been shaking in my boots since i realized that my love lies with fashion and design. here i am, with three years of pre-medical coursework under my belt, ready to uproot myself and grow in a new direction. this is terrifying, when you felt for so long that you were on your intended path. needless to say, it’s taken me months to get the confidence to confront it. i’ve shed many a tear, afraid to pick up and start anew, with no certainty about the future. a life of feeling unfulfilled seems far more frightening, though. i’ve realized that i must use all of my tenacity and chutzpah, and make this happen for myself. so, my journey begins now: finding a fashion internship.

my efforts are still green, but what i’ve learned so far is…

  • there are many, many fashion publications, designers, and stylists out there looking for interns. most of them needed you yesterday. the problem is that you will not be a good fit for all of them, or maybe any of the first twenty or so you look at. don’t sweat it. it’s nothing against your character; these people have a good grasp on what they need and want. just because you do not fit for one doesn’t doom you to fit with none.
  • that being said, put your feelers out everywhere. even if you don’t think it’s something you want to do long-term, people will appreciate the effort you put in to making things run smoother for them. being an intern doesn’t mean that out of the gate, you’ll be next to phillip lim, pitching silhouette ideas. it’s about paying your dues and respecting the craft.
  • never written a resume? grab an experienced person, and write that resume! they are not as scary as you may think. you may not believe you have much experience, but once you get down to writing, you’d be impressed at what comes back to you. were you in charge of the wardrobe room in the community theatre? that’s relevant experience for interning in the fashion closet! never underestimate the importance of these details.
  • be patient. i’ll write that one again. be patient! you may not hear anything for weeks. understand that people in the fashion or fashion publication industry are working non-stop on next year’s line, or are working fervently to make sure everything is in at deadline. have heart; you will hear something.

for me (and i’m sure may other girls and guys) it is the most daunting experience to try and put just a toe in the door of your dreams. i implore you, though: keep at it. as schmaltzy as may sound, there’s nothing more satisfying than chasing down your passion.

❤ mae


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