Many students will tell you that one of the best parts of going to school in New York City is the accessibility to so many enticing internships right outside your front door. The opportunities are seemingly endless, but regardless of what industry you’re in, your first day on the job can be daunting, and figuring out what to wear can be overwhelming. While every job differs slightly, there are some general rules you can stick to based on the industry in which you are interning.
The fashion industry workplace standard can best be summed up in one word: trendy. A general rule of thumb when assembling an outfit is when you think the look is complete, add one more layer. Whether it’s a blazer, a vest or a statement necklace, the third piece will make your ensemble look purposeful and put together. Also, don’t go overboard with your fashion labels and don’t be afraid to take risks — but make sure to keep it appropriate. Lastly, wear comfortable shoes because you will surely be running lots of errands.
The startup culture is stereotypically laid back, and it’s quite possible you’re working out of the founder’s apartment. Jeans and a t-shirt are more than acceptable; so is flannel. Also, if you’re not wearing Vans or Stan Smith’s, are you really cool enough to be working at a tech startup? But before you go too casual, dress up your jeans on the first day. Guys: pair your jeans with a collared shirt. Girls: wear a semi-dressy blouse or add a blazer over your t-shirt.
If you find yourself working for a campaign, business casual is your safest bet. However, if you are interning for the UN, Rothschild’s, or Pearson Hardman, dresses and skirts with a blazer are a must for girls. Heels are not mandatory, but polished flats say “I’m here to talk business.” For guys, a full suit complete with a tie is the standard for office attire.
Museums/Art and Photographer Galleries
New York City is home to some of the world’s finest collections of art. Day-to-day activities can vary but you could be doing anything from filing archives to assisting patrons. The workplace attire is just as varied. Dress business casual but still trendy and don’t be afraid to be creative.
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