Networking & Internship Advice from a Stylist: Interview with Annie Ladino
Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Annie Ladino. Annie Ladino is a New York-based fashion stylist, editor and Chief Stylist for Shop It To Me and I am so excited to speak with her today and so thanks so much Annie for being here!

If you can’t watch the video, read all of the great networking and internship advice below instead!

1) After you graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, how did you get your first job at Elle magazine?

I was interning since I was 18, my first semester in college. I ended up doing a lot of internships throughout college and during my internships, I met a stylist who asked me to assist him on a project outside the magazine that I interned for. By the time I was almost about to graduate my last semester in college, a friend of mine referred me to a stylist. His name was Joe Zee. He was actually in between magazine jobs and I was assisting him on several projects. At the time we did various types of jobs like advertising jobs or work for magazines. Six months later after I graduated he took a position at Elle magazine and asked me to come with him. I went to be his assistant at the magazine.

2) Do you have any internship advice for how you got all your internships since you were 18?

Think of your dream job. Where exactly do you wanna be? Where do you envision yourself being after college? I tell them to aim there. Send in your resume there and apply for an internship. At the place that they would essentially see themselves working after college. Also, think about what’s most beneficial were you going to learn the most. My best internship advice is aim high and go for that place you want to be at.

3) How has networking contributed to your success?

Networking has been a very valuable tool and I didn’t realize it at first. I didn’t realize that going to after work events would actually be beneficial in the end. I find myself still coming across the same people I met 10 years or 5 years ago. And I realize later it was all through networking that my work with them came my way today.

4) Do you usually go to events after work?

I do. I definitely go to events after work. In the industry I worked in, a lot of designers have events. You want to go support them or support your friends, support your colleagues in any way you can. You could call it networking. It’s been really helpful.

5) Do you have any tips for staying in touch with your network?

Its really great to keep up with your social network. And that wasn’t the case many years ago. That wasn’t how it was when I was interning. Now, a great way to keep in touch is through all variety of social media tools that we have.

6) What made you decide to leave Elle magazine and become a personal stylist on your own?

Leaving Elle was such a hard decision. I was there for almost 4 years and throughout the years I’ve been working a lot on celebrity covers and a lot of photo shoots. I met a lot of people, publicists, celebrities and they kept asking me to style them for personal events or red carpet appearances. By that time I had to make the choice of what my next step would be and my career. I think that what seem to out weigh the other ones was that I had a large clientele and that was taking up more of my time than the magazine. I decided to take a really big risk and go out on my own and start my own business because that’s what you are as a personal stylist, you are an independent stylist.

7) How did you get over those fears of going out on your own?

I closed my eyes and ran. 🙂 I weighed pros and cons and I realized there were more pros and I had a lot of really great support at the time and that’s something that networking helped with. Plenty of new people said to me, you know what, we have this project coming up that will keep you busy and working. That was reassurance that I would have work and it was a good time for me to do that. Don’t make the leap without being prepared. I took time to prepare for it and it was just perfect timing.

8 ) What is your favorite part of being a personal stylist?

One of my favorite parts of my job is when someone feels really great on what they’re wearing and they’re walking out the door and they’re going to red carpet event or even a personal event and they’re really happy with how they look and how they feel.

9) Since you are a personal stylist, how can we (classy career girls) be stylish at work while still looking professional?  Do you have any outfit suggestions?

You can still definitely be trendy and stylish and look professional. It’s about updating your closets. Going for staples that you had in your closet. Go on for a different color or a pin stripe or a pencil skirt in a print. Trying things that are a little fashion forward like instead of just the button up shirt look for a shirt dress. Accessories go along way so you could update your look with accessories. Try statement jewelry or colored pumps. It’s all about edging it up a little more with those classic staple things that you already have.

10) This question I ask at the end of all of my interviews, what do you wish you would have known when you were a young professional woman just starting out in her career?

I will take it back to networking because I didn’t realize that time how important it was. I think it’s very important to keep up that contact list and keep up with the networks that you create for yourself. You’re going to run into people somewhere again down the line in the future. I met people in my internship that today I’m still working with. You have to keep that up because you don’t know where or how you are going to run into someone that can help you out in the future. I genuinely tell people that hard work does take you a long way. You might think people aren’t noticing all of the hard work you are doing but they are.  Whether you think someone is watching you or not, someone is watching you and your hard work is being noticed.

Thanks for all the great networking and internship advice, Annie! 

Hi, I'm Anna!

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