I am thankful that I am still in school and will not have to look for a 'real' job until next year. I am job searching for a summer position, but times are tough. Big firms that hired numerous summer associates either cut the number of positions, or cut their programs altogether. Now, top-tier students are competing for lower paying summer jobs at mid to small firms, which were typically the domain of the non top 10% students. Needless to say, people are stressed.
The fashion industry is probably even more competitive; it's hard to get the experience needed to even begin to qualify for a job, and many people want to somehow get their foot in the door to the glamour that the industry represents. So, at this year's WWD Career Expo, 2000 people were competing for only 20 jobs. But that doesn't even mean that the employers represented at the Expo will be hiring from that pool of people. Many of those jobs will probably be offered to a friend of a friend, or someone who has some other kind of connection to the people doing the hiring.
This leads me to the point that networking, whether you work in the legal field or fashion, is so important. The few people I know who have secured jobs for summer got an interview because they knew someone in the firm, or had a former boss who knew of a person who needed a clerk. Being new to Philadelphia definitely puts me at a disadvantage in this respect. I'm not discouraged just yet, but I am feeling that I need to continue to meet people, so that when they hear of something coming available, they just might think of me.