The truth is that aside from being cut-throat, for which it's notorious, it's also primarily business driven. You can gawk over the McQueen disco lobster shoes and try to add them to your Amazon wish-list but on what planet could you ever afford them? And where exactly would you wear them? While fashion may seem like a creative and artistic field, it is driven the same way all other businesses are, by the money! And the money in fashion lies in things that actual people will actually wear.
I'll skip the life story. In my junior year I finally realized that my ambitions were far too big for any other city but the big apple. So I transfered and spent the remainder of my college experience consumed with seven course loads, interning twice a week and working at a boutique four days a week. When people hear "fashion school" they think that you spend your days designing and sewing chic dresses. At least that's what my parents thought for a long time. But I studied "product development" under the Fashion Merchandising Management umbrella. If you don't understand what product development is, don't worry no one does. But that's what I spend my days doing now.
Other popular fashion-related jobs include buying, planning and retail operations. Some are more creative and hands-on than others but know that whatever you do, you'll be spending a lot of time on Excel.
I encourage anyone interested in the field to apply to any sort of internship program so you can gain experience, get an idea of what you enjoy and figure out what sort of company culture suits you. But remember that interning does not involve a lot of clubbing, expensive designer clothing, and hair twirling like the media might have you believe.
Try more than one if you have the opportunity! I've had internships in planning, product development, and marketing which all helped me narrow my focus while searching for jobs after graduation. Don't be fooled though because a lot of smaller companies will hire you as an intern under the pretense that a position might open up for you. It won't. They won't. Small companies mean smaller budgets so that's why they have interns to work for free. And make sure to intern at a place where you'll gain exposure to real industry work rather than fetching coffee.
I know that not everyone can be a successful beauty guru or fabulous fashion blogger but I'm a firm believer in chasing after what you want. So regardless if it's a career in the fashion industry or a spot on the X-Factor, work hard and make it happen for yourself.