Monday, November 29, 2010

Intern 101: If you don’t like something, keep your mouth shut?? 

Hey Edsters!

An interesting situation presented itself this week. But before I explain, I should first mention that I blog outside of the magazine world — nothing serious, just a personal blog on issues that interest or infuriate me.

So this week, a pretty controversial article hit newsstands — one that (despite the magazine’s usual credentials) begs for criticism or at least an outline of how it fell short in its reporting and subject portrayal. And so while all would be perfect for an exciting and honest critique, there’s a catch: I interned with this magazine last year.

And so the dilemma: Is it job-hunting suicide to openly criticize a magazine you know you’ll one day approach for a job?

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Unofficial Q&A with my EAs — How Do I Land Your Job?! 

Hey Edsters!

So the two EA’s (Editorial Assistants) in my office are super cool, really young and totally friendly, and a few weeks back, they suggested we set aside a day where they could take the interns out for lunch (read: to the downstairs cafeteria, on The Mag’s tab). Today was the day, and so the two EAs, my co-intern and I all headed downstairs together for an hour-long lunch. (Which I guess is rare in itself, as interns in our office get 35 minutes and the EAs pretty much have to eat at their desks!).

Once we’d ordered our food and the corporate card was swiped, we found a table and settled into some casual conversation. It was really nice to see the relaxed side of my editors as everything from boyfriends to embarrassing high school stories was discussed. (Yes, my co-intern and EA share a history of marching band/orchestra!)

But after 40 or so minutes of chitchat, they opened the floor for questions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

With the Celeb Binder, Tabloids and Gossip are Just the Beginning 

Hey Edsters!

It’s been another busy day in the office, but what’s great about these days is 1. they fly by, and 2. I have another fun project to report back to you! Basically today I compiled two humongo binders with all the info, gossip and interviews you could ever want on Celeb A and Celeb B — aka The Mag’s January and February Cover Girls.

These binders, also referred to as professional bios or packets, are used at tons of magazines for all kinds of interviews, not just cover stories. They’re compiled (often by interns), for a freelancer, staff writer, or even an award-winning contributor who will review the binder before going into the interview. Mine started off with a color photo on the cover, as well as a list of what would be found inside the binder: Previous Profiles and Magazine Features; Q&As; News Coverage; Tabloids and Gossip; Performance Reviews and Critiques; and any fun tidbits or taboo topics the author should know to reference politely, casually, or avoid altogether.

Fun, fun, fun. At least for the first few hours.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Firsthand Tips from a Friendly Features Editor

Hey Edsters!

So just after I arrived at work this morning, the Features Editor rushed by and handed me a 16-page article. She apologized for the tedious project, but quickly explained that she couldn’t find the story’s original digital copy on her computer and she needed a transcription, pronto.

So I sat down with the article and started typing it out word for word. But I soon realized that as great as the topic was, the story wasn’t written in the typical Mag voice and it definitely included some odd sentence structure and a few grammatical mistakes. Obviously, it wasn’t my job to edit or alter the article in any way, but when I returned it to my editor, I did ask if she’d mind me asking a question or two about the piece.

She honestly surprised me by being super friendly and happy to talk about it, so I asked if the article was a freelance piece. When she confirmed that it was, I happily explained that I really enjoy editing and that it was pretty cool to see the raw copy that would eventually turn into a final print article.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spending $1,100: It's All in a Day’s Work

Hey fellow Edsters!

So every month, when the newest issue of The Mag comes out, bookstores, newsstands and subscribers aren’t the only ones anxious for their spanking new copies. In fact, when it comes to national magazines, among the first to get the new issues are all the other international editions of the publication. Yup — I’m talking The Mag in India, The Mag in Czech Republic, and The Mag editions in Japan and South Africa. They all get copies of the US edition shipped to their offices with love by the features interns in the New York Editorial Office.

The work is tedious and it’s the same every month. Basically, UPS forms are filled out online, specifying what’s being sent, how much it weighs, its declared value and how it needs to be delivered. And after filling this out for 25+ international editions, plus printing the labels, stuffing the envelopes and shipping off all the packages, you’ve definitely fulfilled your interning duties for the day.

But so today, as I was clicking and licking away, I found it super interesting that to send ONE COPY of the magazine, a one-pound shipment can cost anywhere from $60 to 130 USD!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Does Taking a Paycheck Come at a Price?

Hey fellow Edsters!

So I have another dilemma that I’d love your feedback on — an “intern code of ethics dilemma,” if you will. Basically, a friend of mine graduated two years ago with a spiffy undergrad journalism degree from a big-time university. And so, for the last 16 months, she’s been on the hunt for a magazine job — in her ideal case, with a fashion publication. But with the difficulties of the current job market, she didn’t have much luck and ended up working at a couple New York magazines as an unpaid editorial intern. Most recently, she accepted a 4-month fall internship at a really awesome mag — one she’s always wanted to work for full-time in the future.

But here’s the catch, while interning, she continued her job hunt, and just a few weeks into her internship, she was offered a full-time EA position at a competing magazine. And of course, she took the job.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Intern's Survival Guide

Hey fellow Edsters!

So here’s the scenario: an editor swings by your desk or shoots you a quick email, needing contact information for a specific person ASAP!! Any means of communication will do, but he needs it pronto! So what do you do? Let’s try to tackle this one head-on.

Use Your Office Resources. While you won’t often be looking for a celebrity or dignitary, if it’s ever someone you know the magazine has some sort of contact with, check in with the appropriate editors to see if they have the info on-hand. This may mean “crossing department boundaries” into the Special Projects, PR or Fashion departments, but hey, it’s worth a shot.

For someone less notable, Google is (surprise, surprise) always a good place to start. While you probably won’t find all the direct contact info here, it’s a great place for background info on your subject, hopefully offering their profession, employer or agent, location and any past coverage that they’ve received. If you’re super lucky, this could also lead you to a direct professional website that should have a phone number, email link and physical address all listed for you. Score! But who are we kidding? It’s rarely that easy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

5 Tips on Pitching Magazine Stories

Hey fellow Edsters!

Another day at the magazine, another few lessons in pitching story ideas! Basically today, one of the EAs asked us to help her pitch story ideas for the “news-y” section of the January Issue. While she prefaced that it was rare for interns to write for the print edition of The Mag so early on, she did say that if our ideas impressed the Editor-At-Large, we’d have a shot. Too cool, right!?

And so the heat was on, and for the entire day I sifted through almost every newspaper website (both American and international) on the hunt for the best ideas ever. Ha. Wayyyy easier said than done. Especially when pitching for print, which (unlike a quick web story) would need to be relevant, interesting and totally new — 3 months from now!! Ugh.

So I started up a list of ideas that I thought were interesting and after four or five hours of researching, I met with my editor, enthusiastic about what I’d found and hoping for the best.

So here’s some advice for pitching story ideas that I gathered today:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Feeling the Competition

Hey fellow Edsters!

So last time I blogged to you from cloud nine, totally enthusiastic about the future of magazines and their digital platforms. But reality checked back in today when I found that my fellow intern was working on her second web clip! Just three weeks into the internship! And worst of all, they were both ideas she had pitched herself! (Okay, fine, that’s actually fantastic news, but I just realized that I need to step up my game and start pitching my own ideas!)

I want to preface that I really like my co-intern. I think we work super well together and have taught each other a lot over the course of the last few weeks, plus she’s a hysterical — we actually laugh all day. But sometimes, she absolutely baffles me. She sits at her desk doing homework or checking Facebook, and yet somehow she’s racking up all these clips! I just didn’t get it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Best. Assignment. Ever

Hi fellow Edsters!

Damn it feels good to be an intern! Especially right now. With technology becoming ever more entwined in print, many people are predicting the death of magazines — but I couldn’t disagree more! I really believe the magazine industry is one that benefits from cross-platform branding (how else do you explain all those reality TV shows with magazine staffers? The Hills? Project Runway?) Plus, magazines want people to be thinking positively about their brand and advertisers as often as possible (again, think Vogue’s recent Fashion Night Out and Seventeen’s spin-off Seventeen on 34th). Because at the end of the day, all the positive branding reminds people how much they love the magazine and want to be one of the awesome readers themselves (you know deep-down you’re a Cosmo Girl, too!).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Intern Dilemma - To Snitch or Not to Snitch?

Hey there fellow Edsters!

So last time I discussed how important it was to try to get along with your fellow interns and hopefully work together to get work done ASAP. And I absolutely still believe this to be the best method — you’ll leave the editors with a good sense that you’re a team player, efficient with your time, and an enthusiastic, friendly face to have in the office.

But just because you befriend the other interns, doesn’t mean the competition isn’t still on: we all know it’s a tough industry we’re trying to break into, and that every contact is super valuable — so no matter what, we’re all still trying to impress the boss.

As for me, I’ve quickly become friends with my fellow intern. We help each other out (having to figure out a pressing toner issue on the copy machine is so much more stressful than you’d think!) and grab lunch together on our breaks. We also have plans to go see Easy A next week after work, but I guess that’s neither here nor there.

So here’s where things get tricky:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why You Should Befriend Your Fellow Interns

Hey fellow Edsters!

Week two at The Mag was really great (and super busy)! With projects coming in left and right, I was thrilled to have another editorial intern in the office with me (even if it’s only one day a week), but she’s great! We’re definitely in the same boat — a few internships under our belts, graduation quickly approaching, a serious love for traveling and sushi, and high hopes for our internships at The Mag.

But too often I’ve heard of people that rarely speak with their fellow interns. They approach an internship like a competition: everyone is super-competitive and out for themselves, hoping to best impress the boss and get the most exciting tasks or clips. And it’s a solid mentality, right? Every man for himself and may the best man win.

But that’s really not my style and I truly don’t think it’s the best way to approach any situation. (Honestly, when does that girl on reality TV— you know, the one who says, “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win?”—ever win?!).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day One Went Off Without a Hitch

Hey there fellow Edsters!

So I made it out of day one alive! Whew! And better than that, now I get to spill all the deets!

I will admit that I tried on four (okay fine, seven) different outfits before heading out the door and that I splurged on a $15 cab ride, for fear of being gross and sweaty had I taken the subway (which honestly inflicted more stress than it saved because NYC traffic at 8:30 am SUCKS!) but nonetheless, I arrived on time — hair and eyeliner still in place — and walked confidently through the rotating front doors, huge smile on my face, and ready to go!

Boy is it exciting to arrive and be welcomed into a new office! And all the usual bases were covered. I was given the office tour (umm, hellooo fashion closet!), introduced to most of the editorial staff (including the fabulous EIC!!), shown to my own (pretty spiffy) desk, introduced to my fellow interns, and walked through a list of basic tasks, expectations and ways to be a rock-star intern.

So, I figured I’d share some of these pearls of wisdom with you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hi From Your New Fall Intern

Hey fellow Edsters! (Ha! It’s so weird to be on the other side of this blog!)

It’s 11 p.m. the night before my first day and I’m psyched! A bit frazzled over what I’ll wear and, of course, just keeping my fingers crossed that day one goes smoothly, but for the most part, I’m so excited that I wonder how I’ll ever get to sleep tonight!

A quick about me: I’m a journalism and media student in New York, and — like most of you — absolutely obsessed with magazines and totally fascinated by the new twists and turns of web and the digital world.

Speaking of twists and turns of the digital world, this won’t be my first (or second, or even third) editorial internship, but it was the first time I landed a position through a Skype video interview!! In fact, I’m pretty sure it was the first time my editors had conducted one too!! Which I think is so awesome, and one of the many ways the digital era is shifting and updating the industry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Say Hello to our New Fall Intern

Hey Edsters,

We hope you enjoyed reading the real dish of our four summer intern bloggers. Wish them luck as they graduate or move on to a new school year—oh, what's that? You feel like you need more inside dirt on what it's really like to make it as an editorial intern in 2010?

Lucky you! On Monday, we bring you a special, first-time-only fall intern to share her magazine exploits as Ed's Features Intern.

In the meantime, you have all weekend to catch up on all the posts for Ed's Web, City, Lifestyle, and Edit interns. Get at it!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goodbye from the Web Intern

Dear Edsters,

Here we are! The end of the summer is, unfortunately, upon us. But, don’t despair! Fall brings with it another array of pleasant surprises: new school supplies, new clothes, new classes, and, if need be, a fresh start. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this last Labor Day weekend. As a farewell to you all, I thought I would compile a list of things that I have learned this Summer, during my internship and not:

1. School is fantastic. As per my previous post, you know I’m a geek. But, seriously, treasure it, and try to keep that creative energy and flow throughout your life. Even when school will be over.

2. Making money is fulfilling. But working hard for it, and seeing results is even greater.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There is No Place Like Home (Well, Except Maybe New York) 

This is it, my friends. My last post! I’m headed home to North Carolina with my suitcase full of knock-off bags and jewelry, a laptop full of notes, and an address book full of contacts. While I can’t say it’s been easy (if you’ve been a loyal reader, you’ll know that all the research and fact checking definitely has NOT been easy), it has been the best summer! The experience I’ve gained at this magazine is priceless, and I’m so grateful to the editors for giving me a chance.

Last February, on a whim, I applied to a few big name magazines. Never imagining I’d actually get one, I also applied to a few in NC. Miraculously, I got a call back from New York. So I packed my bags, kissed my momma goodbye, dumped that loser boyfriend, and hoped on that plane, not looking back!

The only advice I have for you is to take a chance. Don’t sit back waiting for the big names to come to you. There is no reason that you can’t be sitting in my cute little cubicle next summer. (With some luck, maybe you’ll see me ruling the city as a very powerful, super awesome editorial assistant!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Note From the Outside World

My internship may be over, but my work for the magazine is not yet done: I have articles to write and e-mails to check. I’m still receiving e-mails from events I attended or from company representatives wanting to know if I can help feature their product. I feel awkward replying, “Sorry, I was just an intern” when I spent the whole summer trying to give off the impression of being a full-time staffer. I forward or delete most of the e-mails, but it’s still fun to open my inbox every few days and see what I’ve got!

My big project from home is working on my articles. I was able to do the interviews for my remaining two articles in the beginning of my first week home. The more challenging task was writing the articles.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On My Love for School 

Hello there Edsters,

This is it, my last summer as a student is officially done with. How did I grow up so fast? How am I, all of a sudden, this enormous being? With two decades (decades!) of life experience?
With the end of the summer comes the beginning of the school year. Oh, how I love this scent in the air. Staples is rushing to get in the newest Five Star notebook, Bic’s producing an infinite amount of pens, and Apple is, once again, selling out of iMacs thanks to their student discounts. I know. I’m a geek. But it’s in my blood; I can’t do anything about it. I like to embrace the feeling. Given that this will be my last “first day of school,” I decided to dedicate this post to higher education.

After spending the summer working full-time, I realized how little I actually treasured my education. I always dreamed of working like a grown-up, with real responsibilities, and no homework. But, let me tell you, that kind of life isn’t too much fun. You’re always tired, you feel fat because of all the sitting down, you actually do get bored at times, and, most importantly, you don’t feel special anymore.

As a student, I always felt like I was this extraordinary being.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank You, Thank You Very Much

There are few nicer and more heartfelt things than a little piece of handwritten card stock, especially in the hyper-digital world we live in. I’ve gotten internships and jobs before simply because I sent post-interview thank yous. So I’m definitely planning on doing the same to wrap up my internship at The Mag, as well as the one I’ve been doing at The Radio Station.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to say to all of my bosses in the notes I write in the next couple of weeks. There have been a few people I’ve gotten to work with who I can truly say have helped shape my career in some way. I’m going to look back on the examples they set and the things they taught me for years -- I’ve gotten so much value out of just being able to watch talented journalists and editors at work, and I’m totally going to keep that in mind should I even be in a position to have an intern some day. Though I’ve grumbled about the hard work I’ve had to do for no pay, I’ve definitely gained something, and there are definitely thank yous in order.

What about you, edsters? Are you buying some pretty stationery and writing out thank yous? What do you do to finish off an internship right?

City Intern

Monday, August 23, 2010

Adios, New York! I’ll be back! 

So Edsters, this is my last week in New York! I’ve already written up a calendar of my last week.

Sunday: Shopping in Soho
Monday: Drinks with my friends
Tuesday: See La Cage au Folles
Wednesday: Cheap manicure/pedicure, before I return home and pay a fortune
Thursday: See Promises, Promises
Friday: Broadway in Bryant Park, buy presents for loved ones and pack

I’m sure you’ll see me flying down the street, trying to make the curtain call for a show. Or maybe haggling over the price of a knock-off Tiffani’s ring in Chinatown (which you can get for the amazing price of $10! It hasn’t even turned my finger green yet).

Leaving New York City is going to be pretty difficult.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It’s the End of the Real World As I Know It

I never thought 10 weeks could pass so quickly. After just a little over two months, my internship at the magazine is over. It hasn’t really hit me yet that I won’t be waking up nice and early(ish) Monday morning and heading to the office. I am looking forward to taking some time to relax before school starts up again, but it will be hard going back to being a normal college student instead of living the life of a confident, sophisticated magazine editor.

My last week at the magazine was very uneventful — sadly, there were no events for me to go to, as well as not much work to be done. The intern that left earlier in the summer came back, so we split the tasks we were assigned and made use of our downtime. I mentioned last week that I was given three articles to write, and I was hoping to have most of them finished or in-progress before I left. I was only able to get one done, which is still a good start. I’m getting a very well rounded magazine experience — now I’ll know what it’s like to do freelancing from home!

The week flew by, and suddenly it was my last day. The editor that hired me and that I’ve worked closely with was out sick, but most of the other staff members were there. I brought in cupcakes as a thank you gift that was very well received! Two of the editors gave me gifts in return — a bag of goodies with an exceptionally nice note thanking me for my work and a gift card.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Writing Well 

Writing is interesting. It is one of the few things that I can think of that are dependent on something else; no matter how great of a writer you are, you need to master what you’re writing about. It is not enough to know how to spell correctly, how to arouse sentiments in your readers, and how to use proper verbs and nouns. Writing is about so much more. You truly need to become one with the subject you’re writing about. Be it a profile about an emerging artist, a report on the latest Iraq related information, a review about the newest restaurant, or even a novel – you need to know about it in order to write about it.

I think that’s what has always intrigued me about the whole thing. Not only must I be good at exposing my ideas, but I need to be well-educated about them. I, personally, would love to write about culture. The fact that I am interested in all that’s always and endlessly happening in this modern culture of ours makes things easier. I actually enjoy reading about books, and movies, and art. As I read about it, my knowledge grows, and writing about it just seems so much easier.

Being a writer is so much more than stringing words together in a suitable fashion. Being a writer is everything all at once.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exit Interview

At my other internship (at a talk radio station here in Mystery City, USA) we often do what are called exit interviews — one-on-one conversations with a politician or local figure leaving their position, or even the city. As I get ready to pack up my things and say goodbye to my cubicle at The Mag, I figure now is as good a time as any for my own little exit interview.

SUAVE HOST: Today on the show we have City Mag Intern from the Editorial Department of Big City Magazine and Blogger Extraordinaire from Ed2010, who is saying goodbye to a life of fact-checking, researching and pitching like a madwoman for a brief vacation and a return to Communication College to finish up her degree. Thanks for being here, City Mag Intern.

CITY MAG INTERN: Pleasure to be here, Suave Host.

SH: So, City Mag Intern, how does it feel to be leaving the Intern Den?

CMI: Well, I definitely have mixed feelings about leaving. I’ve learned a lot about how a local city mag runs, but there are a lot of things I still want to learn that unfortunately, I didn’t get to. I guess that’s always how it is with an internship — you get to do a lot of what you don’t expect, but what you do learn is incredibly valuable.

SH: Would you care to expand on that? What didn’t you learn that you wanted to?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Dreaded Phone Interview

The telephone. That piece of technology, while useful and convenient, is the bane of my existence. Due to my extraordinary fact checking skills, I am on the phone most of the day, calling to verify information, have things sent to us, or getting permission to use their own facts. But due to my not-so-extraordinary phone manners, I usually end up having a conversation like this:

Me: Hello, this is Edit Intern from a really awesome magazine.
(I do have that part down…)

Me: I have…um a uh… question for your fact checking, I mean public relations, I mean media relations… Do you know what I mean?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fight For Your Right to Write

I’ll start with what will probably be the highlight of my internship: I’m writing three articles for the magazine! I still can’t fathom that people all over the country will see my name and read my writing. I’m incredibly happy that I have this opportunity — but it’s not going to be easy to pull off.

I found out I was writing these articles the second-to-last week of my internship. That gives me only eight days to work on the articles from the office. I can always work from home and send the articles by e-mail, but it would be nice to leave the internship with everything completed.

Since the timing is so rushed, I got to work as soon as I found out the topics of the articles. The first step was contacting experts that could contribute to each piece. I e-mailed three people, one for each article. One expert said yes right away, while the other two forwarded my e-mail to a few different people. As of now, the end of my second-to-last week, I have one interview completed, one interview scheduled — and the other is up in the air. The people I’ve contacted for that article are foreign and are traveling, so it’s been difficult to confirm that they can answer my questions. I’m hoping they will send me responses next week, but I may be writing that article from home.

Ah yes, actually writing the articles. Since my words will be featured in the magazine, I really want to write professional, informative pieces.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How To Deal When Your Fellow Intern Gets Hired

While waiting for the subway on the way to work this morning, I bumped into one of my co-interns. While eating lunch in the lounge a couple of weeks ago, we started talking and became friendly. We found out that we had both been working at the same major magazine in the past, even though at different times.

While chatting away at the expense of the morning sanity of our fellow commuters, she mentioned that she actually got hired as an Editor! I truly was excited for her, considering she’s been interning since she graduated more than a year ago – for no money. She’s a smart and very nice girl, and she really deserves it.

I’m not going to lie, I did get a little jealous. I wouldn’t necessarily call it jealousy; it was more like an anxiety attack. I settled down, started thinking rationally, and I realized that I am doing everything right. I’ve had innumerable internships (half of which were actually paid), I’m almost done with one of the best Journalism programs in the country, I actually have a job right now, and I have seen my name in print multiple times. After the first panic-stricken ten minutes, my turbo intern capabilities kicked in. I got to work, and did absolutely fabulously. Full-time job applications, you will be crushed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Beginning of The End

It was an eventful week over here at The Mag — literally.

The biggest event of the year, the launch party for our Best Of issue, was this past week, and let me tell you, it was seriously swanky. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that the guest list was a who’s-who of politicians, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, and local celebs, the food was catered by the city’s best (duh), and the views were incredible. It was also sweltering out, but the whole thing was so cool it didn’t even matter.

Though my fellow interns and I spent most of the night working — checking guests in, promoting the party’s various sponsors, and handing out hundreds and hundreds of gift bags — we still managed to have some fun. It was so cool to meet all the winners and see all the hard work we did fact-checking and researching pay off.

As for me, I’m getting ready to head off on a much-needed family vacation for the next couple of weeks, so this may be one of my last dispatches from the inside. Working 9-to-5 day in and day out has been tiring at times (and definitely did not produce as good a tan as my old summer job), but I’ve learnt more about what goes into city magazines than I have in my past three years as a journalism major...though those three years definitely helped!

How about you, edsters – how do you feel about wrapping up your internships? What did you learn? Love? Hate? Let me know in the comments.

Much love,

City Mag Intern

Monday, August 9, 2010

What to do When The Other Intern Gets All The Cool Work

One of the downsides of actually liking your co-interns is that you can’t hate them for getting cool jobs. Our entertainment editorial assistant is leaving soon, and of course, Intern 1 gets to sit at her desk next week and “do her job.” I wish I could bitch about her in this blog, but all I can say is, “You go, girl!”

A few weeks ago, my associate editor gave me more fact checking work. This is the same job I have been working on since my first week here in May. I will be so relieved and excited to finally see this story in print! This time, I’m working on the web version. Associate Editor told me it wasn’t due for a few weeks, so I’ve been putting it off, and now I’m scrambling! I have to update this copy with the info I found for the print copy, then check the new info. It’s a little easier this time around. The research department isn’t as strict for the web, but it’s still taking me forever.

While chatting at the coffee machine, Associate Editor apologized for giving me all the fact checking work (Intern 1 and 2 rarely get big fact checking jobs). She said “When we find something you’re really good at, we just stick it with you! You know the drill and we trust you.”

Yes, fellow Edsters, you heard correctly. My bosses TRUST me and think I am an excellent fact checker. Hmm, maybe instead of writing, I’ll join the research department… Nah.

The end of the summer is almost here! Be sure to seize all those opportunities before it’s too late, and you’re driving home to NC with three young cousins, beach chairs, and your overstuffed suitcase on your lap.

Does anyone else have fun summer vacays planned? Or know a fellow intern who gets all the good assignments? Share your stories in the comments!

Ed's Edit Intern

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chatting My Way to the Top

Networking does not come easy to me. I am terrible at making small talk and usually end up very red and flustered or freezing up and going silent. However, as all you Edsters know, networking is key in this industry. (Hint: See Ed's Guide To Networking for tips!) One of my personal goals for this internship is to come out of my shell and not be so nervous talking to people.

The first step in networking is getting used to having informal conversations with people I don’t know. I’ve started at the basic level — making small talk with company representatives as I’m bringing them into desksides (meetings where the company pitches their product and I sit and nod my head) and PR reps at the events I go to. I’ve developed a list of safe questions to ask: How’s the weather outside? Have you been to many other meetings today? Is there a look book? Once I ask a lead-in question, it’s a lot easier to get a conversation flowing.

After becoming more comfortable chatting with people I don’t know, the next step in networking is talking to someone successful in the publishing industry. This week, I had breakfast with the vice-president of a well-known media company. I met her last month through a series of family connections and coincidences, and she generously offered to take me to breakfast at Chelsea Market. I had to wake up obscenely early to get there, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On Squeezing Your Brain and Writing

I once read in a beautifully written novel, “The Angel’s Game,” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, that the burst of inspiration that you might think characterizes true writers isn’t real. Writers, the author announces, sit down and “squeeze their brain” until their fingers bleed, and their elbows take on the shape of the table. Writers don’t think initially – they just let out all that is inside of them. It’s important to understand the hardship involved in the squeezing. Material will never magically burst out of your being, and carelessly flow onto the paper – you must force it out of you.

This week, I was supposed to interview the director of an upcoming, rather known, movie. I was in contact with his PR agency for another assignment, and his representative brought up a possible interview with him when I was done with the first project. I was obviously grateful for the opportunity and started researching my newest subject immediately. I came up with a series of questions (tip: always have more questions than you think you’ll need. You want to minimize the awkward moments of silence, which, I assure you, diminish as you practice), and set up a date and time for the phone conversation. It went pretty well, and I think I got a good interview out of him. I had to transcribe the tape, and decide which questions and answers were worth sending to my editor.

I decided to structure the piece into two categories. First, I would write a paragraph or two about the subject – and then I would include about three questions and answers. For some reason, I could not bring myself to write the introduction.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Best of the Best

Oooh, edsters — stuff is getting glam at The Mag.

Last week, two of my lucky fellow interns were helping out with our big Fall fashion shoot. I was busy building a slide show and transcribing an awesome interview (seriously, I’m so into it), but they were sweet enough to call me downstairs once they’d unpacked all the goods, and we swooned about all of the brocade and heavy wool and Louboutin boots for a solid 20 minutes — it was fashion heaven. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

This week, we’re hosting the launch party of our Best Of issue at a super-swanky, super-secret venue, which I can only imagine is going to be EPIC. All of the interns are working the party, so I’m meeting with the coordinator on Monday to go over the night and get briefed on what we’re going to be doing. I’m pretty excited to get the chance to celebrate all the work we’ve done on the issue, and I’m definitely going to pocket some of my business cards in case I hand a gift bag to someone too cool NOT to introduce myself to.

Other than that, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how fast the summer’s gone. Do you guys feel like it’s just flown by? I’m going on vacation with my fam in August, and already starting to work on getting together the magazine I manage-edit at school, AND trying to fit in some last bits of summer fun ... before we know it, it’ll be time for all that brocade and heavy wool and my last year of college before I meet the real world. Crazy.

How about you, edsters — how are your internships wrapping up? Got any glamorous tales from Magazineland? Let me know in the comments!

City Mag Intern

Monday, August 2, 2010

New York State of Mind

After being in New York for two months, I am finally getting the hang of the city. I can take the subway without getting lost, walking twenty blocks seems like nothing, and I’ve learned to plug my nose when walking by the street vendors (they are too tempting! Especially the Greek food and roasted peanuts…)

Along with these things, generally, New Yorkers hate tourists. I find myself rolling my eyes at those standing in front of a horse drawn carriage snapping pictures, or god forbid, trying to talk to me on the subway (Don’t you realize I have my earphones on for a reason?)

But this weekend, I got off my high horse, and became a tourist myself. My best friends from high school came to visit and we did every cheesy, annoying, touristy thing possible (Yes, we were those girls singing “Empire State of Mind,” walking through the park.)

The best part of the weekend was definitely the Empire State Building. It was completely worth the fifty or so dollars that we spent to make our way to the top. I’m all about being a “true New Yorker” and abhor the idea of looking like a tourist. But sometimes, you just need to let your freak flag fly and enjoy this wonderful city!

On to more important things, like my lack of a clip for the website.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Am Interning in a Material World… and I am a Material Girl!

Where else can you have a job where you can attend exclusive previews of new products from huge companies, be given awesome gift bags, and request free samples of anything from gummy bears to blow dryers? This is life in the publishing industry. My favorite part of my internship is definitely going to events. The editors get invited to so many previews and launches that I wind up going to most of them — sometimes as many as four in one day! The picture is my loot from one of my busier event days this week. All I have to do is show up, take notes, and bring back the press kit and whatever other goodies I’m given!

One of the perks I sometimes get is transportation — a lot of the events will provide a car service if you request it. This is especially nice when it’s raining outside or if the event is so far away that you’d need to take a bus, a subway and walk for 20 minutes to get there! For one event, I even had a car pick me up at my house outside of the city and bring me to the event in the morning. It took an hour and a half to get to the event, as opposed to the 45 minutes it would have taken me with my normal commute, but the experience was worth it.

As my internship has progressed, I’ve grown more confident in this world and have learned more about interacting with people at these events.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the Future (Part II) 

Internships are multifaceted organisms. So many things must function properly for it to work correctly. Your boss, your colleagues, the city you’re in, the office itself, your tasks… they are all details that can make or break your experience.

But let’s analyze internships for what they really are: a chance to experience a possible future. In a way, it’s like trying on gloves, or shoes… which one fits best? Which one will be more useful? Which one are you dying to get…even though you’re not sure why? This is my sixth internship and I can finally say that I, more or less, know what I want to do with my life (figuring out how to get there is a totally different story – as you may have noticed from my previous apocalyptic, depressing post).

The decision regarding a future career is based on a myriad of things. Let’s move on step by step:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Oh, edsters.

I’ve been buried under a pile of research — I’m pretty impressed with myself that I’ve been able to surface and write this post. We’ve been hard at work on one of The Mag’s best-selling issues of the year, which means a TON of research (literally, we print out all of our records, and I’d be willing to bet my life that it weighs at least a ton).

For the past two weeks, the edit interns and I have been slammed with work. We barely have time to do transcriptions or run errands or pitch. All the sudden, 8 interns feels like too little (and so does working for free, but that’s just part of the deal, right?) But we’re almost done with it, which is a big relief. I think I’m going to bake us a cake this weekend to celebrate. Even though its been a groan-worthy endeavor, it’ll be so cool to see the issue come out and know that the stuff we did, however tedious, is the backbone of the cover story.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Big Pay-Off

After almost a week off from work (Congrats to my roommate from NC who got married last weekend!), I am ready to head back to work. With a strong second wind (Hey, who hasn’t gotten tired of waking up early everyday!), I’m on a mission.

I still haven’t gotten a chance to write a clip for our website. It’s just bad luck on my part. Intern 1 and 2 just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Their clips have been awesome (Who doesn’t like writing about table decorations and fireworks?) but I’m ready for my turn!

Here is my master plan: Casually run into the web editor at the freebies table (which is the watering hole of our office) or kitchen. Mention that things are a little slow and that I would love to help her out with anything she needs. If that doesn’t work, beg and maybe cry a little bit.

Ok maybe not beg and cry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interns, Do Your Part!

This week at work has been…frustrating. I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m now the only intern in my department at the magazine, but this week my workload really began to affect me. My tasks for this week included gathering products and helping the beauty editor set up for a run-through, requesting samples from toy companies for a holiday gift guide, brainstorming ideas for the December issue, and harassing people to send pictures for various features. I’m good at budgeting my time, so everything was going smoothly until I got a phone call from a woman at a company we needed pictures from. I’ve been in contact with this woman because I had to take over the assignment of ANOTHER intern who wasn’t showing up to the office. Seriously people, what is going on!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On the Uncertainty of the Future

I’m in a bit of a sentimental mood today. I’m sitting at work, perusing the Web on an occasional moment of freedom. I start thinking about my job, and my future.

It’s already July, I go back to school for the last time in September, and I’m still unsure as to what the future holds.

For the first time in my life – I don’t know what’s coming next. While in elementary school, thoughts about how to lead your life rarely cross your mind, and you have the security of middle school in front of you. While in middle school, you are certain of what’s to come next. You might have to choose between several high schools, but you know, more or less, what your next four years will look like. Come your senior year of high school and things start to get a little tricky.

Suddenly, you have to make an active effort to assure yourself a future. Attend college? What college to apply to? What college to actually attend? Eventually, study-related questions start to arise. What do I want to major in? How much studying should I be putting into this class?

Towards the end of college, things start to get hard. All of a sudden, you find yourself completely unsure about what is it that you should be doing. That certainty that you previously had in the importance and comfort of the path of higher education is now missing. You might decide to go to grad school, but even that will most likely require you to find a temporary job to sustain yourself economically.

I am in this weird limbo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Perfectly Timed Inspiration

While I feel like I should take this opportunity to be typically whiny about this oppressive heat wave we’re suffering through on the East Coast, its having a strange effect on me: I’m actually looking forward to coming to work MORE than usual.

I don’t know what your living situations are like, fellow interns, but my adorable abode is on the top floor of my apartment. And by adorable, I mean big, spacious of the pluses of not being in NYC is that a dining room and full kitchen with washer/dryer are in my price range! But safe to say that our one lonely AC and couple fans have just been blowing around hot, humid air all week and not much else. Hello, air conditioned office! I’m wearing a sweater as we speak, and it’s 95 outside. If I can’t be near a lake wrangling screaming kids into waterskis (which is way more fun than it sounds), this is the next best thing.

Anyways. This week we had our second intern brown bag lunch, which give us a chance to meet with some of the higher ups who work on different parts of The Mag.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How To Fact-Check Your Ass Off

I never realized just how much research goes into an article (and I know I'm not the only intern fact-checking away). If you haven’t had any experience with researching an article, let me explain the process. The article is written (usually outsourced from a freelance writer). Once the author submits the article, it goes to the research department, where it is usually passed on to yours truly. My job is to find the quotes in the original transcript, and highlight and number them according to the numbers on the original article.

It’s a complicated process that takes up most of my day. But it’s better than babysitting, which is what I would be doing at home! The best part of all this research is that when I see the finished article in the magazine, I’ll know that it was all me!

So far, my internship has gone off without a hitch. Unlike the first event I attended, the press junket I went to last week for the health editor went great. The editor asked me to get information on how children can get involved in community work. It won’t be featured in an article, but it will still be a little blurb on the health page. At first, I felt very intimidated, like everyone knew I was just an intern. But the women at my table were helpful and nice. Before I knew it, I was explaining my own ideas of how to get children involved in the community.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How To Make The Most of Your Downtime

Initially, this post was going to be about how I hate having nothing to do at work. Then, since I’m now the only intern, I was given 400 things to do at the beginning of the week that have kept me busy every day. However, I’m still going to write about doing nothing because that’s how I’ve spent a lot of this internship.

While I can’t speak for everyone, I would say that the majority of interns are occasionally faced with periods of time when they have nothing to do. I’ve experienced more than enough lag time, especially in the mornings. I’d like to think I’m a pretty fast and efficient worker, so I usually get my tasks done quickly. While I like getting things out of the way, that just means I have to sit and think up ways to kill more time.

I don’t sit near any of the editors, so when I don’t have any work to do I can pretty much do what I want. Since I can’t leave the office because I never know when I’m going to get assigned a new task, this usually manifests in me going on Facebook or Twitter, reading the book I’ve brought, or watching a TV show on my computer. These are all terrible, terrible things to do — do not follow my lead.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There Is Hope Out There

Last week, in the midst of major magazine turmoil, my boss asked me to venture out of my usual tasks and overtake a fact-checking assignment. Earning to momentarily rid myself of the monotony of the daily tasks that I had been assigned until then, I gladly accepted the offer.

Personally, I don’t view fact checking as an extremely difficult job. Tedious, yes. Crucial, yes. Possibly boring, yes. But hard? I don’t think so. It usually involves three parts (and this is for you aspiring fact-checkers):

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What To Do When There Are No Jobs Out There

Oh, Edsters. As if I - or all of you! - need another reminder that it's a tough business out there. I went for coffee a few days ago with The Mag's staff writer (yes, there's pretty much only one, along with a couple editors and some freelancers, who write the bulk of the well features) and got a pretty grim outlook. I also got a lot of good advice though, so there's always that!

Over coke and iced tea (neither of us are actually coffee drinkers, funnily enough) Staff Writer told me that The Mag is probably not going to hire anyone for a long, long time, and is operating very effectively as a bare bones staff right now. He also told me that I will probably not get to write very much, though I have already gotten a few bylines ("Wow," he said, as though that was a rare occurrence.) He said that their website is in shambles, which I don't think is completely true, though it could be a lot more effective.

But enough about the whole I'm-never-getting-a-job-at-The-Mag part. He did tell me a lot about how to flesh out some of my story ideas, and that I should write and pitch any chance I get, and that his door was always open (well, his cubicle doesn't have a door, but figuratively, it was great to hear). He told me about the stories he's working on, and asked me to do some research for him, and recommended I send some of my front-of-the-book pitches to the EIC. And all in all, I did get to know him better, which is always a good thing, especially since I still have my fingers crossed that I'll be working on staff with him (or in his position somewhere) someday.

Chins up, aspiring magazine writers and editors - there's hope for us yet.

P.S. I'm thinking I'm going to keep this "funny intern-related link" thing up. Check out this awesome craigslist posting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Best Internship Ever

I hate math. Despise it was a deep passion. So when my editor said “Hey, convert these ounces to gallons,” I had a slight panic attack. After a sneaky call to my father who explained how to solve the problem, I surprised myself (and probably my editor!) by getting the correct outcome. Thanks, Dad! Unfortunately, my sixth grade teachers were right. You will use math for the rest of your life. Awesome.

I’m beginning to bond with the other interns. Intern 1 and Intern 2 are (so far…) awesome. It’s really nice having people to commiserate with when things get bad, share work with, and gossip with when things get slow.

Work is still pretty awesome. I’ve gotten some more research projects, which aren’t too terribly boring. It’s kind of fun pretending I’m someone special who can make demands and ask for special favors (Yes, I plan on taking advantage of the freebies that accompany my job! Don’t think less of me, Edsters). I still haven’t gotten any clips for the website, but fingers are still crossed!

Next week, I get to go to an event for the health editor. The last event I attended, I felt really out of place. I told the director of the event that I was an intern and immediately felt her disdain for me. The second she found out I was a lowly intern, she started treating me like a child. So I’ve learned my lesson. Unless they specifically ask, just let them assume you’re someone important! (Although I would argue that the offices would fall apart without the grunt work of interns…)

How is everyone’s internship going? Any one have any tips on how I can get that writing assignment?

Until next week,
Ed's Edit Intern

Friday, July 9, 2010

All By Myself

Good news: the other intern at my magazine is no longer working there. Bad news: the other intern at my magazine is no longer working there. This is good news because now I have plenty to do, not because I didn’t like her. However, this is very bad news because this week I’ve had too many phone calls to make, too many meetings to attend, and too many events to fit into one day!

The magazine has a pretty small staff, so when the other intern and I were both there we didn’t always have a lot to do. The editors would evenly split tasks and events to go to between us, but most of the time we sat by our computers and watched movies online (not good, I know). Most of you probably hear stories about interns being sent to pick up dry cleaning and fetch coffee — I would have loved to have been asked to do that!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How To Fight The Monday Blues

When school is in session, I dread the arrival of an upcoming Sunday. That is because Sunday is super homework day. I need to plan my studying for the week, organize my interviews for my journalism classes, read most of the endless assigned pieces … and basically stay at home trying to diminish my workload for the days ahead. But during the summer, things are totally different. Sundays become precious. You don’t have those panicky, anxiety-filled dreams revolving around an upcoming test. Usually, you can wake up and decide to do something right then and there – with no planning ahead. Sunday really becomes the most relaxing and valued day of the week. So here goes the lesson of the week:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Survivor: Intern Edition

Hey there lovely readers,

First thing's first. If I may, I just need to gush for a couple of sentences. I'm TOO PUMPED to be Ed's City Magazine Intern Blogger, and I can't tell anyone I know except for you guys! I'm going to really struggle with this whole secretive thing throughout this summer of blogging, but for the good of the blog/you, my wonderful fellow Edsters, I have been practicing serious restraint and kept my mouth shut. I just can't believe I've been stalking the site and this blog for years, and now get to be a part of it! Mind blowing.

Alright, gushing done.

Life at The Mag has been pretty slow lately. After my awesome clam-eating date with the food editor and getting to write a piece for the Style section last week (with a byline and everything, the holy grail of internships as far as I'm concerned), I'm starting to feel like anything else would pale in comparison. But really, this week has been making me go a little stir-crazy. I'm still trying to get a feel for the ebb and flow of the magazine's production schedule, but as of right now, things seem to get crazy busy/terribly boring at the drop of a dime.

Of course, I've been trying to keep myself busy even when there's no actual work to be done. However, the whole "trying to be an awesome, productive intern at all times" thing can get a little weird when there's lots of other interns around: I sometimes feel like I'm on Intern Survivor or something.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ed’s Edit Intern in the Big City

Hi fellow Edsters!

This summer is flying by. I can’t believe that it’s already July. In less than two months, I’ll be flying back home to a much less interesting life, without caramel cone ice cream (only the best Haagen Daaz flavor of ice cream that can’t be found in the Southern city where I live.)

My landlord (who also happens to be a family member that I’m living with this summer outside the city) warned me that when I was in the city, time would seem to stop. The outside world would cease to exist. She was undeniably right. New York is all I think about. I eat, drink, sleep, ride, walk, sit, and breathe New York City. It’s a stark difference from the slower paced life of my hometown, far, far away from here.

My feet seem to be taking a direct hit from the Big Apple. No matter what shoes I wear, I have painful blisters, small cuts that turn into big scabs and a constant ache in my right heel. The city grime covers them and I’ve learned to enjoy the clean grass on my bare feet in the town outside the Big Apple that I live in. But the way I figure it, if this is my worst problem, I’m doing okay.

The last five weeks have blurred by.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lifestyles Intern Says Relax (Try To Do It)

I’m three weeks into my internship and have learned a very important real world lesson: no matter how old you are, you will still want to take naps. Working eight hours a day, five days a week is exhausting!

It’s hard to sit at my desk and focus on the articles I need to fact check or the people I need to contact when I can only think about letting my eyes close for a few minutes. By the time I get home, all I want to do is go to sleep. Of course, I’m easily convinced that I can stay up until a later hour, but I regret it the next morning. Have you noticed that whatever time you have to get up in the morning, whether it’s 6:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., is still too early? At school, waking up for my 9:30 a.m. class was a challenge- now I would love to be able to sleep that late!

I’ve always thought of summer as the time to relax by the pool and be lazy all day, so it’s been difficult reconciling this laid-back season with the more formal atmosphere of an office. Since I’d like to try and have the best of both worlds (yes, I am shamelessly quoting Miley Cyrus), here’s my proposal: nap rooms in every office! It would be great to just take half an hour to lie on a couch or cot and power nap. I’ve debated lying on the floor under my desk, but I think that would be frowned upon.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How To Kick Ass in Your First Week

I have been working for the past couple of weeks, and I’m here to provide you with an extremely detailed recap of all aspects of my internship.

Co-Workers: There are two other online interns, about six editorial interns, around a dozen fashion interns, and a couple of more in other departments. I assure you, in my five-previous-internships history I have never, ever seen so many interns at one publication. I don’t really deal with anyone but my fellow online girls. Well, I’ll be totally honest… the competition is on. The journalism world is a cutthroat, fend-for-yourself, don’t-trust-too-many-people one, and, especially as interns, you not only want to make sure to be the best, but you want those around you to know that you are the best. So I don’t really like to mingle with the other girls, which doesn’t mean we’re rude to each other, but we all keep our guards up. As for my superiors, I like them. Everyone is pretty young in the office, so, in some way, I feel like we all have the same perspective on the business.

Lesson 1: Always be aware of what is going on around you. Make sure you know what your co-interns are working on, and try to do it better than them next time. However, be nice to all. You definitely don’t want to be known as the rude intern that always steals people’s thunder, but, rather, as the smart intern that always knows how to do everything better than anyone else.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Cool Assignment

Wanna hear about my adventures so far? (Of course you do, or you would X out of this blog and keep stalking The Sartorialist's latest shots).

The first happened early last week. As a HUGE foodie, I've made it a personal goal to be the Food Editor's go-to-intern/BFF. While stopping in at her cubicle in the morning to ask if she needed help with anything, I got more than I expected: an invite to taste-test fried clams and oysters that night for the upcoming Summer Fun issue we're running. OF COURSE I dropped all my plans (whatever, friends, you'll be around tomorrow!) for the chance to eat fried seafood on The Mag's budget and pick the brain of one of the editors. We hit three places, and I did not pace myself at all, but it was so much fun that I would have eaten myself into a coma if I had to.

Lessons Learned:
• In food writing (and taste-testing, duh) always pace yourself. Don't touch that bread basket no matter how good it looks, and eat half of what you think you want.
• Checking in with editors when you've got down time leads to free food/great opportunities that you definitely would not get if you just sit at your desk twiddling your thumbs.
• Don't hassle them, but I've figured out that a lot of times, the editors are so busy they forget that we're there unless we remind them!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The First Day

I hate to admit that my anxiety got the better of me this morning. My stomach was in knots as my taxi (I was too afraid to try the subway!) pulled up to the building. But after five minutes, my anxiety fizzled away and I found myself in heaven.

The editorial assistant for entertainment met the cast of Glee last night. The EA for literature has a hundred novels to look through. Best of all, the freebies table is stocked with makeup, books, bags, and anything you could possible imagine.

I have my own desk that I’ll share with the two other interns that will hopefully come next week. Since the magazine hit the stores two weeks ago, there wasn’t much for me to do. But I’m told that over the next few days, editors and EA’s will be giving me plenty to work on. Bring it on!

Looking back, the last couple of months have flown by. Moving to New York was merely a dream that I never thought would become a reality. After to applying to what seemed like a million places (all found on, of course), I finally got a call back. My spring break was spent driving to New York City with my roommates, interviewing, and shopping. After a week of impatiently waiting, I got an email saying that one of the nation’s best women’s magazines wanted me. ME!

So, here I am. A working woman. Kind of. I’m already getting caught up in the hustle that makes New York great. More adventures to follow soon. Check back next Monday for updates!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Little Intern That Could

I am not a procrastinator. Just the thought of doing things at the last minute stresses me out. Because of this, I began my summer internship search in January. Luckily, I wasn’t flying blind: I knew I wanted to work at a magazine. Unluckily, I already had some serious disadvantages: I was a freshman in college, I go to a liberal arts school with no formal journalism program, and I couldn’t think of any contacts I had working in the magazine industry. Everyone I had talked to about finding a magazine internship told me I was better off waiting a few years since I had virtually no chance of getting one for summer 2010. Of course, there was no way I would listen to them without trying my luck first.

I tried to make my search as easy as possible by using my college’s career center resources to find alumni working in the magazine industry. I was very optimistic and at one point even thought I had an internship all lined up. It fell through, something I’ve now learned is pretty common. I never even received replies from any other possible employers, so I went back to square one.

Coming To You Live From The Front Lines

Today is your lucky day. I will be reporting to you, right from the line of fire, the mouth of the dragon, the source of all power… a fashion magazine — just in case you’re thinking of pursuing a career in the seemingly dying world of journalism (look closely, jobs are out there!).

I will be a paid (I told you, they’re out there if you look hard enough!) online intern for the summer, and I’m hoping to stay on board post-summer as I will be graduating in December. I actually found the job posting right here on Ed! After an infinite number of interviews, I can’t believe I finally landed a job, and one that really seems suited to my preferences and skills.

I initially only applied to magazine postings. Since it was my final summer before graduating, I really wanted to make sure I got a job that I could eventually keep post-grad. However, things looked dark at best, and I had to branch out. I started applying to PR jobs, book publishing jobs (still on my radar), and even marketing (eeekh) positions. My hopes were slowly but steadily disappearing, until I got called in for an interview at an actual magazine, my original goal.

Hello From Outside NYC

I'm currently an intern at one of the biggest city magazines in the country. This whole anonymous thing is tricky, since I'm no good at being secretive and mysterious, but I will do my best to get you right in the thick of life at the magazine while being undercover.

I've already been at the magazine for a few weeks now, in addition to holding down another internship at a radio station doing web, multimedia, and audio work from time to time (yes, I've already had three mini-heart attacks at the mention of me + a Marantz audio recorder, but it's been a great learning experience so far) AND working at my regular job as a tour guide for my College. All in all, a big switch from my lazy summers as a sailing and waterskiing instructor/lifeguard at a small little camp in Middle-of-Nowhere, Maine. I keep marveling to my friends that this is what REAL grown-ups feel like in the summer: working 9-to-5, dressing for air conditioning, and trying to make some weekend getaways here and there.

But enough about me, and more about the good stuff: The Mag, as I'll call it from here on out.

First Arrival

The landing is always the worst part of a flight. As I sat in 33D, the very last row of the giant US Airways plane, my knuckles cramped from my extreme grip on the armrest. My stomach flip-flopped with every jostle.

The plane was headed to New York City, my new home for the next three months. My internship with a national women’s magazine starts bright and early Monday morning. The twenty-minute train ride will bring me right into Grand Central Station, followed by a cheap subway ride, an expensive taxi drive, or a long walk that will take me to the Hearst Building. My days will be spent researching for articles, working on projects, and minimal busy work. When I'm not exploring the editorial world, I'll be movie star watching and eating pretzels in Central Park. And possibly even drinking coffee on the steps of the Met (Shout out to all you Gossip Girl fans!).

My nerves constrict whenever I think about walking into the building on the first day. For a few weeks, I’ll be the only intern. While this may work in my favor in the long run, I’ll have no one to eat lunch with! (Of course, this is my main concern.)

I’m thousands of miles away from home in North Carolina, living in a family member’s basement, and working for one of the most prominent and well-respected magazines in the editorial world. What could go wrong?

Edit Intern

PS: To hear what happens next, check in on Monday!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stay Tuned

Ed knows you've been missing all the dirty details about what it's like to be an intern in the magazine industry, so he's bringing you a whole new batch of The Intern Diaries this year.

Starting June 21, you will be hearing from Ed's Edit, Web, Lifestyle, and City Magazine Interns.

Get psyched,