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,