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.

My next idea was to contact my county’s magazine to ask about internship opportunities. I was proud of myself for coming up with that one: the magazine is well-respected, nicely laid out and local (easy commute!). I was able to set up an interview during my spring break, and once again I assumed the internship was in the bag. And that fell through too!

For my final search, I went to the place that I should have gone to in the very beginning: I did something I like to refer to as “e-mail vomit”: I replied to the first five or so pages of New York internship postings and asked about summer internships. I had four days left of my spring break before I had to go back to school in New England, and it would be a hassle if I had to return to New York for an interview. Miraculously, I received one reply: an editor at a magazine in Manhattan liked my resume and wanted me to come in for an interview. The editor talked to me about my resume and described tasks that an intern would be in charge of. I loved the atmosphere of the office and left the interview with a good feeling. I try not to get my hopes up for things because I hate having them shot down, but a few days later the editor emailed me to offer me a summer internship.

I still can’t get over how things worked out: as a freshman, I got a magazine internship in one of the most competitive cities in the world. And I did it all on my own (well, with a little help from Ed)! I don’t know how this summer will turn out, but I’m so thrilled to have the chance to work at my dream summer internship.

Lifestyle Intern

PS- You’ll be hearing from me every Thursday.


  1. sounds truly exciting! definitely soak up everything you learn. and have a blast while doing so. interning is a really fun experience!

  2. SO excited to be reading this! Tell us how you are making it work in NYC for 3 months--so expensive!! GOOD LUCK!

  3. This breaks my heart, Lifestyle Intern. Although I'm surely happy for you, I could cry for I was in the same boat, applying for every internship I could think of and not hearing back from anyone. I even applied to a few New York City internships and wasn't even given an interview. I have a ton of experience even for a (now) rising sophomore. I have 45 clips for goodness sake! Well, I'm really happy for you and can't wait to read all about your experience.