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.

Take last Tuesday as an example. I've been trying to set myself mini-goals for every day I'm in the office (stuff like "Meet one senior editor" or "pitch at least one FOB idea" or "say hi to one new staff person"). I decided to make myself a master list of things I wanted to accomplish by the end of the summer - again, mostly to combat the slowness of the day. One of the other interns was clearly reading over my shoulder, which was embarrassing enough as is. But 15 minutes later, this conversation occurred.

THE INTERN DEN - AFTERNOON. The sun filters in through City Mag's gorgeous vaulted skylight. CITY MAG BLOGGER types away at her computer. She has a couple windows open on her screen, including her Google Reader, Twitter, and a couple Google Docs, including one which lists her goals for her summer internship. We see her fellow intern, SANDY, continuously peek over at CMB's computer screen from one desk over.


SANDY kind of goals did you set yourself?

(Close-up camera shot of CMB's Google Doc - the embarrassing one about said goals)


(Playing it cool)
Uh...what do you mean?


Oh! Uh. Never mind! You just seem to make really good use of your time here is all.

(Awkward silence)


(Visibly uncomfortable)
Ha, yea, I try. Thanks...

So my fellow intern, Sandy as I've called her, was blatantly reading my list - and my twitter feed, facebook message from my friend, and e-mails from my other internship boss, for all I know. She also peppers me with questions about what I'm doing/reading/looking at all the time, as does anyone sitting in my immediate vicinity. Which is fine - I WANT to be friends with my fellow interns! But I feel like sometimes, it's like we're all trying to one-up each other, when really, I'm just trying to make the most of the fact that I'm at The Mag's office 16 to 20 hours a week not getting paid (ah, the glamorous life of the aspiring magazine writer). We're also all chomping at the bit to do work, so anytime an editor comes over, we all jump at the chance to do some research or fact-checking, which can be so awkward.

Anyways. If this IS a competitive reality TV show (which it isn't, to my knowledge, but you never know these days) you best believe I'm trying to win. It's a tough job market out there! I'm not about to not take advantage of interning at The Mag just so I can not stress out my fellow intern den inhabitants.

How are your internships going? Are you guys working solo, or in a cubicle full of other whippersnappers?


Magazine Gossip Girl

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