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. What concerns did we have about the industry that maybe their experiences could help answer? And while gossip distracted us a bit longer, I figured it would be smart to take advantage of the offer, so I asked something like this:
“We’re both graduating in the coming months. What advice would you offer for new or to-be grads looking for entry-level jobs? Where do you look for listings? How and when do you contact past editors? And is Human Resources ever helpful? Basically — how did you guys do land your jobs?”
First off, both said that they had gotten their jobs through personal references and that contacts were the best way to land jobs. They suggested using college career centers to find alumni in the industry, and, of course, reaching out to editors from past internships.
As far as contacting past editors, they advised sending a friendly email about six weeks before graduation, letting them know that you’ll be graduating in a few weeks and asking if they’ve heard of any positions (in their offices or elsewhere). They also advised you suggest meeting for coffee sometime (whether or not the editor has a job reference) because it will 1. give you a chance to reconnect with a past editor, 2. give you a chance to talk about your interests in more depth so she’ll know what you’re looking for, and most importantly, 3. ensure that your editor keeps you in mind whenever she hears of anything new. (One EA noted that while she may have had an amazing intern 5 years ago, if she hasn’t heard from him in a while, he just won’t be the first one the EA thinks of whenever she hears of a job opportunity).
My EAs also suggested that upon finishing an internship, you try to arrange a meeting with Human Resources (if nothing else, to put a face to your resume). They have seen offers stem from Human Resources, so they don’t believe that making that contact is completely defunct.
As far as websites with job listings go, the EAs suggested:
• MPA (magazine.org)
• and of course, ED2010.com