Friday, June 24, 2011

What NOT To Do On Your First Day

Hey fellow Edsters!

This entry marks the closure of one of the most exciting and overwhelming weeks of my life. I am speaking, of course, of my first week interning for The Mag. Cue the Hallelujahs.

I wish my first week hadn’t gotten off to such a rocky start, but at least now I can share my humiliating mishaps with you smarter, savvier Edsters, so you can learn from them. (I know I have already!)

After a night of tossing, turning, painting my nails twice, and changing my mind about my outfit more times than I’m willing to admit, I wound up getting almost no sleep. That wound up being a huge problem: I proceeded to oversleep and miss my alarm, and was woken up by my well-meaning but clueless mother about ten minutes before I had to catch the train that takes me from my New Jersey hometown to the city. I wound up showing up half an hour late.

Don’t do what I did. Ever. It probably would have been better had I showed up in my scrubbiest sweatpants than it was when I burst into the office after sprinting half a mile in heels. I certainly wouldn’t have spent the majority of my day fighting a sense of burning shame when I finally made it to the office, sweaty and panting. Drink some hot milk, take deep breaths, whatever – just get some sleep.

I made it until Friday without any other horrifying hitches, but I compensated for a week of sufficiency by ruining three entire boxes of cupcakes for an office birthday bash (and I’m still not sure how. I suspect it happened at the subway turnstile. I guess I’m still getting my city legs). The other features intern and I picked up replacement cupcakes on time, but obviously I wasn’t too proud. I never knew cupcakes could make me feel so badly!

The worst part is, I had no idea the cupcakes were ruined until I got back to the office. That brings me to the second big lesson I learned this week: pay attention to detail. Every detail. It’s mind-blowing how much attention goes into every component of making the magazine. I’ve overheard some of the women in the office debate heatedly over whether to use the term “complementary” or “on the house” in a piece they were working on. I’m not writing – yet – but 36 smooshed cupcakes indicate that maintaining an attention to detail is just a good rule to go by as an intern.

If you’re wondering if I was scolded, I will say yes, and gently. Tip number three: if you’re working at a magazine, you must be able to handle criticism. Though I wish I’d shown my more exemplary side this week, this is only pushing me to work harder – no way am I going to let the stress scare me away from my dream job!

Anyway, I didn’t get it all wrong. On my first day, I shipped out all the June issues to our international offices – successfully, so far as I know! I helped one of my bosses organize an editor’s office. I contributed hard-to-find research for an online slideshow, and it was so cool to actually see my bleary-eyed hours spent on Lexis Nexis materialize into an actual article on the website. I transcribed a buoyant interview with a reality TV star. I even compiled a rather gorgeous (if I do say so myself) dossier on our September cover girl. I’ll be sure to say more about the process of creating a celebrity profile soon – I really did have way too much fun putting it together.

Let’s hope I continue to sail smoothly from this point onwards! I'll update you next Friday.

Cross your fingers for me,
Features Intern


  1. Good to know I'm not the only Queen of Bad First Days/Week. Good luck with your internship!

  2. Good advice! I'm always terrified of sleeping late, especially since I'm a night owl. Ambien here I come!