Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fashion and Beyond: 4 Things My Summer Internship Taught Me

Hey Edsters!

Good news: I officially survived my summer at the Fashion Mag! My last day was a bittersweet one (and, ironically, the slowest day I’ve ever experienced in the closet). While I was happy to reach the finish line of what turned out to be a challenging adventure, I was a little sad to be leaving the closet. The other interns and I have grown so close – as cliché as it sounds, we became a tight knit, overworked, well-dressed family.

Summer Recap: The 5 Lessons I Took from NYC

Hey there, fellow Edsters!

The summer’s coming to an official close, and it’s hard to think it’s almost time to pack up and head back down to school.

I’ve undergone such a transformation in New York: who I am now is very different from who I was at the beginning of the summer — but in a good way! I’ve become so much more confident and fearless in my work. I’m comfortable in the city. And I know now more than ever this is what I want to do, and New York is where I want to do it.

At every internship, I take different lessons. This year is no different. The journey may have been a little more challenging: adjusting to New York and a major internship away from home is no cake walk. But every second was worth it. My internship at the mag was nothing but a positive experience, and I’ve loved every moment of it.

My top lessons from this year?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Event Planning 101: How To Mingle With Celebs On The Job

Happy Friday, Edsters!

Are you ready for this? By “this,” I obviously mean your exclusive peek into the world of fame, fortune, and, best of all, features. “This” is the saga of the elite event our magazine recently hosted, the role I played in its planning, and how us interns kept things running smoothly.

And yes, that means we actually got to attend.


Is your curiosity piqued yet, Edsters? Read on to find out what it’s like planning a major event for high-profile guests, and to tell me whether or not I committed an embarrassing gaffe right before everything kicked off.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How To Stay Recognized--And Score A Freelance Gig Even AFter Your Internship

So by boss invited me to her house two nights in a row this week.
Then on Friday, the editor gave me his direct cell phone number.

I've been scoring left and right, Edsters—okay, maybe not like THAT. But this week has been pretty fantastic. We're under deadline again at the magazine, and two new interns have started working with us. One of them is my replacement, but let's not think about that for right now. We're working on the September issue, which is the biggest issue for most magazines, and on top of it, we're launching a special half-issue this month, so there's plenty to do.

We've been hustling pretty hard, and just looking around the office is enough to see the stress across everyone's faces. Editors are weighed down with decisions and delayed copy. Writers are burned out from preparing two issues at once. The printer is dying becaue we've used so much ink, and there's just never enough coffee to sustain us all. And from the back off the office in our little alcove, I've been noticing it all.

I started coming in to work an hour earlier this week just to get a head start on the day's work. I packed my lunch so I could stay at my desk, and I've been trying to anticipate anything that could help the Web process run smoother for the bosses. Now that I've worked through a couple issues, I have a feel for what needs done, so I can work ahead instead of waiting to be told what to do. And to try to help my direct boss a little more, I've been showing the newest interns how our CSS works by having them watch/help me and the other interns while we run through this issue.

I know I've made progress since I've begun working this summer, but it surprised me again to be recognized for my efforts. I've accomplished three things this week, and I have to say, I'm pretty proud of them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

6 Ways To End Your Internship On The Right Note

I just wrapped up my last week at the mag – it’s crazy to even write it.

Summer flew by, and I still can’t quite believe it’s over. It’s been a good experience, and I’ve learned a lot about magazines and about myself and the things I want in a job and a career. I’ve also met some incredible, successful journalists and had some great conversations. Sure, there were ups and downs as you all know, but I’m still glad I did it.

Since I’m sure many of you are wrapping up your summer stints soon, here are a few tips for how to navigate the last week of your internships:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

4 Things to Do After You Leave

Hey there, fellow Edsters!

It’s morning here, but outside my window I don’t hear the bustle of traffic in New York City. Instead, I hear birds chirping. I’m sitting at home; my internship has ended. My summer has come full circle, and it just doesn’t seem real.

Just three days ago, I was in the office, finishing my last day. When 6 p.m. came (and far too quickly), I dropped into my editors’ offices to say goodbye. I gave them my handwritten thank-you notes and a little gift — the least I could do for their kindness. I gathered the supplies from my desk, stepped on the elevator with them and exited the lobby. I staggered onto the subway and rode back home.

I did it. I finished my internship. It was over, right? Not quite. It may be because I’m not a goodbye person, but I know from my other internships that this isn’t truly the end nor should it be. An internship is just one stage in your relationship with a publication. Just as much work and care should be put in after to maintain your ties to it — ties that could ultimately lead to a mentorship and job.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Importance of Playing the Name Game

Even though it took a while, the fashion closet has really started feeling like home to me. Walking into the room and being greeted by clothes and accessories in every shape, size, color and pattern imaginable are a daily experience I’ve really come to look forward to. The fact that my internship is coming to an end is bittersweet; I’m looking forward to having a small break before school starts, but at the same time I’ve spent so much time here and met so many great people that I’m going to miss it. But let’s flashback to about three months ago, when I was first starting out and didn’t know anyone’s name...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Secrets of an EA: My Whirlwind Day Of Filling In For My Boss

Happy Friday, Edsters!

So, here I am, typing this blog post, which means – are you ready for it? – that I managed to make it through one whole day filling in for our Editorial Assistant. Not only was I successful in my endeavor to not destroy the magazine singlehandedly (and I was filling in the day before a big-huge-major event, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility), but also she wrote me to let her know that her boss said I did a fantastic job.

Getting to step into the shoes of an EA for one day was such an educational experience for me. Of course, I wasn’t slammed with all of her duties. I doubt my experience was even a microcosm of what she has to deal with every day. I do think I got a taste of what the job entails. Check out what my day as an EA looked like and what I learned!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Biting Off More Than You Chew: How To Avoid Burnout

Hey Edsters,

How are your internships going? If you read my last blog, you know my head has been spinning with work, internships and freelance projects. I'm still loving it more than any of my words can begin to express, but I've lately learned a very valuable lesson: be realistic.

I've always been pretty solid on time management and meeting deadlines, and let's be honest, I still am. When I promise work to a set deadline, I meet it, even it that means sacrificing time with friends or a few hours of sleep. It's really important to me to stay reliable because that's how you build relationships and gain trust for present and future professional relationships. But what I have been seeing, Edsters, is a slight decrease in the quality of my work performance.

When I'm at my part-time job, it takes all my control not to yell back at the rude boss I told you about before. When I'm at my internship, I can't work as quickly as I previously could. And when I'm with my friends, I barely have the patience to be relaxed and calm. I've realized I'm only thinking about work, and even when I am out exploring the city, I feel traces of guilt for not working on the projects I know are waiting for me at home. I think, for one week, I agreed to take on too many projects.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Should You Apologize For A Mistake That Wasn’t Your Fault?

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the mini-crisis I had when I found out an assignment I was researching was due that week and no one had told me. That one, I’ll admit, was largely my fault, since I didn’t ask what my deadline was.

But I learned from my mistake. After that snafu, I made a point of always asking when my assignments were due.

That’s why this recent incident is particularly frustrating. I had been assigned a small piece for a web-only supplement to an article, and told I had two weeks to do it.

But last week, I got an email from the assigning editor asking if the piece was done yet. I was a little surprised, since it was a full week and a half before the deadline I had been given, but I told the editor I would try to get it to him the next day.

I frantically sent a third follow-up email to the source I needed for the story and tried to call him multiple times, but with the time difference and other factors, he didn’t get back to me. I waited, and called, and emailed, and called other people from the organization, and crossed my fingers and prayed to the journalism gods, but by 4 p.m. the next day, I still didn’t have the interview I needed and couldn't write the piece.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last Week? 4 Things You Must Do!

Hey there, fellow Edsters!

The moment’s finally here for me: I only have five days left until I pack my bags and head home. It doesn’t seem real. Was it really two months ago I started my first day? Struggled to find my cubicle? Now the office feels like a second home. It’s dizzying to think how much time has passed. My internship has been one of the best experiences in my life, and I’m crushed to think it’s almost over.

But right now I can’t be sentimental. This last week is bound to be my busiest ever. At the mag, we’re closing an issue and launching a new product — which means tons of assignments to do to help my editors keep their cool. I don’t have time to stress about goodbyes when there’s so much in front of me. There’s too much to get done.

And I’m not the only one feeling the pressure. Because we’re all now seasoned interns, a lot of my friends are getting bigger assignments too. The last week on an internship isn’t the time to coast. It’s the time to step up and put in your very best to tackle those last challenges.

But will you be ready for the end of the week? It may be easy to get bogged down, but there are four things that regardless of how busy things get on the job, every intern should strive to do:

Monday, August 15, 2011

End Of Internship Etiquette

Hey Edsters!

As your internship draws to an end, there are a few little things that need to be done before you walk out of the office for the last time. Keep these things in mind during your last month.

Two week’s notice: If you’re like me and are one of many interns, your editor may not remember which intern ends on what date. I’d suggest following the two week’s rule and sending an e-mail stating your last day, and a brief paragraph thanking your boss for the opportunity and experience. Be genuine with this – don’t just say you learned a lot, but give an example. Just don’t write a novel, you don’t want to be annoying!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

3 Tips My Editors Shared To Get Your Dream Job

Good news, Edsters! I'm feeling much more positive since last week, mainly because I was able to get coffee with The Fitness Mag's EA, as well as Miss Editor. The EA kept rescheduling, so I was really relieved when she finally had an hour free to go get coffee and chat about her path to breaking in to the mag industry.

As you know from my earlier posts, I've been thinking a lot about the career path I want to take, and wondering whether I have what it takes to make it in this industry. Meeting with my EA really helped me identify my concerns and what I need to start doing to step up my job hunting game.

When I chatted with my EA, she told me about her daily tasks and how she landed her job. Basically it all came down to perfect timing and luck, and she didn't even have to take an edit test. She had interned with The Fitness Mag the summer before her senior year, and was hired on the spot when she came to visit the office after graduation. In fact, there wasn't even an open position. They created one for her because she had made herself that invaluable to the staff. This was her advice...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Going Digital: How To Write A Magazine Quiz For The Ipad

Happy Friday, Edsters!

I type this the day before what will probably be the scariest day of my interning life. My manager is out of the office tomorrow, so I have the pleasure (is it, though?) of sitting at her desk and, as far as I can tell, basically being her for the day. Yes, that's right – I am a 9:30 to whenever-they-need-me-there-until Editorial Assistant tomorrow. Not only that, but tomorrow is the day before a HUGE event the Mag is throwing for a swoon-worthy guest list, so it's going to be absolutely crazy there. I already have two bio packets due by noon!

So I'd like to promise you more on that next Friday, but it's unclear if I'll make it out alive, so... More on that later, potentially.

How about something a little lighter than the weight of the magazine world resting more heavily than usual on my shoulders? I went digital this week! By that, I mean I got to write a quiz for the iPad version of our Mag, which was a ton of fun. I only wish I had an iPad so I could see it with my own two eyes!

Articles, I brainstorm all the time, but quizzes? I've been skipping over those in magazines since I was about 12, when I realized that I was deliberately picking the safe "b" option, the one that made me just the right amount of daring/caring/glam/assertive and, oh yeah, people occasionally fall into more than three categories. This wasn't one of those superficial bad boys, though. As it turns out, a lot of work goes into writing a quiz – so at least give them a glimpse!

Here's how I landed the gig and pulled it off.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fake It ‘Til You Make It: An Ode To Multitasking

Hey Edsters,

So I’m weeks and weeks deep into my internship, silently loathing the approaching time when I have to move home, and soaking up as much information as I possibly can on how to succeed.

If I’m picking up one thing more than anything else, it’s the importance of being able to multitask. We’re in a tough major, Edsters. I think we can all agree on that. We’re in a time when huge magazines would rather outsource freelancers than hire staffers, when one week of bad reviews can get you fired and sent back to school for a new career. It’s hitting hard for me, as I just saw someone fired yesterday. The person came into the office, went out to coffee with the boss, and then never came back. In that switch of a moment, his life was drastically different. He woke up with a life plan and went home with a box.

I started to think about my future in magazines. After having a real talk with my boss, I was much more than reassured.

Here’s what I learned:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

3 Tips For Writing Your First Mag Story

Happy hump day, Edsters!

Some big news this week – I have a byline in the magazine!

Last week I blogged about a story I was doing research for. I’m going to get a small research credit for that, but this week something even better developed. My own story and a real byline. I can’t even fully believe it.

Admittedly, this story is not the most exciting thing ever. It’s a small, front-of-the-book item, barely more than 40 words. But still, it means my name and my writing is going to be read by people all over the country, and I couldn’t be more excited.

It was an interesting experience, too. I’m used to writing longer pieces – for me, 500 words is pretty short, never mind 50. I had to figure out a way to shrink three 30-minute interviews into three sentences, which was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Here are a few things I’ve learned about writing short-form for mags:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Internship Ending? 5 Things to Do Now!

Hey there, fellow Edsters!

Time is flying far too fast. Weeks just shoot by, and the finish line for my internship is coming into sight. I’ve got a little bit of time left, but I still can’t believe how much closer the end gets every day — my friends and I talk about it in shock. I’ve fallen in love with my internship and this city, and I’ve learned so much. I know I’ll be back next summer (fingers crossed!), but every time I leave the office, I can’t help but look back and dread the day that single-digit countdown will begin.

It’s not unusual though. It’s the way it’s been with all my internships. I don’t regret a day of the journey at them, but the end always makes me sentimental. There’s still some time left to learn more, but the biggest mountains have been climbed. Now it’s time to head back down and end with grace.

What I’ve learned about this period — the falling action, you’d call it in literature — is that it’s important to be as conscious making that great good-bye as you were with that impressive hello. And great good-byes don’t happen in a week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fashion Secrets From The Closet

Aloha Edsters!

We’re a week into August, meaning that my internship (and summer vacation!) is nearing its end.

As an intern, I’ve learned that no matter what market you’re in (fashion, editorial, sports, feature, etc.) you’re going to have to work your way up from the bottom.

Cue the clichés.

That’s how it’s been, that’s how it is, and most likely how it will continue to be. I see nothing wrong with putting in long hours to get to where you want to be. There are no shortcuts to success. Heard it all before? Me too. But I’m starting to think that my parents, professors, bosses and everyone who’s every offered unsolicited advice to me may be on to something.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trying to Stay Motivated When Your Job Hunt Hits A Wall

Howdy there, Edsters! Today's post is pretty deep. I know I've offered advice, stories and useless information about my NYC escapades. But now it's time for some wisdom and truth. So get ready.

When I first moved in to my closet-sized NY apartment, my roommates had this anonymous quote on our refrigerator and it's really had me thinking these last few days:

"The creatively strong survive. It takes a lot of courage and determination to make it out here. There will be many paths to choose and some may not alway be the best. Try not to get caught up in the scene. It can destroy people. Be careful who you trust . New York and Los Angeles are both cities of dreams, and your dreams and motivations have to be strong or they will be lost in the confusion of these cities."

I try to look at this quotation every morning and remind myself that I have to stay motivated to achieve my goals, but lately I feel like I haven't been giving my all to my internship at The Fitness Mag. I look at my fellow interns, high on the success of landing their first big gig, and I wish I could get that enthusiasm back. I'm not getting paid, and I feel like I'm back to square one, when I had my first magazine internship.

Friday, August 5, 2011

3 Ways To Make Yourself Useful On A Slow Day

Happy Friday, Edsters!

One great thing about Fridays is that no matter how hectic the week is (and the past few have been very, very hectic. Stopping and smelling the roses does not seem to play a major role in the lives of magazine editors), Fridays are a little more relaxed. A special brand of quietness sweeps across the office; sunlight seems to stream more meaningfully through the windows.

And no one wants to do a damn thing, people leave early, and the interns get bored.

This Friday, I wasn’t exactly complaining. I like contributing as much as the next person, but after three weeks in a row that I could swear were all closing weeks, it wasn’t exactly killing me to scrunch down in my cubicle with a few old issues of the Mag and a coffee expensed to the Mag’s account.

It was killing one of our other interns, though. She must have swung by my desk fifteen times trying to brainstorm projects for herself. Though I would have been one thousand percent content to just breathe for the first time all week and read my magazine, after I’d finished my cup of coffee and felt less cranky, I gained a little respect for her initiative.

But how do you make yourself useful when there’s really, really nothing to do?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How To Impress The Hell Out Of Your Bosses—And Become One

So I got a lovely little surprise this week, Edsters, and let me tell you, it feels WONDERFUL to be recognized at the mag. I've been working hard and trying to remember all the little details I overhear in the office--like which editors prefer e-mails and which want in-person conversations, which are too busy to be bothered this week and which have time to play with hand puppets. While I feel like I've just been keeping my head down and doing the best work I can with assigned tasks, I must be doing something else right.

I'm standing in for my boss tomorrow.

Yeah, I couldn't believe it, either, but this is how it happened:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Avoiding Disaster 101: The Importance of Getting Deadlines

So for the past six weeks or so, my internship has consisted largely of preliminary research – basically looking into stories and writing memos about what I find so editors can decide if the stories are worth pursuing for future issues. Sometimes I write lists of things to be made into graphics. But the point is, for the most part, I’m researching unscheduled, tentative stories, so everything is just sort of ongoing.

Imagine my surprise, then, when during a meeting I just happened to decide to attend I heard the editors discuss one of my stories, which, apparently, is scheduled for the December issue. And, apparently, the deadline for the December issue is next week. Whoa.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5 Ways to Step Up at Your Internship

Hey there, fellow Edsters!

Another week, another set of memories that have made my time in New York unlike any other. I’ve been given a lot at work to juggle, but I love the challenge. I know the work I’m doing — especially now and however small the task — is really helping my editors. The work of an intern may not appear in print, but it’s felt around the office. A better office environment means a smoother operation and stronger publication. Never doubt your impact.

But with the weeks flying by until my (and your) internship’s end unfortunately, now more than ever it’s important to step up. My editors know me now and what I’m capable of. They’ve come to trust my ability to do assignments. Now it’s time for me — and you — to use that relationship to your advantage!

The people I’ve talked to in the industry have told me the most memorable interns are the ones who do more than just what they’re told. They’re the interns that go the extra mile constantly. And they’re the interns to strive to be. So what’s their common traits? What did they do? The five ways to stand out like them:

Monday, August 1, 2011

7 Things Every Intern Should (And Shouldn't!) Carry In Their Bag

Happy Monday Edsters!

I’ve come a long way since my first (rainy) day at the Fashion Mag, and have learned tons about the fashion industry and New York City. Since this is my first internship, I came in not knowing what to expect at all. Now ten weeks have passed, and I’ve put together a list of essential items for the on-the-go intern. Many of you are on the search for your fall internship – refer back to this list once it starts!

My first week on the job, I carried enough items in my purse to fill a carry-on suitcase. Seriously, I would lug around my entire make-up case, jewelry, an umbrella, poncho (what was I thinking??), flats, a book, magazines, IPod, cell phone and charger, wallet, allergy and headache medication, contact lens solution, my glasses, band-aids, and tons of snacks, among other odds and ends.

Carrying all that around got old very quickly. Here’s all you need in your purse or messenger bag to survive a 12-hour day of interning: