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.

1. You know I've been freelancing for my boss on the side, and this week we've been working extra hard. It's like something out of a movie. After work is over, we grab a train downtown, where we work on organizing, business management, and preparation in her little apartment over sushi into the wee hours of the morning. I grab a taxi home to sleep for a few hours, and repeat the next day. It's incredibly satisfying. I feel like you would really have to trust someone to invite him or her into your home to join your business. Incredibly wonderful.

2. I am, once again, filling in for my boss this coming week. She is going to be out of town for a day, and both she and her boss chose me to fill in. It's a very flattering feeling.

3. When the Web editor agreed I should fill in for my boss, he walked into the Web intern alcove and we talked for a moment about what the day would be like. He's not going to be in the office right away that morning, but left the conversation with, "I trust you. Here, I'll give you my cell phone number, too." And he did.

I don't know, Edsters. This summer has had its ups and its downs. But I really cannot believe how incredible everything seems to have turned out. I'm finding that the times I feel the most challenged and stressed are the times that wonderful opportunities arise shortly after. My boss has asked me to continue to freelance for her once I move home at the end of the summer, and I couldn't be more thrilled for the opportunity.

I just feel...infinite. (Have you read "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"? You should if you haven't)

Where are you in your summer journeys?

For now,
Ed's Web Intern

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