Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Introducing...The Intern Veteran Taking Over Lifestyle Magazines

The first semester of my sophomore year I was enrolled in an introductory writing class. During our unit on magazine writing, my professor spent an unhealthy amount of time talking to a room full of tired college students about the beauty of magazines as a publication, and how anyone, no matter who you are, can find some kind of magazine written just for them. It started off interesting, but he lost all of us when he started talking about his AARP subscription.

Fast forward about 45 minutes. He's up out of his chair now and suddenly pencils are back on paper as everyone tries to find their way back into the "conversation." But he's got something in his hand. A magazine. AARP? Could be.

"And that's why they're so great. Even ferret lovers have their place in the magazine world," he explained in his monotone drawl before holding up the cover of, you guess it, a ferret magazine.
There were chuckles in the class as he regained the attention of us tired students. But wait...what is that I see? Tucked carefully inside the centerfold of the ferret magazine there appears to be...

Oh, no, it can't be. It couldn't possibly be...

"They actually have a particularly strong presence, if you ask me," he said before holding up what none of us could have imagined. A second ferret magazine. Not just another issue of the first one, but a differently publication entirely. The class has officially erupted with laughter and my professor smiles, knowing he's made a lasting impression. Well played, ferret fanatics. You win this time.

My obsession with magazines had been around long before becoming aware of the ferret loving community, but sitting in class that day I started to see the importance of a good monthly glossy to everyone else. As mundane a professor as he was, the guy had a point. No matter who you are or what your interest, somewhere out in the universe, there is a magazine published with you in mind. Quilting, guns, sex and ferrets all have their place in the eyes of editors and publishers, and evidently an equally as important place on newsstands.

Realizing long ago that I wanted to work in the magazine industry, I was excited to accept my first internship at a national monthly in New York City this past spring. The excitement that came along with reaching such a long term goal had me riding high for weeks on end, and from the moment my plan touched down at La Guardia in January, I was planning and scheming about how I was going to land a summer gig in the city.

I hit the ground running (figuratively and literally... I mean, I was on a plane, and I was super excited...) and started emailing editors all over the city in hopes of scheduling informational interviews, just hoping to get my name and resume out into the open. By the end of January, I was applying for summer internships, customizing my cover letter and following up every week like clockwork.

It was exhausting going weeks with no word back, feeling as if my efforts were never going to pay off, until... The interviews came. There were 3 in total. One that was a result of an informational interview, one that was a total flop, and one that ultimately led to me finalizing my summer plans. 

How did you score your summer gig?

'Till next Wednesday,
Lifestyle Intern

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