Beginning your first magazine internship can be pretty intimidating. I’ve started to get the hang of things at the Mag—with all this fact-checking, proofreading, and photo-organizing, my days are always pretty full. But not to worry, Edsters! Here, for your enjoyment, are some tips I’ve picked up so far:
- Be thorough. You might not always be excited about the tasks you’re given to do. Lots of exciting things happen at magazines, but you’re not necessarily going to be doing super glamorous things all the time. The best way to impress editors, though, is doing the less exciting stuff without hesitation, and doing them well. Double and triple check the spelling of tough words. Double and triple check that phone numbers and addresses are printed correctly. Communicate well with publicists and your coworkers, and don’t leave any task half-done. That little extra work goes a long way, and you’ll be sure to impress your editors with your determination.
- Always ask if there’s something else you can do. When it seems like you’ve finished all of your tasks for the day, check to see if there’s another way you can help. There’s always something else you can do. The very act of asking will be impressive to your editor, even if they just tell you to surf the web for story ideas. Make the most of the time you have in the office—you can sit around later.
- Know your sections. This may seem obvious, but make sure you’ve read the magazine you’re working for! And I don’t mean skim the major articles—you should be familiar with all of the smaller features the Mag publishes each month as well. You’re more likely to be fact-checking these smaller items anyway. It’s also essential to know what editors are looking for if you want to pitch a story idea (and trust me, you do).
- Read everything else. To really do well in the magazine world, you should become an expert on your magazine’s specialty. The best way to do this is to read everything you can! Since I’m interning at a regional magazine, I try to read every city blog I can find. Walking around and becoming more observant can go a long way as well. The more you know about your Mag’s focus, the better the chances are you’ll be able to come up with a story idea. Your knowledge about the topic is also sure to impress your editor, which is never a bad thing.
- Get to know your coworkers. This can be tough, especially for shyer people like me. Though it may seem like your editors are super busy all the time, they’re people too, and they most likely would like to get to know you. After all, there’s a reason they picked you out of what was probably a rather large applicant pool. Your coworkers are surely full of great advice about how they got into the industry. So instead of just showing up in the morning and immediately asking for work to do, take the time to ask a coworker how their weekend was, or maybe ask if they’ve read a good book recently. The more editors know about you, the more likely they’ll remember you when they have assignments to hand out.
What about you, Edsters? What have you learned from your internship so far? Got any tips to impress the editors?
Until next time,
Ed’s Regional Mag Intern