Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wanna Make it at the Mag? Learn to Multitask

I faced my first full week of work at the Mag and came out virtually unscathed. At the end of the week, I can tell you that one thing about life in the magazine world is certain: hard work. There are usually a million things going on at once, and mistakes aren’t an option. Before I get into that, though, I’ll tell you a little bit about my week. 

My first full day was much more difficult and tedious than expected. The other interns and I spent the entire day reading pages line by line to make sure all of the names and brands were spelled right. Our task was to verify spellings, phone numbers and addresses and cite our sources so everything would be 100% accurate. It’s pretty tough to sit there and read the same things all day long, and I found myself daydreaming out the window more often than I’d like to admit. 

I tried not to get discouraged by the dullness of the day, and I was glad to find that the next few days were busier.
Much busier. When I showed up to work the next morning, I found several folders filled with lots of things to fact-check, including a calendar that included more than 30 items—all that needed to be verified with publicists. It was a pretty big task, so we split it up and got to work right away. I spent the better part of the day calling representatives for different events, asking them fact-checking questions, requesting photos, and trying not to get star-struck when talking to the more important people. Getting in contact with publicists for 30 different events takes a huge amount of multitasking, and let me tell ya, I feel like the multitasking master after working on that calendar.

At one point in the afternoon, our editor came in with some completed pages and asked us to make sure they were in the right order. This may sound easy at first, but the pages we were given were actually full-page photos for the issue’s main fashion spread. She wanted us to make sure the captions were referring to the right clothing. The photos were absolutely beautiful, and we were some of the first people to see them! Though it was definitely an exciting moment, we made sure to go through them very carefully so as not to make any big mistakes and get someone in trouble.

Even as lowly interns, we get a lot of responsibility at the Mag. If we don’t ask publicists the right questions, the Mag might publish the wrong information. If there’s a misspelling or grammatical error that one of us doesn’t catch, it’s going to press like that. The magazine depends on us as another set of eyes to catch these things so the product is the best it can be. Everything I’ve done so far seems really important—I haven’t made copies or gotten editors their coffee once. As a first-time magazine intern, it can be a little daunting at times. 

What about you, Edsters? How do you juggle all the things you have to do?

See ya next Thu,
Regional Intern

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