Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Make The Most Of A Mid-Internship Review

Hey Edsters,
Last week, all of the interns at the magazine had a mid-internship review. I was a little bit nervous because I've never had a review before, so I didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be a very helpful (and positive, thankfully) experience. I would definitely recommend asking for a review if you haven't had one already. You'll want to make the most of the uninterrupted one-on-one time with your supervisor, which can be hard to come by in this industry. Here are a few ways to get the most from your review.

Monday, July 30, 2012

3 Things To Do Before Your Internship Ends!

As July comes to a close and August arrives, my internship also begins to wind down. At the end of every internship, there are always important steps I think every intern should take to exit your company properly and leave a good impression. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Finding A (Virtual) Needle In A Haystack

Hi Edsters,

Things are starting to wind down at my internship.  Now as the summer draws to a close, I’m reflecting on my experiences from the past several weeks. While looking over the saved files on my work computer, I’ve singled out all of the projects I’ve completed for various staffers around the office. Some have directly resulted in bylines, but most have ended up as background filler for stories in the magazine.  The question is:  How did I come across this information? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reasons to Love Your Job

A fresh batch of the new issue arrived last week. I immediately flipped to the masthead at the front, and I’ve got to say—there’s nothing like seeing your name in print! It was pretty satisfying to flip through the magazine and see all of the pages I had worked on in the past few weeks. I had gotten to know each word on that page so well, and now it was on newsstands for everyone to see!

So much work goes into creating a magazine, and visually they’re amazing.  After the past few weeks working at the Mag, I can now appreciate all the work that goes into making that happen.

Each word is meticulously chosen by the writer, and then spell-checked and fact-checked by us interns. That takes a lot of careful reading, organization and communication.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How To Collaborate With Your Fellow Interns

Rule Number 1: Not all assignments are created equal. Ok, that tip is a given, but you never truly learn to appreciate the blatant truth behind this statement until you've been assigned to work with a partner on a project that would take a single person only a couple of hours to complete by themselves. On the flip side, there are some perks to collaborating with another person on a project, with the most obvious being that two completely different minds are contributing details for one idea from different angles.

If I haven't made it obvious yet, Annie (my partner in crime, err, I mean, fellow intern) and I were recently asked to work together on an assignment. And then another. And since then, one or two more. Like I've mentioned, Annie is great and we work together well, but there is only so much work that two people can share before they get burnt out on the other.

By working together so regularly with Annie, I've learned a few tips that will be helpful to keep in mind, should you ever find yourself trying to write a piece for your mag with someone who has a completely different writing style than you do. Trust me, it can be done, it just takes a little extra concentration, and maybe an extra shot in your afternoon Starbucks.

1. Don't be afraid to be yourself. This is just as much your project as it is your partner's, and at the end of the day your editors are going to see it as a mash up of both of your skills. If you come up with something to say that may be kind of quirky, say it! There's no harm in throwing your ideas into the mix, and you are only hurting yourself by trying to stay cordial with your partner and let them win the battle on whose idea is better. Which brings me to tip number 2...

2. Find a middle ground. Annie and I didn't always see eye to eye on how information should have been presented in our piece, but we both would quickly realize that this isn't an exercise in our personal writing style, but rather how two people can present their ideas in the voice of their publication. Lifestyle Mag has a very conversational, casual, and sometimes slightly snarky voice to it. When Annie and I would find ourselves with conflicting ideas, we would remind ourselves that we're writing this from a different point of view, and this change of mindset always helped us get back on track and adapt our ideas to suit the needs of the Lifestyle Mag.

3. In times of tension, take a breather. Yes, there were definitely moments when working together on a writing assignment wasn't all sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes Annie would make a comment that wasn't appreciated on my end, and sometimes I would make it a little too clear that I thought her ideas just weren't going to work. To diffuse to building tension, and salvage our relationship as really great office friends, we would sometimes put an abrupt end to our meetings to work on something else. These breaks from each other were oftentimes exactly what we needed to get back on track with our assignment.

Working with a fellow intern may not always be ideal, but through my experiences of working together with Annie, I was able to learn about the voice and audience of the Lifestyle Mag much more quickly than if I had been assigned to work alone. Case in point? Look at everything as a learning experience. Keeping a positive attitude about every assignment, no matter how much you may think at the time that you'll dislike it, will help you work to the best of your ability.

Have you had to work together with another intern on assignments for your internship? I'd love to hear your collaboration tips in the comments section!

Until next Wednesday,
Lifestyle Intern

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NYC Weekend Guide

It's beginning to feel a bit like all work and no play on this blog. So today, let's talk about all things NYC!

The last time I focused on the city, it was after a quick weekend trip in May and I documented my current impression of New York so that I would be able to see if it changed after my internship. Back then, I thought prices other than rent were pretty comparable, everyone was nice and Central Park was a good enough respite from the concrete jungle. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Hot Debate About Paying Interns

Recently, there has been lots of buzz in the news and papers about us interns, and whether or not we should be paid. I have to say this discussion topic has come up in plenty of conversations in the last few weeks and has given me a lot to think about.

Should we be paid? What are the benefits of not being paid? If we aren’t getting paid, then should we be working 12-hour days? So many questions, so many opinions, and yet, who is the right person to answer them?

Friday, July 20, 2012

How Do You Share A Byline?

Hey Edsters!

At this point I’m over halfway through my internship.  I can’t believe how much time has passed since I started working at the magazine.  In the brief time that I’ve been here, I’ve gotten the opportunity to try a couple of new things, including transcribing and uploading articles to the online content management system.  Although these are valuable editorial skills, the best part of all has been the chance to earn writing credits.  I’ve cherished seeing my name appear in print, viewing all my hard work pay off.  But there’s something else more important to being a successful intern than just striving to stockpile clips:  Collaboration.  I recently had two situations where it either helped or hindered to have a helping hand.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

6 Ways to Make the Most of a Slow Day

It’s late afternoon. Your eyes are drooping, but you’ve already made three trips to the coffeemaker. There are many other places you would rather be. But here you are in the office, trying to stay focused on your work—if you have any. It’s a slow day at work, and it can happen even at the most fast-paced magazines.

Have no fear, Edsters! There are still some things you can do to continue being that useful intern you are.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Do You Do When You've Been Disrespected in the Workplace?

Hey Edsters,

So I've been doing some thinking, and I've decided that I'm too nice. Stay with me here, I promise this isn't a self-praising post about my gracious and charming personality (that's next week). This sudden realization stems from my most recent experience of being disrespected in the workplace simply due to my position as an intern.

Crazy, right? Allow me to elaborate:

This week I was offered the chance to assist at a photo shoot for an upcoming issue. From my previous experience of attending photo shoots, there were two things that I knew I could immediately look forward to: 1) A day away from the typical intern life of researching, transcribing, and reading angry letters from readers, and 2) Free food. Obviously, I accepted the offer immediately.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

3 Ways To Ace An Informational Interview With HR

Happy Tuesday, Edsters! 

I've been doing my best to capitalize on my time in New York by scheduling informational interviews in between internship duties. In the past I've always done informationals with editors, but last week I met with someone in Human Resources. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

7 Things Fashion Interns Should Have In Their Bags At ALL Times

Hey Edsters,

It's been a long, hot, few months here in New York and I feel like I've come a long way since my first (smoldering) day in May. The amount of things to learn out here both inside and out of the office is vast and never ending.

Among the immense list of lessons and tricks I've acquired, one of the most important things is what to keep in my purse at all times because, well, there's never so such thing as a 'typical' day at the Fashion Mag...

Friday, July 13, 2012

How I Became a Drupal Pupil

Hey Edsters,

A few weeks ago, my supervisor sent out a mass email to all the interns emphasizing the need for training on the content system known as drupal.  My immediate reaction was emphatic agreement. 

Yes! Finally! After weeks of tireless transcribing and other run-of-the mill projects, here was a much-needed change of pace to learn something new.  Not only would I be able to sharpen my rusty tech skills, but also prepare myself should a rare assignment randomly fall in my lap.

So, one morning a number of interns and I made our way to a lone conference room. Solemnly shuffling single file down the hall, we attracted attention as dozens of eyes zeroed in on us.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Would You Speak Up If An Intern Wasn't Doing Her Job?

Hey Edsters,

I’m just about halfway into my internship, and things are going well. I’ve learned a lot so far, and I really feel like I’ve become a part of the office dynamic. In the past few weeks, though, I’ve come to a bit of a dilemma. What would you do if you knew one of the other interns wasn’t doing her job right?

There’s a group of us interns with rotating schedules, meaning that we don’t necessarily work with the same people every day. I work three days in a row, so I can usually start and finish the same projects over the course of the week. Other interns, however, may work every other day, so sometimes we go into each other’s e-mails to finish up whatever they had been working on the day before. This may seem weird, but we all have the same password, and it feels normal to read other people’s e-mails now.

One day last week, though, I went into another intern’s e-mail to check if she had gotten fact-checking responses from a publicist. She had gotten answers, so I printed out the e-mail and started inputting changes into the article. I soon realized, though, that she had worded the questions in the exact same wording as was in the actual story—something that our editor definitely told us not to do on our very first day of work.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why I Love Press Events—And Why You Should Too

Hey Edsters!

It's that time of year for Lifestyle Mag to start putting together their annual gift guide, which means one big addition to the busy schedules of everyone in the office: press events. And lots of them.
As one of the magazine's summer interns, and also as one with the most open schedule, I've stepped up to the plate to attend significantly more than my fair share of press events. Wait, I'm sorry, did that sound like I was complaining? My bad, let me start over.

I love press events. I think I'm the only person in magazines who does. I love knowing that I've proven myself as worthy enough to maintain relationships that the Lifestyle Mag views as important. Fancy dinners, movie screenings, and even just a simple walk through of the newest line of products get the wheels turning in my head of how we can possibly feature any of these products in the magazine. The reality is that most of them will wind up on the "free stuff" table with no possible use in the mag, but that fact in no way hinders my love of a good press event set up at a swanky venue that I ordinarily never would have gotten the chance to visit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

3 Ways To Overcome A Tough First Assignment (Part 2)

Hey Edsters,

I have to admit that when I wrote part one of this post, I was a little (ok, very) concerned that I would be coming to you this week with no advice to offer because I hadn't actually figured out how to overcome that first assignment. 

Luckily for both of us, that's not the case.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Do You Join In On Office Gossip?

Happy Monday, Edsters!

Hope you're all keeping cool under this scorching summer heat. Coincidentally, things have gotten a little heated at The Fashion Mag as well.

Lately there's been chatter behind the racks of clothing and at the water cooler about other interns. When I see groups of girls huddled around all unzipping the same garment bag, I instantly know something's up.

My first thought it, Is it about me?? I sure hope not! I try to do my job the best I can, I don't put my work off on other interns, yaddah, yaddah. But I also haven't noticed many other discrepancies between others. Then again, have I been paying attention? No, not really, I guess. I learned a while ago not to partake in office politics, just do my thing and when in doubt: play dumb. It's easier to be ignorant, in my mind at least, when it comes to chit chat about other people in the office. 

Well, these past few weeks, that has not been the case for other people in the closet we all share.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What I Learned From My (Second) Byline

Hey Edsters,

Remember that previous writing assignment, the one I persistently worked on, the one that was postponed? You know, the one that I agonized over and shed my blood, sweat and tears into?

Well, it paid off….sort of.

One morning, as I was checking my email and gearing up for the day, my supervisor stopped by my desk. I thought she was going over an upcoming assignment. But instead, she had an unexpected gift for me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4 Steps to Dealing With Problem Publicists

Hey Edsters,

As an editorial intern at the Regional Mag, fact-checking is one of my biggest tasks. A lot of this is careful reading and spell-checking, but another, more unpredictable factor also comes into play—the publicist. Fact-checking, requesting photos and writing stories all usually involve getting in touch with publicists, which can be more than a little frustrating at times. Publicists are usually juggling multiple accounts at one time, so they’re busy people. Sometimes, especially with publicists who represent celebrities and other important people, that workload translates into stressful conversations. Here are some tips for keeping your cool when coming up against particularly difficult PR reps.

Always call first. Find a phone number for the publicist if you can. That way they know you’re serious about getting your questions answered, and you can avoid an e-mail getting lost in an inbox that’s probably stuffed with similar requests.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

5 Tips For A Perfect Informational Interview

Hey Edsters!

Lifestyle Mag is going amazingly well! I'm continuing to talk to editors about getting more assignments and am finding myself a lot busier these days, so I'm happy with the experience! 

This past week has been getting me thinking of different areas of magazines that I'd like to get experience in, or eventually work in. I have a broad range of interests and I've never been able to tell people exactly what it is I want to do within the magazine industry. As a result, I've taken the time to schedule a few informational interviews during my time in the city, and these one-on-one coffee dates with editors of all kinds have helped to point me in the right direction, and I've picked up some really great interviewing and networking tips along the way.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How To Overcome A Tough First Assignment, Part 1

Hey Edsters,

I turned in my first big assignment last week. And I think I kind of crashed and burned. This may not be the cheeriest of updates, but I think it's important to talk about because all of us are going to hit a snag here and there.

It just so happened that mine came in my second week of work.

I struggled with the assignment from the beginning.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Want to Be a Fly on the Wall in the Fashion Closet?

Here's your chance! Indulge me, Edsters, while I take you on a journey through my 12, yes I said 12, hour day at The Fashion Mag.

7:30 A.M.: Stupid, annoying, dun-da-da-dun-da-dun-dun iPhone alarm goes off...
7:31 A.M.: I scroll through Twitter on my phone to see what people were saying in the Twitter-verse while I was sleeping.
7:36 A.M.: This is the point in time where I have to make the biggest choice I will make all day. I'm at that point of waking up where I'm juuussstttt enough awake to pull myself into the bathroom or just groggy enough to pass right out and pretend I'm Ferris Bueller and play hookie. Unfortunately, I don't have the hutzpah of Mr. B so I muster up enough energy to pull myself out of my comfy bed and into the bathroom to be rid myself of the monster that is morning breath.