Friday, June 7, 2013

Introducing the Shelter Intern Who Sent Out 34 Cover Letters

Fellow Edsters,

My search for an internship has been very comparable to searching for a partner. For the past four months, I’ve thrown myself out there; I have scoured Ed for internship listings, wrote countless cover letters and updated my resume. I felt like pre-New York Carrie Bradshaw, single and looking for someone to love me (and then give me a job).

As a college freshman, I had little expectations but large ambitions. I would not let up until someone hired me. So I wrote 34 cover letters.

You heard me, 34. Hey, I was desperate.

Seven editors got back to me. And just like dating, I began to test the waters. Phone and Skype interviews were the next step, which consisted of me trying not to say ‘um’ or have something stuck in my teeth. The numbers began to dwindle, and panic set in.

You’re going to live in a box because you can’t pay rent to live in your parents’ basement, the little voice in my head whispered. You need to ace this!

But then the miraculous happened: I moved on to the next round. The thing was, I had to put out. It’s the Date 3 of the process—it’ll make or break you. This is when the editors know if there’s a spark, whether you and the position are a match made in heaven. While an editorial test is supposed to be fun, it’s also very intimidating. Will they enjoy it? Did you do a good job? A lot of pressure, to say the least.

My first editorial test didn’t go so well. I freaked out when I could not figure out what a hed and a dek were, and I forgot to cite where I found a study. The editor of the prominent sex magazine let me down gently, but I was crushed. Who was ever going to love me?

I was given a second chance with a group that oversees several different magazines in Midtown. I nailed the editorial test (pun intended).

The editorial test consisted of several tasks: repackage articles, come up with original ideas, find example images to pin, draft social media promotions, etc. I scoured the websites to look for ideas I loved and articles I didn’t. I highlighted the magazines’ strengths and spun the weaknesses into ways to improve. Think of it as boosting your partner’s ego.

I reread the edit test several times (I didn’t make it this far to have a grammar or spelling error overshadow my work), took a deep breath, and clicked send.

The day after, I was at my part-time job when I got a phone call. An unfamiliar 212 area code popped up, indicating that the person on the other end was from Manhattan.

"Hello?" I answered nervously. The voice that answered was tinged with excitement, and as she spoke, my wildest dreams came true. I was finally asked to go steady.

For all of you Edsters looking for love, how did you prepare for your editorial test? Share your tips in the comment section. Hopefully this will be a summer of love for all of us.

Until next time,
Shelter Intern

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