Hi there, Edsters!
I’m here to tell you how to land an internship at your favorite magazine—after you failed to land it the first go-round.
Never give up. We’ve all heard the cliché a thousand times. “Never give up? Um, Obviously! Life 101, duh.”
This past winter, I applied for an internship at my favorite women’s glossy with grandeur dreams of New York City only to find out that I (drumroll please) didn’t get the internship. Admittedly, it had never been harder to keep my chin up. How are you supposed to “never give up” on your dream internship when you get the dreaded, “Sorry! Not this time.” Isn’t that the end of the road? Shouldn’t you just pack your bags, cut your losses, and find a new dream?
The answer is no. You should make that stupid “never give up” cliché the background of your cellphone, so every time you start to play Words With Friends, you remember that you have better things to do—like land your dream internship!
OK, Rant over. Here’s how to turn that “No” into a “YES!”
1) Keep in contact with the editor.
After I applied for a winter internship at my dream magazine, the editor emailed me back to say that she had selected other candidates. She also said, “Keep in touch, we are going to hire summer interns in March.” If the editor says these glorious words, don’t take them lightly! Reach out to them. Make sure that she knows you will be applying again and that you would love to hear about other opportunities down the road. You want to keep your name fresh in her mind. If you do, the editor will have a clear idea of who you are and your passion for their publication when you apply again.
2) Take advantage of every school break.
If you didn’t land your dream internship, you can still be an intern. There are other companies out there that need an extra hand! Instead of spending my winter break frolicking in the snow, I found a full-time internship at a public relations company near my hometown. This was not my dream internship, or my dream career for that matter—but by golly I learned new skills! I was able to work with WordPress on the daily, make calls to clients, and prepare reports. This helped me to land a remote web internship for a magazine during the spring. A good internship will provide you with a great experience and a new skillset—even if it’s not at your dream ‘zine. So, don’t be afraid to try something new!
3) Make your edit test the best darn edit test you’ve ever turned in.
I’m a huge computer nerd, so my dream career is, naturally, in the web department. Whether your internship is editorial or digital, the edit test needs to be perfect. This is the editor’s biggest clue as to how well you will write that article or blog post. Research past issues to make sure that you can replicate the publication’s voice and style. Get over your nerves, channel your inner-editor, and write something that you think the audience would love to read. For my second application, I focused less on how nervous I was to be writing something that would decide my fate. Instead, I had fun with the edit test, which I think made all of the difference. If you have time, definitely write more than what’s expected—go above and beyond. The editor will see that you are passionate and willing to go the extra mile. However, don’t just don’t skimp out on thorough, edited work because you want to add the bonus paragraphs. Great content is better than more content.
Ugh, I just wrote so many clichés. “Never give up,” “go the extra mile,” yadda, yadda, yadda. As much as these clichés make writers cringe, they have merit.
Don’t give up whippersnappers! What are your tips for getting the internship of your dreams?
Women's Lifestyle intern out.