Monday, July 8, 2013

How I Tackled My First Big Assignment at Women’s Lifestyle Mag

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

20 minutes before the end of the day, the news editor at Women’s Lifestyle Mag asked me if I wanted to attend a party to try and score an interview for a Q&A post on the website.


This was my first big assignment at Women’s Lifestyle Mag, so naturally I was freaking out. I was so excited to have an extra project to work on, but I was also nervous. The fist big assignment is, in some ways, a “make it or break it” sort of moment and I had little time to prepare—because the party that I needed to attend started in two hours.

When I left work 20 minutes later, I booked it back to my apartment to change into party attire. Admittedly, I had NO IDEA what that even was, so I opted for basic and boring: black dress and black flats. (Note to self: this ensemble is always a safe bet. Feel free to live a little and try a statement necklace.) I packed my notebook and pen in my purse so that I could write down a few talking points. This left me with a solid hour to learn everything I could about my interview subject…which was awesome because I knew very little about her.

I made my way to the nearest Starbucks (gotta love free Wi-Fi) and spent the next sixty minutes roaming the Interwebs and planning my questions. One tall skinny-vanilla latte later, I was on the subway headed to the party--eek!

When I entered, I immediately felt overwhelmed and completely…awkward. Most people show up to events with, you know, a friend. I was definitely the only loner as far as I could tell. Took make things worse, I had no idea how I was going to find the woman I was supposed to interview. I knew what she looked like on Google images, but finding her in a dimly lit room was a whole new ball game. I allowed myself to panic for about three minutes, and then I decided to quit being a baby and figure it out. Commence: beast mode.

I found the photographer at the event and asked her if she could show me a photo of the woman I was interviewing. The photographer cheerfully obliged and before you know it, I had a mental image of my subject and her outfit. Score! I spotted her with ease five minutes later.

And then I got super nervous.

I’ve interviewed loads of people for publications back home, but this was my first interview for my fave women’s lifestyle magazine on the planet! 

Thankfully, after I introduced myself, my nerves vanished and I was able to nail a ten-minute interview. Success!

For the rest of the party, I was ELATED. I even forced myself to be less awkward and talked to a few friendly faces. Yay!

When I got home, I transcribed the interview and slept like a baby. The next day, I built my blog post and waited patiently for the editors’ remarks. Cue: nerves Round Two.

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. I received feedback from the editors and…they thought it was great! A few of my questions were cut for length reasons, but after a round of editing I was good to go. Now, I have my first published clip from my internship. Aw. Yeah.

I’m already looking forward to my next assignment…I can hardly wait!

What about you, Edsters? What was your first big assignment like? How do you go about tackling bigger projects that require more responsibility? Sound off in the comments!


Ed’s Women’s Lifestyle Intern

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