Friday, August 30, 2013

Hey Edsters!

Today was my last day of my summer internship, and it was definitely bittersweet. The cupcakes were a big hit, and I worked straight through the day building flipbooks. However, my editors took me out to lunch and shared some tips and advice with me. Later, I asked my editor about what she looks for in an edit test. I have only taken two (one of which was for my internship) and my editor shared some really amazing tips.

Edit tests are generally vague. Editors are busy, and they typically write up edit tests quickly. So when it’s time to take one, work hard on it. Edit tests are indicators of how well you understand the editor’s shorthand. It’s also a great way to determine how well you’ll fit with the brand. One of my editors took an edit test for a different magazine, and she said she had a hard time coming up with quiz questions or advice. However, when she worked on the edit test for the magazine she currently works for, she had a good time working on it; it was fun for her to think of mockup pins or ideas for feature stories. Her boss was so happy that she understood the shorthand of the edit test and hired her.

When going for an interview, know the brand. What’s the vibe of the magazine? Consider whether the magazine is more likely to show avant-garde fashion or a J. Crew sweater. My editor suggested that an easy way to impress your interviewer is to point out a certain column and explain why you like it. Editors are very protective of the brand, so they want to make sure the intern they choose is respectful of that.

Like I said, editors know the brand very well. When you’re taking an edit test, most of the time you’ll have to explain what you would do to change the site, or maybe discuss what you like and don’t like about the brand. Knowing your audience is huge for acing the edit test. Some magazines may be working on a total overhaul (think Lucky), so new ideas are welcomed. However, you don’t want to fill out an edit test with all of your great ideas but make it sound like they’re so much better than the preexisting ways of the magazine. It’s all about the balance, said my editor.

On my edit test, I was asked for a mockup of something I would actually pin on Pinterest. If you’re asked that question, use the magazine for inspiration; go on the magazine’s Pinterest board and look at their captions. Are they short and snappy? Follow suit. It’s super easy to research, and the interviewer will know that you get it.

I had such an amazing time at the Mag during my internship. I learned a lot, made a ton of contacts and feel strongly that I can achieve everything else I set out to accomplish. Thanks so much for reading my weekly intern tales!


Shelter Intern

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The End of An Era: What To Do At The End Of An Internship

I can't believe it's almost my last day at! I've come into work early, stayed late, and pitched my heart out, all while building relationships with editors I admire and learning as much as I can. I've got to soak in the next two weeks—I know they'll fly by!

I've read time and time again that ending an internship on the right note is so important. Here are my tips for saying goodbye and making sure you leave your mark:

Write a hand-written thank you note. Write one for every editor you've worked on your team that summer. Be sure to mention something you've learned from them and how much you've appreciated the time you've shared together.

Tip: If another intern could have written the note you wrote, it's not there yet. It's important you're able to explain to that editor how they inspired you and how they'll effect your career.

Get coffee with your editor. I asked my editor for coffee this week—not an informational interview or anything, I just wanted to get to know her from outside of our cubicle. It was so worth it: She was so sweet, and told me all about her career path, what she liked and didn't like about each job, and where she thinks the industry is going. She even offered to act as a reference and to be my mentor! I am so grateful I had the courage to send that email.

Remind your editors when you're leaving. Be up front and honest about your editors about how much work you're able to handle before you leave. If there's a project that you're working on in your final days, send your editors email updates telling them how far you've gotten, what you expect to finish, access to any documents they may need, and what the next intern needs to do. You'll be remembered as organized and responsible.

And after you leave...

Keep in touch with your editors! Send them email updates and let them know about how what you learned at your mag is helping you at school or at your fall semester internship. Don't be afraid to ask your editors for lunch or coffee next time you're in New York!

...And the other interns, too. You never know who you'll be working with in the future! Check in every once in a while to see what they're up to and meet up for drinks.

Don't lose your fire when you're not in the office! Just because you're in school doesn't give you an excuse to be any less passionate about the magazine industry! Read biographies of your favorite editors to get a feel for how they see things. Read an article about something you usually wouldn't to get a new perspective. Read a new magazine. Email a local magazine about how you can contribute. You've learned all you can—and it's up to you to keep it going!

It means so much to me that you've followed me all summer, Edsters! One last thing I'd like to know: what are your best tips for saying goodbye?

Until Next Time,
Ed's Web Intern

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saying Bye & Leaving a Mark

Hey Edsters!

I know I will be ending my internship soon, I have started to think back more and more about my summer and life at my job. Like many other college students, I have read, heard, and learned so much about the proper way to end an internship to ensure our boss remembers you past your time in the office. It can be hard and a bit scary to try and end on the right note. I have heard from many that written notes are a must to give all of our bosses and you should feel free to give out your business card as well. Since we have all probably heard of the best ways to end your internship and leave your mark, I figured I'd leave some tips for nailing your last few days before you have to say good-bye. 

Give a heads-up. Odds are you're working with other editors, whether it be a web editor for an online story or fashion editor helping organize a closet, it's important to tell not just you're boss when you're leaving. The other day I pitched a web article to an editor and later told her when my last day is due to the fact that she might not get around to editing it or reading other pitches before I leave. Even if you worked with an editor only a few times it is a good idea to give them a heads up on your departure; you never know what assignment they might give you or if the conversation is a good time to exchange contact information.

Contact your contacts. Going off of what I said about getting contact information, do so for just about everyone you work with. If you haven't already, get the interns you worked with information as well, you never know who you might work again with one day. Once you end the internship, email your boss(es) every month or so just to keep in touch. The good thing about interning at a magazine is the work you did that summer or semester will be published a few months later, a good excuse to send an email to the editor who did a piece you helped with.

Say what you want. More and more at work I hear stories about editors who waited too long to tell their bosses what they really wanted to do and the type of stories they wanted to work on. Be sure to communicate with your boss what you want from a career and how he or she many help you achieve that. It is important I have learned to remember that your boss is there to help you (and they want to help you!) Don't be scared to speak up and ensure your career goes in the direction you want it to. 

Hopefully these tips to ending an internship are helpful, it can definitely be hard ending such a great experience. What are you going to do before ending your internship?

Out for now,
Edit Intern

Friday, August 23, 2013

3 Tips for Leaving Your Internship

Courtesy of Flickr

Hey Edsters,

Now that my internship is winding down I’m starting to plan my exit strategy. Here are some tips for you to do the same:

Finish strong: I’ve asked for multiple assignments that I know I can finish by my last day. By staying busy and asking for assignments, it showcases your (strong) work ethic. Also, when if one of your editors is listed as a reference, they’ll remember how hard you worked all year, rather than how you completely gave up. The last couple of weeks will be the most poignant to impress your editors. On that note…

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Average EA Salaries: Are They Really That Bad?

Hey Edsters,

Let’s talk about this money issue for a hot second. I’m so glad that Ed chose to publish an article about it, because I really had no idea what the typical EA salary was, besides, well, the bare minimum.

Thank you, Ed, for defining the bare minimum. The line that struck me the most in the article was that some temp EA’s get paid the legal minimum wage (lower than any Starbucks worker I know!), followed up by the slightly less shocking fact that CondĂ© Nast brings up the rear in average EA salaries with a piddly $27,500.

The article goes on to mention some sort of taboo about sharing salaries. What taboo? Who wouldn’t want to share and compare their salaries with their fellow workers? I went back and reread the article about a week after it was published, expecting the Ed-sphere to be BLOWING UP with commentary about all this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Building Strong Relationships With Your Editors: A User's Guide

My editor once told me it's not what you know—it's what you know and who you know. As you probably have already gathered, it's darn near impossible to make it in this tiny industry without knowing someone. Therefore, it's been really important to me to establish good relationships with my editors and to meet with editors whose positions interest me—at and at Teen Mag's parent company—this summer. 

When I was at school last summer, I emailed my editors at as often as I could. I asked my editor if I could stay on staff as a contributing writer, and she said yes! I pitched articles and blog posts as often as my school schedule would allow, and I told my other editors anytime I was up to anything exciting. Granted, I don't think anyone really cared when I told them about a cappella concerts I covered for my school newspaper, but it was really important to me that everyone knew I was doing everything I could to become a better writer when I couldn't be at Teen Mag. It was more difficult to contribute when I was studying abroad, but I always would send a quick message about things in my new life that pertained to Teen Mag, like when Justin Bieber came to town and fangirls waited for him outside his hotel—which was on my street. (Some things are universal.) 

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to Say Goodbye: 3 Things You Should Definitely Do Before You Leave

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Say it isn’t so! My last day interning for Women’s Lifestyle Magazine is nearly here. I’ve worked hard, learned more than I could have ever imagined about the magazine world, and made some incredible connections with a few amazing editors. But, my work isn’t quite done yet!

I still have a few loose ends to tie up at my internship before I leave New York City. With my last days looming: here are three things every intern should totally do before peacing out for good.

1. Leave a handwritten thank you note.

It is so important to leave your editors a thank you note before you leave. A thank you note is a surefire way to stick in your editor’s mind. Plus, it’s your chance to showcase how much you learned and how they affected your bourgeoning career. Don’t be afraid to reference specific moments from your internship that stuck out, like that time your editor showed you how to write kickass interview questions, etc. A handwritten and personalized card will mean a lot to your editor, and you will no doubt stick out in his/her mind in the future.

Good to note: Don’t leave your editor an elaborate gift. One senior editor at a lifestyle mag said that gifts—while thoughtful—make editors feel kind of awk. They know that interns don’t rake in the dough and spending money on a parting gift seems really unnecessary. It’s best to stick to well-written cards only.

2. Speak up! Ask about future opportunities.

If you haven’t already, ask about any opportunities your editor knows of before you leave.

Can you freelance?
Is there a possibility to pitch ideas to the magazine?
Are there future internships or jobs available that the editor knows of?

Don’t be afraid to let an editor know that you are interested in other opportunities down the road—it might just pay off. I asked my editor if Women’s Lifestyle Mag accepted winter interns. In the past, only fall, spring and summer internships were available. But my editor is looking into the possibility now that I asked! Score!

3. Ask the best way to keep in touch.

Don’t forget to ask your editor how to keep in touch with him/her. My editor loves Twitter and practically lives on her email, so that’s how she prefers for people to get in contact with her. Another editor I spoke with is obsessed with tangible mail. She loves it when former interns send mail because to her, it shows a different sort of thoughtfulness.

How are you preparing for your final day Edsters? Sound off in the comments!

Ed’s Women’s Lifestyle Intern

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Speaking Up for What You Want

Hey Edsters!

At the magazine the other week we had our mid-term reviews, which were actually pretty late into the summer, and it got me thinking about a lot. During my review sessions I talked with both my bosses going over what I had done right and what I need to improve on. A lot of the time spent talking we discussed my work so far at the magazine and how I thought I was doing. During the conversation I told them that I have an interest in the marketing, advertising, and the web side of the magazine. After talking about other parts of putting a monthly magazine together it made me realize that I have a lot more interests than just the features department.

A little while after having that conversation, one of the editors was talking to us during a roundtable sharing her past experiences before landing her job at the magazine. The editor told the group how she worked in the public relations department of a media outlet for a many years in the beginning of her career, and later told her colleagues that she really wanted to be a writer. 

After hearing someone so highly respect at the magazine say that she had changed her career path from a public relations professional to an editor it reminded me of myself; I went from a PR internship to a features magazine one. But it also made me think again -- like some colleges students through their time in different internships -- what do I really want to do? So far this summer I have learned I love the environment of a magazine, but am I really a writer at heart? 

There is so much more that I could be doing at my internship in terms of types of tasks and working in different departments, however that is not how most internships are set up. I really like what is thrown at me with pitching and writing but I also really like the strategy behind making a magazine sell and digital media. More and more I view my internship as a way to help me figure out what I love, something I haven't hit the nail on the head yet. Hearing from other editors that it took each of them a few tries to find what they're best at, and many are still not there yet, made me feel better that I am looking as well. I love my internship and am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to figure out what I want to do and what I love. I think it is important for all Edsters to figure out what they want in a career and therefore speak up at work to be given the type of assignments they want. What do you think is the best way to determine the best career, inside a magazine and outside?

Out for now,
Edit Intern

Friday, August 16, 2013

4 Tips To Get You Hired—Fast

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Happy Friday Edsters!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was meeting up with a managing editor for an informational interview. What I expected to be a 20-minute conversation lasted a little over an hour.

I had written down a bunch of general questions to ask Alyssa* prior to our interview, but once we began chatting, I maybe asked her two of them. The interview turned more into a conversation, and I was able to get some stellar tips on how to get hired.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How To Make The Most Of Your NYC Weekends

Hey Edsters!

I love the weekends. They are full of endless possibilities and relaxation and, most importantly, sleep. Saturdays are wonderfully unplanned: It usually involves checking’s list of 10 free things to do in NYC on the weekend, then getting on out there. Sundays are wonderfully structured: I start out at Hillsong NYC in Union Square, then go to Argo Tea for a couple of hours to write for this lovely blog, then go back to Hillsong in the evening because I really can’t get enough of that place.

No matter what you do on the weekend, it’s generally understood that those two days are a time to unwind from the other five days. However, because I am a “go-getter” and slightly sadistic, I stalked a couple of internship sites and found a company that was looking for volunteers to help produce a fashion show this past Saturday. It was definitely a well, why not? moment when I emailed them to see if I could help out.

They emailed back within three days and, lo and behold, I found myself on a fashion show production crew yesterday. My official title was “Backstage Dresser.”

I’ve never heard of the company before and only vaguely heard of the designer, so it’s not worth repeating here. Let’s just say it was a good introduction to that side of the industry. I’ve never attended a fashion show before, let alone volunteered on one, so I had no expectations going in.

That was a good thing, because for 12 hours yesterday, I felt like I was in a movie that I couldn’t turn off. The manager of the company was a character straight out of Devil Wears Prada, but at least Meryl Streep could command respect. Every time she entered the area we were working in, everyone held their breath and prayed she wouldn’t pick them out to yell at them, because it could happen to anyone at any time for no reason at all.

She told volunteers (including me) to open doors for her when she was in front of them. She commanded a fellow worker at one point to get her a cup of water (WITHOUT ICE, PLEASE!), but little did she know that this girl had a whole lot of sass and backwashed into it before she gave it to her. At one point, the manager started randomly picking out girls to send home because there were “just too many volunteers” and the marketing director of the company up and quit about four hours into the day.

Remember what I said about feeling like I was in a movie?

It was a miracle that the show even happened at all. Once things got underway and I was stationed backstage with the models (and out of the manager’s line of fire), I actually started to enjoy myself a little. The designer was incredibly nice and gracious, and all the models were the absolute opposite of pretentious.

It was definitely a high stress day, but it didn’t bother me a whole lot because I knew I would walk away from it at the end of the day and go back to normal life. It did, however, cure me of ever wanting to pursue fashion show production as a career. I was vaguely interested because there’s a lot of glitz and glamour involved, but now I know that that sort of career is reserved for a special kind of person. That person isn’t me, and probably shouldn’t be that manager either.

Who knew that in one weekend gig, I’d find out so much about myself? I highly recommend checking out weekend volunteer opportunities before we all have to say goodbye to NYC and head back to school in a couple of weeks.

Have you ever had a similar volunteer experience? How about a similar Devil Wears Prada experience?

Until next week,

Ed’s Entertainment Intern

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Performance Reviews, Mid-Internship Progress, and The Halfway Point

This week, I did something that I thought I would never be able to do: I survived my first-ever performance review. 

Although I originally requested a performance review from one of my editors, she told me I didn't need one—I had already survived one summer at the mag, so I didn't need to talk to them. (Whew!) Then, my editor sent me an email saying that since all of the other interns had requested performance reviews, I should probably follow suit and talk to her, too. (Eeek!) Since this happened two weeks ago, I had been panicking ever since. What if my editors told me I was worse than I was last summer? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Advice From An Associate Editor: How to Land a Job After Graduation

Last Friday was surprisingly slow for Women’s Lifestyle Mag, so I was finally able to snag 30 minutes with my supervisor for an informational interview. Score!

Because I'm an incoming senior and soon-to-be graduate, I decided to ask my editor for her best advice on landing a job post-grad. My editor graduated only a few years ago, so she understands what upcoming graduates can look forward to. I feel so much more confident about navigating the world of magazines after our chat! So, I wanted to share some of my editor’s best tips with all of you. I’ve listed three of my favorite bits of advice below. Read on and add your editor’s tips in the comments!

1) Realize that you aren’t going to have a job by graduation

It’s really hard to watch non-media friends land jobs a year before they graduate—but don’t let your friends’ job offers discourage you! It’s probably not realistic to look for a job until after graduation. Magazine employers won’t hire unless they have a position available. Plus, when they do hire, they want the person to start tomorrow (or yesterday, if we’re being honest!) So don’t fret if you are collecting your diploma without a having a job offer. Expect to spend a few months after graduation searching for a job. And feel lucky if you get a job in that amount of time (a took a few of my editor’s friends years to land their first gig).

2) In the meantime…

Don’t forget to keep your writing skills sharp. Maintain a blog and write every day. It’s also a good idea to write in the voice and style of the magazines that you are applying to. Blog posts can act as another set of clips—but only if they are well written and speak to the audience of the magazine you are applying to.

Aaand keep in contact. Your editor is one of your best resources, as they will have the inside scoop on what jobs are available. Just be sure to maintain a mutual relationship—you don’t want to be the person that uses an editor only when you need something! Think about sending your editor an email every few months just to let them know what you are up to. You might also mention how much you liked an article they wrote recently or send them a link to something you think they’d find interesting.

3) Find your calling

Do you love books? It’s book editing for you! Are you a pop culture junkie? Entertainment editing is probably your jam. Are you always dishing out advice on the latest beauty trends? Hello, future beauty editor!

It’s important to be a specialist in the magazine industry. This is sometimes problematic for young writers because we are so excited to be writing at all! But, editors decide on an expertise at some point, and if you are able to figure out what this expertise is early on, you will stand out from other entry-level candidates.

What about you Edsters? Have you received any great advice on landing a job after graduation? Sound off in the comments below!

Ed's Women's Lifestyle Intern

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beating The Fear of Striking Out

Hey Edsters!

I'll be the first to admit it, I am extremely shy and sometimes do not advocate enough for myself, whether it be in the office or outside of work. As I continue through my internship I am realizing it is extremely important to take chances, connect with whoever comes your way, and always be thinking about how you can help you boss. Over the past few weeks our web staff and other departments have met with groups of interns to give us workshops on success in the magazine industry that are also relevant to other fields. The pattern and theme of all of these meetings seemed to be the importance of reaching out to editors and making connections. Growingly I am realizing how important knowing people in your industry is. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

How To Stay Motivated: Unpaid Intern Woes

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Happy Friday Edsters!

Sometimes it can be really hard to stay motivated at your unpaid internship. Maybe you’re doing some pointless work, or worse, doing someone else’s work. However, here are a three few ways to keep you motivated through the rough days: 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Advice From A Senior Editor: "It's All Going To Be Okay"

Hey Edsters,

This week was a d-o-oozy. I failed to receive a freelancer check on time (yay! more cheese sandwiches for breakfast/lunch/dinner!) and I was a witness to one of the most heartbreaking things I've heard yet about this tough industry that we love so much.

One of my closest friends here is an aspiring 30-year-old social media guru. She has an undergraduate degree. She has a graduate degree. And... she's still searching for a job. It's tough to watch, especially when I'm gearing up to graduate next May.

On Monday, she finally got that envious second interview by a fashion PR company that was looking for a new digital media manager. We were both dying of excitement. Unfortunately, she walked out of the office thinking that she had bombed the interview.

But wait! On Tuesday, she was called back in and, gasp, hired! As a freelancer for a trial period (which is normal these days, or so I hear), but still. And at $22/hour, no less. Things were looking up.

She went in on Wednesday to help the company out with a couple of huge events that were happening this week. As far as I know, she sent emails and collected Twitter handles. Hundreds of them. 

Fast forward to Thursday. Halfway through the day, I get this text: "So, I got fired."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Finding A Mentor

When I first started working at last summer, I never expected I'd find a mentor. Honestly, the concept sounded corny to me—and why would a busy editor want to spend time with a lowly intern?

It wasn't until the web department started growing that I found editors I could consider my mentors. Don't get me wrong, my supervisor was (and still is!) one of my favorite bosses, but I developed a great working relationship with three of the editors. I think one of the reasons we became closer than I was to my supervisor is because we all started our new positions within four weeks of each other. Since I started as the other interns were ending their internships, I was super intimidated by them—but since the editors were cool with asking me questions, I felt like I wouldn't be bothering them if I asked them for help, too. 

Soon, asking each other questions about how our CMS worked turned into attending the same work events, following each other on Twitter, and talking about our personal lives. They even took me out to lunch every once in a while! Dare I say it, I was making friends with people I admired! I still couldn't believe that editors wanted to take the time out of their day to talk to me. And while I felt comfortable enough to ask them for career advice and guidance, it didn't hurt that when they wanted an important job done, I was the intern they asked for help. Surrounding myself with talented editors made me grow personally and professionally—so much so that I knew I needed to come back to this summer.  If you can find a mentor at your internship, you'll learn way more about the industry than an HR rep can tell you. Here are some tips for finding—and maintaining—a great relationship with an editor: 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Importantance of Voice In Pitching

Hello Edsters!

This past week at the magazine we were given the task to find trends happening that the readers should know about. The ideas we later discussed were then turned into possible pitch ideas for the other editors or web blog posts. My boss gave me and the other features interns great tips about finding stories and the importance of making sure the voice is tailored to the publication and a story the readers would read. A got a lot of tips from the meeting and later found one of my ideas was added to a pitch made by the editor, which was extremely exciting. One fun part of interning at magazine is that you get to see your ideas and hard work in print a few months after the magazine is released. I took away a lot of information and included below some of the highlights. Writing for each magazine is completely different but hopefully these tools and tips are relatable for any publication. 

Timing - Because magazines articles are written long before they are published, make sure the story will be relevant in a few months. Ensure that the readers will care about the issues you're writing about and even topics tied to the months of publication, like a new development in cancer research for October breast cancer month. Although you can't publish breaking news, writing long form gives you the time to dig deep in research. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

When Your Dream Internship Isn't What It Seems

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Hey Edsters, 

This week I had the much-anticipated mid-internship review. My supervisor and I discussed what I was doing well and what I needed to work on (and thankfully my choice of clothing was not an issue). More importantly, she had me write down the kind of assignments I wanted to be assigned (assist on a photo shoot, attend a press release, etc.).

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Navigating The Art Of: 'Keep In Touch!'

Hey Edsters,

So, this may be a weird topic to bring up mid-internship, but I learned this week that ‘keeping in touch’ is not just reserved for emails between you and your internship supervisor.

First of all, I have no idea what kind of animal the phrase “keep in touch!” really is. I used to think it was just something that supervisors felt obligated to say at the end of an internship. But really, I thought, who wants loads of emails in their inbox about whatever my next internship happened to be?

Case in point: 1.5 years ago, I bussed into New York City over the winter semester to complete my first big magazine industry internship. It was a glorious lesson in what really went down at one of my favorite magazines. As it turns out, it involved a lot of twelve-hour days and aching feet, accompanied by falling asleep over dinner every single night.

I’m sure some of you have experienced the same.

At the end of my 4 weeks, I walked off with an inordinate amount of free clothes, a pat on the back, and that silly phrase ringing in my ears: “Keep in touch!” I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant; but ever the optimist, I was like ‘hey, this is really cool, I AM going to keep in touch via a email every couple of months or so.’

In February, I emailed with well wishes and a little bit of gushing about how cool it was to see spreads that I had worked on come to life in the March issue.

No response.