Friday, 5 December 2014

What To Expect At A Magazine Internship

Morning guys and welcome to Blogmas day 5!! So today I wanted to talk to y'all about Internships.

This is a topic that comes up rather regularly and something I often get asked about. Obviously the pipe dream for a lot of girls, budding journalists and bloggers is to work for a print magazine - of course, technology is steering us towards digital (unfortunately) which means magazines are now declining. Nevertheless, online/print publications are fairly similar in which the way they operate. Websites such as Buzzfeed/Daily Mail still have deadlines to meet, laise with PR companies and socialites to bag interviews with etc but Digital is just instant where as Magazines have a slower, more ahead of time process.

Anyway, regardless of the type of publication - internships generally have similar duties that are required of the intern obviously dependent upon the nature of the internship. I myself have experience working in both the editorial and fashion/beauty departments of magazines so anything that I list below is all to do with my experience, although this may differ from other peoples' experiences in interning.

So first things first...

1. It's Glam But Not That Glam - So for anybody who hasn't been on an internship and aspires to bag one at a national publication and has visions of them being Andy from The Devil Wears Prada and the staff being extremely obnoxious and rude - good news, you're in for a surprise. None of the staff I worked with during my time interning have ever once been patronizing, quite the opposite actually. You need to remember that at some point, these members of staff were all in your position and have worked their way up or in some cases, just got lucky and were in the right place at the right time. Either way, you have no need to worry about being spoken to in a rude manner, in my experience anyway. Staff members are usually chatty, friendly, polite and are keen to get to know about your aspirations, if you play your cards right one opportunity may lead to another - it worked for me!

2. There Will Be Coffee - Another myth which I can confirm as being true is the fact that you will be doing Coffee runs - yes, Starbucks will become your new best friend. Magazine staff are generally fairly busy people and have long days, yeah sure it's a fantastic job they have and it must be great to have such a glamorous job title but at the end of the day they need their caffeine and if that's going to enable them to do their job better then you're a great help. So be prepared to do Coffee runs, take lunch orders and memorize the local Starbucks/ Pod.  Another thing I would say is, as simple as it sounds - do try to actually listen to someones drinks orders, even though it's only something little, for me, I find it very lovely when someone remembers I have a Soya Mocha or a Soya Tea as opposed to normal milk etc.

3. You're Not Going To Be Their Cover Girl - You'll spend a lot of your time doing tasks that you may not deem as important but actually are for the running of the magazine. For example, if you're doing a fashion internship you'll be spending a whole lot of time in the Fashion/Beauty Cupboard booking in and out products for testing, photography or photo shoots. It's kinda cool actually, you often get to see new releases and although you may feel as though what you're doing isn't important - it is. On many occasions beauty editors have asked me if I can please fetch the such and such perfume for a feature and you need to be able to find it straight away. Keeping the cupboards in order and taking note of what is in the cupboard and what isn't is important. Very often after a shoot a PR company will request they have their samples back for the next day and if you cannot find them you'll be in a bit of a pickle. My words of wisdom would be to take every task in your stride - as mundane as the task may be you should always put 100% effort into your task and do it to the best of your ability. Magazines have new interns every week, rather than being the person who coasts along doing an 'okay' job of everything make sure you stand out!

4. Seize Every Opportunity - As I said at the start of this post, playing your cards right at your internship may lead to further opportunities so make sure you show initiative. In case you didn't know a lot of magazine titles all operate under one building - for example Bauer Media have Grazia, FHM, Heat and Closer all in one building and obviously they all talk amongst one another. One time I was interning at Closer magazine and just so happened to be in the lift with the Editorial Assistant at Heat who said she'd noticed me before and said I seemed to be doing a really good job (which was lovely) and then she offered me an internship with Heat. Then at Heat I ended up helping out the girls at Closer again and also had the chance to do a bit of work with Mother & Baby Magazine. If you show interest in the magazines they will ensure you're looked after and will offer you the opportunities. As I stated before, don't sit around and wait to be asked for something to do, actively say 'is there anything I can do' 'how can I help you' and you will be rewarded. At my first editorial internship (at a newspaper) I came up with an article an idea and before I knew it I had bagged my self an inside the first page article with a picture of me discussing my thoughts on a run down town. So basically what I'm saying is work hard, be patient and seize every opportunity that comes your way.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment below or tweet me! Also please share your interning experiences with me!!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! I had an internship at Vogue and it was incredible, but it's not all glitz and glamour! You definitely get out of an internship what you put in. If you work hard and put in your all, you will get rewarded, but if you just do the bare minimum, you will get the same back. I love your blog Lara, would love if you checked out mine at! :) xxx


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