Thursday, August 14, 2008

#1 says sayanora...

Today was my last day at the website, which means that I’m officially no longer an intern. I just finished packing up my little cubicle at which I’ve spent the past three months. I tore down the Shia Labeouf posters that plastered the walls, packed up my dozens of magazines that I read in my downtime, and said a silent goodbye to the two cubicles next to mine where my intern friends sat. Gosh, I’m going to miss this place.

My last week here, as it was at the magazine, has been relatively uneventful. I spent most of the week putting some finishing touches on my stories that are part of the site’s fall package and tidying up my workspace so it’s all set for the next intern. To thank us for all of our hard-work, the editors threw a pizza party for us interns, where we exchanged personal emails and cell phone numbers with a bunch of the editorial staff. And, as I do everywhere I go, I took a few pictures of the office and stole some company mementos(really just stationary and business cards, I swear!) to add to my summer scrapbook.

As #3 and #4 have said, it’s crazy how fast this summer went by. And as sad as I am to go, I know this just means I’m one step closer to landing that coveted EA spot upon graduation. Granted, this was not my first summer interning so I didn’t have that exhilarating first time experience that #3 had. However, I’m still walking away with knowledge about the industry (not to mention contacts, clips, and a whole lot of makeup!) that I didn’t have before.

For those of you edsters who were devoted readers of this blog, I hope my trials and tribulations as an intern were helpful for you during your own internships. My internships, as you’ve read, were at times hard, fun, scary and exciting,but, pardon my cheesiness,I’m glad I got to share those crazy moments with all of you die-hard Ed fans.

And as much as I loved being an intern, I really hope I’ll never be one again! I’m so ready to make my mark on the industry; I'm itching to (one day) get the job that I’ve wanted since I opened my first issue of YM back in the day.

Good luck to you all, and thanks for reading!

Xoxo Ed’s Intern #1

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Packing up the Atlanta abode

This evening was supposed to be all about packing. The minute I got home from my internship, I was supposed to whip out boxes and duct tape and pack up my Atlanta abode. Everything was going to be finished by 8 p.m., so that I can enjoy a peaceful evening and actually get more than 4 hours of sleep. Tomorrow’s a big day after all; it’s the final day of my first internship, as well as my first lunch meeting with an Editorial Director, followed by a long drive to my parents’ house.

But as I sit here typing this at 9:30, my room is only half packed. Well, that’s not accurate. It’s probably 25% packed. Of course, all of my clothes are safely packed away—the first things I packed, due to their importance. Other than that, everything’s the same. A plethora of magazines—ranging from Cosmopolitan to New York to Interview—cover most of the floor, along with random pieces of newspaper, bottles of lip gloss and plastic bags (remnants an intense summer of shopping at Urban Outfitters and H&M).

It’s so strange to think that tomorrow I will complete my very first internship ever and leave Atlanta, my newfound-summer-hometown.

I remember when I started my internship search last semester. I planned on staying in my college-town for the summer, interning at a local magazine and spending every day at the beach. But in March, when I randomly heard that a magazine in Atlanta was looking for interns, everything changed. Suddenly I couldn’t possibly imagine another summer of fun in the sun; all I wanted to do was move to Atlanta. It’s like I had blinders on... magazine blinders, that is. Luckily, they offered me the internship. I have no idea what I would have done if I didn’t get it.

Now my internship’s almost over.

Like #4, I followed #1’s advice and asked to meet with the Editorial Director of my magazine for feedback on the work I’ve done this summer, as well as to pick his brain and find the key to success in the magazine world. I assumed he’d only have time for a five-minute meeting in his office but, to my surprise, he suggested we do lunch! I’m so excited, so nervous. He’s a nice guy but I’ve never really talked to him before. Sure, we’ve exchanged a few sentences here and there, but on the whole I haven’t actually had a conversation with him. Hopefully it will go swimmingly and I will have made a fabulous contact, as well as garnered a great letter of reference.

Looking around, I’m becoming more and more anxious by the amount of packing I still have left to accomplish, so I suppose I better go finish that. I’ll let you know how it goes with the Editorial Director, though! Wish me luck!

--Ed’s Intern #3

Monday, August 11, 2008

Leaving on a high note

I woke up today at noon with no bus to catch to Port Authority, no lunch to pack, and nobody to attend to but myself. And let me tell you, it felt…amazing.

My last day at the magazine was last week. My bosses took me out to a really nice and totally unnecessary lunch at one of NYC’s best Mexican cafes, the fashion editors let the interns raid the beauty closet as a token of their appreciation for all our hard-work, and my editor informed me of possible freelance opportunities that could be mine in the future should I want them. Not a bad way to end an internship, huh?

Even better is news that two of my ideas that I pitched to my editor last week for the magazine’s front-of-the-book section were hits with the big dogs at the mag—they’re going to be featured in the next issue. Plus, I impressed my editor when I caught a grammar mistake on the copy of a feature story that I read over before it went to final final(those things could always use an extra pair of eyes), and I got to write the magazine’s table of contents. I'm hoping those things will leave a lasting impression on the staff...I hear a good recommendation calling my name.

I’ll post one last time on Thursday after my last day at the website. Until then, I’ll be living up my I’m-almost-(hopefully)-never-going-to-be-an-intern-again status by sleeping in, sitting out in the sun, and drooling over Michael Phelps in that sexy USA bathing cap.

--Ed’s Intern #1

Some last words from Intern #4

I’ve officially been back in the homeland for a few days now. And, though I’m thrilled to be back with my family in New Jersey (and also to have finally made the transition from Greenwich time to Eastern Standard) I’ve been missing London terribly. I packed up my little flat and caught a cab to catch the airport rail on Thursday. As we drove past, I mentally waved goodbye to every charming piece of London, promising myself to return as soon as I could.

The summer really has flown by. Three months ago, the girl in the cab driving into the city was scared, somewhat panicked, and very unsure of what the summer would hold. I was on my way to a student hostel, clueless if I would find an affordable place to live, stressing about doing an impressive job at my internship, wondering if I would find a part-time job, or ever make friends in London. Now, here I was, leaving what has been the most perfect summer of my life—albeit, the one I've worked hardest during (but really, perfection never happens without hard work, does it?).

I met with my editor on Monday, as we planned, and the luncheon went exceptionally well. I had imagined it would be a quick bite—15 minutes tops—since he’s such a busy person. But, we sat at a sandwich shop chatting for over an hour. He was so willing to tell me how his career started, and gave me some very helpful advice on writing and looking for a job in the future. And he even thanked me several times for being such a help over the crazy summer. He urged me to stay in touch, especially after graduation, and if I ever came back to London, to let him know.

While I feel very fortunate to have learned a ton in terms of magazine editorial, I learned even more in terms of life. I survived three months in a foreign city, one that I had never even visited before (not to mention the most expensive city in the world). I was able to take a risk. And, even if I never land a magazine publishing job in London (although, it is my biggest dream) I’ll always have the confidence I gained from this experience to apply to my career.

I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. My biggest focus at this point is to do a few local internships this last year in my college town and focus on graduating. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back in a cab to London in nine months or so. Then again, life has a crazy way of taking people in different directions.

I couldn’t write out a conclusion to this whole experience without thanking Ed, and everyone reading this blog over the summer. One of the best experiences of doing this was being able to write about it several times a week (ah, a sentence written by a loud, proud journalism dork, if I ever wrote one!). And, I sincerely hope some of my experiences helped you in yours (or were at least an entertaining lunch hour read!)

Whether you’re going for local internships, traveling across the pond, or seeking an entry-level job, good luck in whatever adventures you embark on!

Yours truly,

--Ed’s Intern #4

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#3's almost done, too... and weirded out by the fact.

Unlike the other interns, I seem to be even busier as my end-date approaches! I have one week and one day left at my internship, and I still have so much I need to get done for the October issue. I just began working on a news section (to be vague) this week. I took all my work home with me so that I can get it done ASAP, so that next week can be spent completing a big fact-checking assignment I also need to complete. After that, I leave Atlanta to go back to school.

Now that I’m approaching the last week of my internship, I keep trying to come to grips with everything that’s happened this summer. I mean, it really was a HUGE summer for me. It was my first time moving away on my own, not including the big move to college (which was done in a structured environment and completely different from this move). It was also my very first magazine internship. Even though I worked at my college paper as an editor last year, this was really my first foray into professional journalism. This summer was a BIG, BIG, BIG deal, and it’s almost over.

It’s just so weird to think that I accomplished so much this summer. I mean that in the least pretentious way possible. I think it’s probably something all interns go through after their first time. I’ve learned so much; I’ve written so much. Heck, I even received a bouquet today from someone who appreciated the last feature I wrote! I came into this situation a wide-eyed, na├»ve student, and, although I still have a lot to learn, I’ll be leaving this internship a little bit wiser. I’m one step closer to graduating (IN MAY, AHHH!); one step closer to landing my dream magazine job.

This is so weird. It’s like I’m almost an adult or something.

--Ed’s Intern #3

Monday, August 4, 2008

Intern #1's got nothing to do...

As I begin the last week of my summer internship, I find myself with fewer and fewer assignments. I have so much downtime, in fact, that I’ve resorted to stalking my editors via Google, talking to my friends via Facebook chat, and rummaging through the giveaway tables so I can get my grimy little intern hands on as much free stuff as possible. And, being the multi-tasker that I am, I even have time to write this blog entry while on the job…now that’s impressive.

I feel like I’m going full circle here—one of my first blog entries as an Ed intern was about how I had a lot of downtime at work—but as my internship comes to a close, so does the intern’s workload at my magazine. There’s no more researching to do since the articles have already been written, no more products to return since the photo shoots have already occurred, and no more fact-checking to do since the top editors have already finalized the stories.

The issue I spent all summer working on is going to press next week. The editors are now just putting a few finishing touches on it, like tweaking the layout, top-editing the final final versions, and making last-minute decisions on the cover headlines. So while the staff is extremely busy, making sure every minute detail is perfect before thousands of people read it, I, the intern, am left in my cubicle, staring at my computer screen and refreshing my email compulsively.

But I’m not going to lie…I kind of like the downtime this time around. I’m making myself useful by researching and pitching some feature ideas that I think may work for the next issue, and am brushing up on my magazine jargon so I know the lingo when I eventually start working in the biz. My chuckle of the day: learning that the word “slug” refers to a magazine’s column. Haha. That's somewhat amusing, right?

I’ve only got 2 days left here, and I really want to make the most of them. Here’s to hoping that my editors have got a whole lot of stimulating tasks for me for the rest of the week. I really need to tear myself away from this computer.

More Tk,
--Ed’s Intern #1

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Intern #4 grieves leaving + tips for independent mag. internships

I can’t believe this summer has flown by so quickly. By the middle of next week I’ll be back in the states. I’ll be adjusting to Eastern Standard Time, catching up with my family and friends, and preparing for my last year of college. But though it will be nice to get back into the American groove of things, leaving London won’t be easy.

I’ve had such an amazing experience here, I’ve seriously considered staying longer. Unfortunately, if I take off a year of school I’ll miss out on scholarship money and risk loosing credits, so I guess this is it for now. Besides, I can always return after I finish school and gain more experience in the states, which is what I hope to be able to do. Luckily, I was able to make great connections at this magazine, and can hopefully use the contacts when I’m ready to join the paid work force!

As Intern #3 got to see during her visit, interning at an “indie” mag can be quite different from a large, corporate internship, but just as rewarding; in some ways, even more advantageous than interning at a big-name publication.

Although I worked mostly in editorial here, I was able to gain experience in photo, advertising, and a bit in fashion. With such a small staff, they often needed my help, so I would assist directors in other departments, and learn how that facet of the magazine operates. So if I decide to do my next internship outside editorial, I’ll be able to say that I’ve had work experience in one of those areas.

If you’re someone with only college media experience, or only a very small magazine internship, an internship at an independent publication is probably more attainable, and will help build your resume if you want to impress big publishers like Hearst, Conde Nast, Time, or Meredith. I went after this internship when I didn’t make the cut for a corporate internship in NYC. But with the experience I’ve gained over the summer, I’ll have a better chance of being chosen if I try again.

The thing is, a lot of independent magazines don’t advertise that they need interns. (Especially overseas, because most of them aren’t familiar with Ed2010). I wouldn’t be here had I not researched the magazine and my editor’s contact info, e-mailed him, and persistently followed up. If you know of a magazine that you might want to intern for, do the research and take the initiative, you might be as surprised with the results.

Well, I’ll be in flight all day Thursday, so I’ll make my final post next Sunday. I took intern #1’s advice and I’m meeting my editor for a thank you/tips-in-the-biz luncheon on Monday. So I’ll let you know how it goes, and probably gush on about how I’ll be missing London by then...

Yours truly,
--Ed’s Intern #4