Sunday, July 3, 2011
My New Internship + What I Went Through To Get It
It should come as no surprise that when I graduate, I want to work at a magazine and pursue a job in fashion journalism. It should also be incredibly, incredibly obvious that I am an extreme over-acheiver.... [My first year in college, I had a full time job, 20 hour / week internship, and was taking 21.5 credits in school.]
Now, after quitting my BEYOND shitty job at Starbucks, I've been able to put things in perspective. Here's a breakdown:
1. School & Grades
2. Fashion / Beauty / Editorial Internship
3. Unrelated job
With that in mind, I passed all of my exams with flying colors, applied like crazy for the perfect summer internship, and took a break from the working world. After 3 long months of applying everywhere I could think of, I began to realize that it would be almost impossible to intern at a magazine right now.
Hearst and Conde Nast own almost every major fashion magazine, and they require school credit, which I can't earn until next spring. Now, I could always lie, but let's just say that doesn't always seem to work. [I had a friend who lied about earning credit and got an internship with Teen Vogue, only to have them find out and treat her even worse than before! So, after seeing my friend put in 25+ hours a week for no pay, credit, or letter of recommendation, I'm far past the idea of lying as opposed to simply waiting a semester.]
Anyways, after racking my brain and panicking about not having a summer internship, I got an email from an editor at Life & Style Weekly, owned by Bauer Publishing. She said that my resume was forwarded to her by HR and asked of I was interested in an internship with the Fashion Department. Of course, I said yes. She told me that I would receive more info from her the following week. I didn't.
Now here's where I differ from most people. To quote my Facebook and Tumblr biographies:
"but i know what i want.
and i know how to get it.
and nothing and no one will ever stop me.
i never give up.
and i believe that anything is possible.
When I didn't hear from her, I worried that I wouldn't get it, or that they had given it to someone else. Most people would have stopped there and simply moved on and forgotten about it, but instead, I sent her an email. She assured me that an answer was coming.
The following week began, and still no email. I worried, and I sent her another email. She told me that I would hear the next day. I didn't, and I emailed her. She responded and asked if I was available for an interview the next morning. I said yes!
The interview was relatively short. She sounded like she was in a major hurry, and quickly spewed out questions, like:
1. Are you OK doing occasional administrative tasks?
2. Are you available to come in two days a week?
3. Will you be able to continue for two months, until mid-August?
4. Are you OK with not getting paid?
Now, for those who aren't too experienced in the world of fashion internships, they are VERY demanding! As an intern, you're expected to work crazy hours and devote 3-5 days a week, commit 3+ months, do countless unimportant admin tasks, and above all, almost never get paid. So, needless to say, these expectations were incredibly low.
The conversation was short, and she said I would hear the following day. By this point, I was well aware that I shouldn't hold her words to be exact. I didn't hear the next day, but I heard the day after that. And...... I GOT THE INTERNSHIP!!!!
So, the moral[s] of the story?
1. In the wonderful world of fashion, absolutely NEVER expect that as an intern, you are only thing on a potential employers mind!
2. As a job hunter, absolutely always follow up. If I didn't, I wouldn't have gotten this amazing internship.
3. Do not, under ANY circumstances, lie to a potential employer. You might get away with it, but if you're caught, you're screwed. Just look at the little anecdote about my friend at Teen Vogue- she will NEVER be able to work at any Conde Nast publication again!! [Glamour, Lucky, Marie Claire, Vogue, W, WWD, Teen Vogue, etc.]
As for my experience at Life & Style, I actually began on June 13th. I didn't want to blog about it until I knew it would work out, and then it kind of slipped my mind... Its going great so far, and you can definitely expect some posts about what its really like interning at a major magazine!!