The first time I told my family and friends that I was interning with Avenue Magazine in New York City they were shocked. Not that I got it but that I wanted to. No one thought I was ready. Everyone always referenced The Devil Wears Prada and how mean everyone will be to me. 1. That’s not true everywhere you go (the Avenue Magazine staff is so welcoming and understanding) and 2. Don’t believe everything you see on TV. Yes, the fashion/journalism world is vicious but your experience is only what you make it. Don’t go in scared, but don’t try too hard. Come in everyday ready to learn, ready to prove yourself and most of all ready to create amazing content. Here are 5 things I learned this summer interning for a magazine in New York City for the first time.
1. You are always competing
If you’re one of four interns or if you’re the only intern you are always competing with someone. The field of journalism is a constant competition of who creates the best content. So never feel too comfortable in a position because you did something good. You will always be compared to previous interns and writers in general. There is always room for improvement. (Especially if this is your first internship, psh you’ve got such a long way to go)
2. Always take your time
You may think that getting an assignment done fast is impressive. Well, you’re wrong. This field is all about quality. You’ll make a better impression on your supervisor if they know you took your time and do your research. Every word you chose and how you chose to place it is so crucial in creating a good article and a great article.
This summer I was fortunate enough to meet the Editor-in-chief of Avenue Magazine and New York Family Magazine, the CEO of Manhattan Media, the Akris designer from Switzerland and fashion icon, Linda Fargo. Networking is so important in the fashion/journalism world. The more people you know the more your articles and ideas get shared. The more you network the more you’ll be exposed to different aspects of the field and the more you’ll learn. Not to mention the more connections you make the more opportunities you will have for potential job opportunities.
4. Criticism may hurt at first but it will help you in the long run
Ok, so I literally had a lady look me straight in the face and say, “Do you even want to write for a magazine?” It took everything in me not to snap, “No I’m just here for my health.” You’re going to come across people who tell you you suck but fortunately I was exposed to people who may have criticized me and my writing but they wanted to help me. A problem I have personally is that I want to be a writer for a magazine but I don’t religiously read magazines. I know that makes absolutely no sense, but I swear I have a good reason. I was told to read the magazine to see how their writers write and eventually I will catch on. It has helped immensely and my writing has improved so much from just these short two months. Quick tip: Always, always, always read The New Yorker. Those writers are just spot-on.
5. Never give up
This is by far the most important thing to remember. You’re going to be trampled on. You’re going to be told you suck. You’re going to be sent home. You’re going to be looked at like you’re a fly on the wall. You’re going to be fired. All the worst things in the entire world that you could ever imagine is going to happen to you. But you can NEVER GIVE UP. If you love what you do you have to stick with it. This is your time to be selfish. You’re in college and you need to live for you. No one is going to get you where you want to be besides yourself. So get as many internships as you can. Talk to as many people as you can. Get as many emails as you can. Work 30+ hours a week (even if it’s unpaid). Because at the end you are going to gain knowledge, experience, qualities and skills you never knew you had. Do what you love and love what you do. Passion. Have passion for every single move you make and not a second of your time will be wasted. You can do it. You can go far. You got this.
Hope this helps,
xoxo Bianca J