Job Title and Description:
Contributing Assistant Beauty Editor at O, the Oprah Magazine.
I assist the Beauty Director and Executive Beauty Editor; pitch, research and write stories every month; call in products for stories; take care of the beauty closet; attend events and desksides to find out what’s new in the beauty industry; and overall make sure all things in the beauty department are running smoothly.
Hofstra University/ Mass Media and Political Science
What is a typical day like for you?
No day is the same. One day I can be conducting interviews, researching and writing all day. The next day, I can be running around the city from one event to the other one, finding out what products are coming down the pike in the beauty market. Maybe another day I am calling in and organizing products for a future story. It depends on the stories we are working on and varies a lot from week to week.
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
I freelanced for SELF’s Healthy Beauty Awards—I helped organizing all the products entering the awards and sending them to testers, then compiling all their answers to find the winners—and then became their beauty blogger—writing 5 posts a week. I had a beauty internship with them before (which I found through ed2010.com) and went up the ladder from there.
Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
The entire beauty
Is there a particular quote or mantra that you live by?
I don’t have a particular quote or mantra, but I do truly believe in working hard and loving what you do. Everyone has bad days at work, but if you start feeling like going to work is a task, it’s time to move on. You have to love what you do to be good at it. If you are passionate and enthusiastic, it’ll show in your work.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
I think I was a little too laidback during my first internship. I would always leave as soon as 5pm came around (as long as I had finished whatever I was helping with, of course). If I could go back in time, I would definitely volunteer to stay and help editors during close—when editors get the magazine pages ready to be sent to the printer— even if it was just to go pick up dinner for them. It was a very small staff that took care of four publications and during close it would get really hectic. Going beyond your duties as an intern is very important and helps you stand out from the pack.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I’ve been writing for magazines for a few years now, but I still think it’s amazing to see a magazine with one of my articles in a supermarket or a newsstand. It’s exciting to see a story shape from just an idea to a published article. It takes months and a big
What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
A good intern pays attention to detail. Whether it is making sure the closet supplies are refilled before they run out, putting products in the right place, and spell-checking all emails you sent to editors; being organized and detail-oriented sets you apart. Chances are any editorial assistant position you get will require you to assist an editor and that might mean taking care of their calendar, booking meetings and travel, and other tasks that require you to be organized. You want to make a lasting impression as an intern and this is a good way to do it. To be a beauty intern, you also have to be passionate about beauty. Again, it all comes back to loving what you do: If you care about the products you are unpacking and get excited about a new lipstick shade or a new ingredient, chances are you’ll be very good at your job.
What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
Intern, intern, intern! To learn what’s happening in the beauty world, you need to be in the closet, opening bags and reading press releases. If you are not interning in beauty, start a blog with reviews of your favorite products. If you are, ask the magazine that you work for if you can contribute to their blog. (You don’t want to have your own beauty blog if you are interning. You shouldn’t use your position in the closet—where you see new products—to get ideas for your own blog.) Plus, the beauty industry is small and getting to know the editors also means finding out if a beauty job is opening somewhere else.