5 Things to Remember When Interning for a Magazine for the First Time

Everyone always references The Devil Wears Prada when you tell them that you got your first internship in New York City. “Are you prepared to get spit on?” and “Everyone is going to be so mean to you, are you prepared for that?” are just some of the comments I got when I told my family and friends I got summer internships with Art Bodega Magazine and Avenue Magazine. First of all, that’s not true everywhere you go, and secondly, you can’t believe everything you see in movies. 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 every day 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.

Courtesy: Bianca Rodriguez

1. You are always competing

Whether you’re one of four interns or 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. 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 did your research. Every word you chose and how you chose to place it is so crucial in creating a good article versus a great article.

3. Network

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 Albert Kreimler 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 chances you will have for potential job opportunities.

4. Constructive criticism isn’t a bad thing

I once had a woman 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 that you suck, but fortunately I was exposed to people who may have criticized me and my writing, but they wanted to help me. Always read the magazine you’re interning with so you can catch onto their writing style and type of content. It helped immensely and my writing has improved so much from just those short three 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 might be sent home. You’re going to be looked at like you’re a fly on the wall. You might get fired. All the worst things in the entire world that you could ever imagine might 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.

Courtesy: Bianca Rodriguez