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Advice from an Intern

When I thought about interning for a magazine, I’d imagined myself as Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada or Hilary Duff in Beauty and The Briefcase. I thought my life would consist of morning coffee runs and fancy charity galas. Instead what had happened was: being an assistant, conducting interviews with well-known local people, free food and concerts, and the best part: getting published. Yeah, I definitely could live with that. And I did. 

Tip #1: Research  I come from a small city that mainly focuses on the food industry. In my experience, finding a magazine to intern for was challenging but definitely not impossible. The thing was finding the one that fit my writing style. I sent out about 5 emails to 5 different magazines. I got one response. One, DeLaredo City Guide. I wondered why people wouldn’t want a person working for them for free. Oh well, it happens. Don’t get discouraged though! That doesn’t mean you’re not good enough for the position, that just means the right one is waiting for you. 

 

Tip #2: Just go for it You might think you’re not qualified or don’t have enough experience, but you’ll never know unless you apply. People notice you by the quality of your work. As someone who is naturally shy, I let my work do the talking. If you’ve got interesting ideas for features or some suggestions, pitch them in. Teamwork makes the dream work. They see want to see what you’re made of. Let your skills shine! 

 

Tip #3: Take a deep breath Some of the tasks you’re asked to do might seem overwhelming or a little out of your comfort zone, like setting up an appointment for clothing samples for the cover and being a stylist for the day (that’s a lot of pressure) or getting in touch with people for interviews. Don’t overthink it and think quick on your feet. Just PREPARE what you have to say, take a deep breath and pick up the phone. You will see that with every call you will gain confidence and realise it’s not too scary after all. The more confident you are in your own abilities, the more people will trust you with increasingly important jobs. Being hard-working is an essential quality for an intern and in anyone who wants to work in magazines.

 

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to ask questions When I got interviewed for the position, I let them know I wanted to learn everything there was to learn about how the magazine is created; from concept to printing and distribution, as well as what each department does. I made sure to spend some time with each department and just talk to them and possibly learn a new thing each time. Your team will be excited to show you and talk to you about what it’s like to do their role. 

 

Tip #5: Listen and learn My goal is be an editor and that job comes with respect and advice. It’s important to accept constructive criticism, even if that’s not what you want to hear. It’s a learning experience. Wherever you go, you’ll find that by offering their opinion on your work people are honestly trying to help you progress. 

 

Tip #6: Enjoy it! I didn’t know I was going to be writing my first day of my internship. I was just scheduled to be an observer for the first month. By the end of the month and the ones after that, I was being published with more than one article. If, like me, you’ve always dreamed of working at any magazine then enjoy your time there! I promise you you’ll wake up eager to get to work each morning. Pat yourself on the back and put all your positive energy into it! 

Ashley Salas is an English major at Texas A&M University. When Ashley isn't writing, she spends her time creating original photography works and petting every dog she sees on the street. #dangerouswoman  She hopes to inspire people with her words and be the voice of many who are muted. 
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