No, it's not like The Devil Wears Prada. Not even Ugly Betty. But it is the job "a million girls would die for," especially me.
I was lucky enough to land an internship in the beauty department at Cosmopolitan Magazine in New York City this summer, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I am one of those people who just want to roll over and die when that alarm clock goes off. But every time it went off this summer, I was eager to hop off my mattress on the floor of my two bedroom apartment shared by five people knowing that work would be exciting, yet again.
Yes, it was an internship, so there is no denying the menial tasks that every summer intern must endure. I organized the beauty closet. I made copies. I updated spreadsheets. But more importantly, I got to see what working for a major magazine would really be like. I got to pitch ideas and help write stories. I got to sit in on "desksides" where public relations people pitch their new products, and I got to be a part of art meetings where the layout was discussed. Since I was an intern for the beauty department, and I learned so much about that section, but I also learned a lot about so many other aspects of the magazine at the same time.
I had a lot of my expectations shattered about magazines this summer. First, I thought the women would be a little bit catty and snobby, especially toward a measly little intern. Well, they weren't. At least not in the beauty department. I worked with some of the nicest people, and they were always so appreciative of the work I did, however minor it may have been. I also thought that everybody would be super fashionable, wearing Manolo heels and high-end outfits just like in the movies. Well, they weren't that either. And thank God for that because my income of $0 and the rate at which my money depreciated in the city didn't exactly help me be able to afford the latest fashions. A ton of people wore jeans, and a lot even wore flip flops to work. Everybody was so laid back, which made the whole atmosphere of the magazine so much fun.
I learned a lot this summer which any girl interested in working for a magazine should know. When people say you have to know someone to get into magazines, that's only half true. Yes, it definitely helps, and it makes things a lot easier, but there were plenty of interns at Cosmo who got their summer gigs by emailing people on the masthead. Also, don't go into the search process close-minded. I really wanted to be an editorial intern, but when I got offered a position in the beauty department, I took it anyway. Turns out I loved it, and now when it comes to applying for an actual job, I'll be looking for beauty positions, not editorial.
Once you actually secure that internship and you've picked up and moved to what most likely will be New York City, work your little butt off. You are there to impress these people because they are the ones who can help you get a job when you graduate. If you ever have down time, which trust me, isn't often, make yourself useful. Sometimes your supervisors are too busy to find something for you to do, but there is always something to be done. Seek it out, and keep yourself busy. Your bosses will be thankful, and you'll have shown them that you're there to work, not mess around.
Also, remember that you only have a few months there, so make every day count. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people who work there. You want to see as much of the magazine as you can, and you want to leave with as many contacts as possible.
A lot of your experience will be what you make of it. Keep a smile on your face, and work hard. After all, there are a million other girls who would die for your position. Prove that you deserve it.