My NYC Intern Story: How I Got a Fashion Magazine Internship and What I learned

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I remember the exact night I applied for an internship at Hearst Magazines. It was January 26, 2014 and I had just gotten back to my dorm room. Yes, I was a junior in college and still lived on campus, but only because I was an RA for the freshman dorms. Moving on. I read over my cover letter, resume and introductory email almost 25 times to the point of memorization before I felt ready to send the email. I took a deep breath, said a little pray and hit send. Over the course of the next 3 months, I applied to 50 internships; 49 of those in New York City. I was determined to intern in the Big Apple to take the needed step into the fashion and editorial industry.

Fast forward to the middle of March, I was on spring break, and I only had one internship offer from a really small online boutique based in New York. I was currently on a day-trip with a couple of friends when I received an unknown call from New York. I answered and it was Hearst! The HR manager started spewing questions at me as soon as I answered the phone and I was completely caught off guard. I ducked behind a bench in the middle of the outdoor area we were at, and I tried to hold my composure while I pulled answers and magazine facts from thin air. At the end of the conversation, she asked to set up a Skype meeting with the rest of the HR hiring team later that week. I finished the Skype interview, completed edit tests for multiple magazines and was then asked to do a phone interview with Redbook. By the beginning of April I had my official offer from Redbook and I was headed to New York for the summer!

My summer in New York was surreal. As an editorial intern at Redbook, I worked directly with the editorial team with story pitches, research, transcribing interviews, sitting in on staff meetings, and I even assisted the Editor-In-Chief with various projects. Of course there was day-to-day administrative tasks like copying, taking notes, and organizing archives, but that summer completely paved the way for my career. I was published in two Redbook fall issues and I made lasting friendships and connections through the internship.

I am answering some questions readers have asked me about my internship experience below, and tomorrow on the blog I’ll be sharing more about what I did in my free-time that summer. At the end of post you can participate in a little #ThrowbackThursday and see some of my favorite posts from my summer in New York. They’re “oldies” but goodies! xo

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Where did you find your internship?
I found my internship directly through Hearst Human Resources / Career webpage. Since my time in magazines, a decent amount of publications have stopped their internship programs and now hire recent-grad freelancers for 3 – 6 month contracts. But, don’t be discouraged! You can still find some media internships and opportunities through the main publishing companies like Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith, Time Inc.

I also recommend looking at websites like ed2010, Mediabistro, Intern Queen, and LinkedIn.

What was your internship and how did you receive it?
I talked a little about this above, but I was a print Editorial Intern for Redbook Magazine. I applied online through human resources, and I also emailed them directly with my cover letter and resume. I was actually a part of the Hearst Diversity Intern Program, so I did not apply to a publication directly.

What is the Hearst Diversity Intern Program?
This was a special summer program through Hearst, where they choose a select group of culturally diverse students (side note: In case you didn’t know, I am Hispanic!) and are placed among several chosen publications. The group was split between editorial and advertising departments, and I was the intern placed at Redbook specifically.

To be completely honest with you, I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to be selected for the diversity program. I am not exactly sure how I was filtered into the application pool, or if by some chance I intentionally applied for the program four years ago. I do not know if Hearst still has this program, or if similar publishing companies have these kind of programs.

From my personal experience in magazines, and as a hiring manager for my own interns, apply to the publication directly!!

 

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Can you recommend me for an internship?
Unfortunately I cannot recommend you for the diversity program, and like I mentioned above, most publications have cut down their internship programs. I highly suggest that you email the editor directly at a publication you want to intern for (find them on LinkedIn, the magazine’s masthead or through social media). That is the best bet to be in contact with the publication directly!

I wish I could personally sit down with each and every one of you and help you get an internship, but I hope my tips and tricks can be of some assistance. I will be sharing more industry tips on the blog in the next couple of months, and I’ll also be hosting a few Facebook Lives answering your questions! So stay tuned!

What did you do to prepare?
I graduated with about ten internships on my resume! I did everything from Marketing, Public Relations to Editorial internships. I also started this little ole’ blog as a resume skill set!  I tried to cover all areas and skills needed for the fashion editorial industry. This helped make me a diverse and well-rounded applicant.

Where did you live in the city?
Ahhh the biggest question of all! I used the programed, NYCIntern, and I highly suggest you use it too! My friend Gabi, from The Gourmet Gab,  interned in the city a summer before me at Food Network (see her intern post here) and recommended I check out NYCIntern since she had such a great experience with them.

I was in a time crunch to find housing since my internship was not finalized until early April. I looked at the local universities and other student housing, but after my research, I felt that NYCIntern was my best choice and helped me save the most money! The biggest drawing point to NYCIntern was that the set-up was a full apartment instead of a dorm. This meant that I had a little more space, a kitchen to cook in versus buying an expensive meal plan, and I also had included air conditioning (real life, this is not a luxury in most NYC dorms or apartments). On top of all of that, each building has 24-hour security, wifi, and private bathrooms.

The summers that Gabi and myself interned in the city, we both stayed in Midtown locations, but NYCIntern now offers two housing locations: Financial District in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn! The current available housing options are in Financial District – they have four buildings with a selection of triple and quad rooms. The reason I really love NYCIntern is because it gave me a real sense of what it was like living in the city. I was able to cook for myself, live with two roommates and be surrounded by real New York residents as well! These apartments were much better quality than intern dorm options I looked into, equal or cheaper in price and are in great locations! You can read more about the housing options here!

You can apply for housing on the NYCIntern’s website as early as January; they fill up fast so make sure to get in your application as soon as you confirm an internship.

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Who did you live with?
I had two random roommates through NYCIntern! I lived with a girl from Texas who was interning in bridal fashion, and my second roommate was from South Carolina who was interning in hospitality. We ended up being really good friends and we would hang out and adventure around the city! Good job NYCIntern for the perfect roommate matchmaking!

What did you do for fun during the summer in New York?
Tomorrow on the blog I’ll be sharing what I did for fun when I wasn’t at work, so make sure to come back tomorrow for all of the details!

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Did you blog about your summer in New York?
You bet I did! You can see some of my favorite posts from my summer in the city right here! Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate that red hair?! Man do I miss it sometimes.

**Don’t forget to tune in for my Facebook Live on Sunday, April 9th at 9pm EST | 8pm CDT | 6pm MST/PST

Bring questions to the live stream or tweet me using #AskSAK. I can’t wait to hear from you all!SAK.FBLIVE.NYCINTERN..png

THANK YOU NYCIntern FOR PARTNERING ON THIS POST!

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2 thoughts on “My NYC Intern Story: How I Got a Fashion Magazine Internship and What I learned

  1. This is a fantastic story that is quite interesting! I have been thinking of internships recently for me, so it is nice to hear stories from other people. Great writing!

  2. Pingback: 5 Things To Do For Fun While Interning In New York City | Simply Audree Kate

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