Internship Diary

My Intern Diaries

This page details the numerous amounts of internships I have undergone since 2009. This includes the place I worked, the types of tasks I completed and the experiences I had. They appear in reverse order (so the most recent appears at the top of this page) and as you scroll down, you’ll see the very first placements I did back in 2009. Each time a new update appears on this page, it will be uploaded to the top.

*                    *                     *

Boosting my CV: I caved and signed up to the course!

COMING SOON!

Number 15: BANG Showbiz (back to the world of unpaid interns)

Entry written: 1st February 2013

So after a few months of no contracted work, and not enough freelance work to class it as a “full-time wage”, it was back to the drawing board. While some people at this point told me to give up, I figured, this is just a hurdle. My job is still out there – even if I have to wait for it.

I’d been in touch with the Music Editor of BANG Showbiz for a while via email about setting up a time for me to come in. At this point I seemed to be surrounded by too much time so figured it’d be the perfect opportunity!

For those who aren’t as familiar, BANG Showbiz is a showbiz news agency who provide up-to-the-minute showbiz/celebrity news to a variety of print and online publications. And we all know my love for the showbiz world.

Within my first day I’d got sent out to interview the band, Lawson (who btw are REALLY GREAT guys and share my love for LA). This was definitely my highlight. I’d interviewed some experts, make-up artists and even worked with internationally recognised celebs on fashion shoots, but until now I hadn’t been sent out to interview any (while having full control over what I ask/say). Before I left the office on my mission, the Music Editor looked over my questions, gave me a few pointers and sent me on my way. The buzz I got from this was amazing. I loved this. All I kept thinking was, if this is what they call “work”, I must be in heaven.

I spent the rest of my time at BANG researching new stories, interacting using social media, writing several celeb news stories – some of which were even used by websites, as well as practicing writing up heads and sells in order to find different angles for further stories. On my second last day, I was given a tutorial by THE owner of BANG, which was really great. Given the fact he’s interviewed the likes of Freddie Mercury and had books published, his advice was definitely welcomed.

Getting my name “out there”: Taking on freelance and voluntary contribution roles

COMING SOON!

Number 14: Pregnancy & Birth / Mother & Baby (First freelance position)

COMING SOON!

Number 13: InStyle UK

Entry written: 12th January 2012

InStyle for me has probably got to be one of my most memorable placements. The reason being, I’d not only come way with a friend-for-life, but I went from this to a stint as a freelancer – WHERE I GOT PAID! *YAY*.

While I was at InStyle (during September 2011), I worked in their infamous fashion cupboard with 3 other girls – because our start dates were all different, there was a cross over with a couple of newer girls during my time there – so for me, the more the merrier!

This was my second monthly, glossy mag and it was a great experience for me to see the difference in pace as opposed to weeklies, but also – they used far more high fashion pieces. I got to re-engage with the tasks I was so comfortable doing On a daily basis I was speaking to PRs for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and even Chanel. This is the ultimate girl’s dream: being surrounded by all these beautiful pieces, seeing fashion stories slowly come together on the styling boards while you spend your days in what I refer to as the “dressing up heaven”. 

I got to work with some of the loveliest people in that department, as well as assist Senior Fashion Editor Natalie Hartley (you might know her from her blog) on her main fashion shoot for the February 2012 issue of the magazine. It was definitely a good experience and I loved every minute of it.

Number 12: Practical Parenting & Pregnancy

Entry written: 8th November 2011

Firstly, I didn’t even realise I hadn’t updated in so long, I’ve missed the entire summer’s worth of great experience! So I’ll make it quick and snappy.

I spent 3 months as the Editorial Intern for Practical Parenting & Pregnancy magazine – some might ask why, considering I have no younger siblings, and I certainly have no children. Well the answer is this. In my view, to be a good writer, you must/should be able to write about any topic, and write about it well, no matter if you have an interest in it or not. And I’m always up for a challenge.

My role was basically that of a Junior Writer with the work load and responsibility I was given over product/shopping pages, fashion pages, a couple of section openers, vox-pops along with a couple of features. From research, to calling in images, to interviewing, to writing copy, you name it, I put my hand to it. In addition to this, I attended press shows and blogged about those along with wrote a variety of news stories for ThinkBaby.co.uk and MadeForMums.com. It was a great experience just to be thrown into the deep end so to speak, and be given so much to do – I’m one of the odd few who actually enjoy writing essays (as my friends have noticed from my ever so long text messages/emails to them) and enjoy being busy!

So I left with a great portfolio, a bunch of PR contacts, and a handful of interviews I was about to undertake. I had the whole month of August through to mid September off to have a bit of summer for myself before I got back down to work solidly again.

Number 11: Red magazine

Entry written: 31st May 2011

Red magazine was a great 2 weeks of work experience. I completed these two weeks just after easter during the bank holiday weeks surrounding the Royal Wedding.

It was a nice, fresh start. New building, new LOVELY staff, and a chilled out atmosphere. Plus it was my first experience of a monthly glossy magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got on really well with their current intern, she was absolutely lovely and we certainly shared some laughs which really passed the time.

The one thing I enjoyed most about this placement, was the fact that after my last one – which kind of destroyed my confidence a bit – it actually felt like I was rebuilding it, and I felt really comfortable and capable. Certainly a big U-turn. I think I’ll treasure this experience for that reason. No way will I let comments, etc have an effect on my self esteem or belief in myself – I can do it, and I already am. So next stop – paid job maybe?

Getting Back on Track with another Placement – Number 10

Entry written: 20th April 2011

So since my last update I’ve just spent my days trying to spruce up my wardrobe (which has had unfortunate conflicts with the holes in my purse), secure more placements and work out my next steps.

I had an opportunity to work with more!’s fashion team for a couple of weeks (placement number 10). I learned h
ow to pitch fashion news stories in the style they choose, along with continue using the skills I currently have. From that placement,  I learned a lot about myself more than anything else, specifically to do with my own confidence and belief in myself. So yes, that placement was valuable to me for that reason.

Anyway, without dwelling on about that, I’ve managed to secure a few more placements – mostly editorial based which is exactly what I need (updates about those in due course). I’ve also had a further interview for another temporary Intern position this morning which I hope went as well as I think it did. I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst I haven’t been able to secure a full time paid position just yet, things are still working in my favour. This time last year, all I could get was unpaid work experience. This year, I’ve had numerous interviews – whether for paid or unpaid Intern positions (all holding more responsibility than my previous work) and a trial. If I’ve made that much progress already, then by this time next year I should be well into my first official paid position – well lets hope. I don’t want to jinx anything just yet!

In addition, I still haven’t enrolled into the course just yet – a few things have still held me back. Particularly the choice between the newspaper course and magazine course. I’ve been advised by some people that the newspaper course would be better to equip me for a job at either newspapers or magazines whilst I’ve had contradicting advice being that the course is actually the same – the fact that theres a choice for newspapers or magazines is really for your interests. I should hopefully know by tomorrow about the outcome of this morning’s interview, in which case I really need to start making a solid decision on the course. My savings are merely collecting interest at the moment while I wait to make my decision about which way to swing the scales.

Sadly with interning and my part time job, I won’t really get any opportunity to enjoy these Bank Holiday Mondays coming up (quite gutted actually) but I’ve got a lot more positivity regarding the future of my career now.

I’ll keep you posted in the near future.

Decisions, decisions… to do the course or not?

Entry written: 17th January 2011

So recently I’ve been trying to figure out where my strengths and weaknesses are within my experience, as for 2011, one of my main resolutions is to make journalism my career. It’s not that I wasn’t trying to do this previously, but I feel that I now have a sufficient amount of experience that I won’t be laughed at – not literally, metaphorically speaking. I can begin to apply to prospective employers for longer term internships or perhaps paid positions, and just take my time with these internships in the mean time just to keep my hand in the industry rather than just doing more placements to build up the amount.

I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing about the NCTJ Journalism courses for quite some time now, literally since I was in university – where I found out about the courses in detail. I’ve come to the conclusion that to consider something for almost 4 years now, it must have some weight of importance and I clearly want to do it. So I tried to think, what has stopped me doing it up until now? It was a simple answer: timing and money. Timing because deciding to do a course would mean I’d have to remain in my current job indefinitely and possibly turn down the chance of job opportunities if I didn’t want to drop out of the course half way through if something came up. Plus, I’d also have to choose between this course and doing internships, as I can’t afford to not have a job, which means I wouldn’t have sufficient time for all three. Money simply because the course in many places (as it is not offered through that many colleges/universities) is really expensive and can range from anything to £1900-£4000 – amounts which unfortunately I do not have lying around, and I would rather not get myself into more debt by taking out a bank loan.

As strange and as stubborn as this may sound, I want to do the course in MY way, in MY time and get a really good grade at the end of it. This course for me isn’t university, it’s an addition to strengthen my CV for my career. This is why it has taken me so long to find a place where I feel will be suitable. So far I’ve had an interview for one college that is the closest to me location wise and I have been accepted – although this is a college that will charge almost £4000 which is a huge downside. Knowing that I’d be spending a year of my life in the building where it is situated, I didn’t get an instant *wow* like I did when I first visited my school or college or university. As superficial as this may sound, I do trust my instincts on how a place feels in order to help make my decision. A cheaper course, £1900 is situated just outside of London – I’m used to the travelling as I commuted to university for the greater part of my course.  However, again because the course is cheaper, I’d be spending more on travel and because of where it is, I’d have to give up my part-time job – which unfortunately I am not in a financial position to do so. That’s when I got to thinking.

I started to investigate distance learning. I’ve heard so much about it, always wondered whether or not I could do it or if I’d be penalised for not completing the course in the usual way. However, there are so many plus sides: no travel costs, I don’t have to worry about rushing work just to meet deadlines because the course has an extended 6 month – 2 years time span in which I complete the course in my own time (which I feel right now, with where I am in my life this is exactly the sort of space and support I need), and I get the same qualification as if I had gone into a college to complete the course. Not only that but the course as a whole is A LOT cheaper! The next step was to figure out which company I want to do it with.

So far I’ve looked into two companies: one being the NCTJ – completing the course with the course materials directly from them – and CTJT – a distance learning association run by a qualified journalist who previously run his own college with accredited NCTJ courses. After looking into both of them, I’ve come to this conclusion:

Completing the course directly from the NCTJ whilst the cheapest course at around £600, they make it clear that you are literally on your own when self marking, self assessing (a structure that I am not entirely happy with). Not only that but in order to get additional parts of the course/materials this results in more costs, making the overall total more expensive. Then I looked closely at the CTJT course. It allows me to complete the course within 6 months – 2 years (of course I’d want to do it as soon as possible but REALLY well), I choose a specific subject area in addition to the course modules so that by the end of the course I receive my diploma and have a specialist area to add to my CV (something which I really am interested in), I get to remain enrolled until I have a journalism job, they offer assistance with CVs, cover letters – basically it sounds like an actual college, just you speak to your tutor through the computer/email, in whichever format you wish/need. I have a really good vibe when I think of this course, because it feels as though they genuinely offer the support needed to complete the course, so I won’t just be thrown to a side with course material and told just to get on with it. I also won’t have to choose between interning, my current part-time job and the course, I can do all three (do more work when I don’t have internships, do less when I am completing a placement).

I wouldn’t class doing this course as a fork in the road, but it has just opened my eyes to make me realise that I can improve my writing skills to a journalism manner. I love fashion, beauty and features, so I would hate to just pigeon-hol
e myself towards one area and struggle to get my foot in the door whatsoever. At least this way I can hopefully increase my own abilities, and possibly over time even combine all of those areas.

So far I definitely think this is a good decision. It’s now about choosing when to begin the course rather than IF I should do it.

Number 9: Closer magazine

Entry written: 10th January 2011

So, my final one before the end of 2010 was at Closer magazine with their Fashion team. To be honest, I was in two minds about this: it was a relief to be going back to what I’d known so well and have a lot of confidence in, but at the same time, I was wondering if this was going to be like a ‘refresher’ two week period. On the other hand, I was quite looking forward to it, for the simple fact that the Fashion Assistant I had previously worked with at Celebs on Sunday had previously worked here, so in a strange way it felt comforting to know she started there too. In addition, it was back in the same Bauer media building on the same floor as more! magazine, so it was nice to have some familiar surroundings.

I spent the majority of the time in their small fashion cupboard (it literally was a cupboard, as their office was rather small). I spent most days doing the usual tasks such as returns, dropping items off to pixelate to be shot, finding clothes/accessories similar to what celebrities had been seen wearing, typing up credits and finding prices, etc. It’s safe to say I’m pretty confident with all this now. Sadly I didn’t get to help out on any photo shoots, but at least I’ve done a good few up until now.

One thing I learned about myself from being on this placement, was that I genuinely did miss the writing side of magazines – which is what I was doing at more! magazine. I enjoy both aspects and would love to combine both, whether it be that I do one as my main job and the other as freelance on the sideline, or somehow a combination. I just know that right now I don’t want to close any doors. I’m glad I’ve focused enough over the last year to build up a stronger CV, and I think now I will begin to slow down with internships and work experience because I don’t want to get to a point where I’ve done so many that prospective employers are beginning to wonder why I haven’t been able to get a job yet. I have a couple of things in the works and lined up, so we shall see what happens.

Number 8: Working at more! magazine

Entry written: 19th October 2010

Wow, I’m really starting to get a hefty number of internships under my belt now! Number 8 within the space of a year – damn I’m good!

So this time I was in more! magazine – FINALLY I made it back. Okay, so basically what I mean is, I had originally had this placement booked last year, as my number 2, but the morning I arrived in the office, I got an emergency call from my mum telling me my nan had been taken into hospital. Within 10 minutes, I rushed out of the office, one of the girls helped me to hail a cab and I was on my way to the hospital. We left it with the idea that I’d return within a few days/the following week if everything was okay, but as luck would have it, I myself then ended up with measles (of all things?!) so had to completely cancel and rearrange the dates until 201o – the earliest they could book me in.

My first morning there I was a bit weary, just because it all felt a bit like deja-vu after my last attempt at working there, but it was a great relief that my friend just so happened to be working there, covering the Editorial Assistant position while the girl was on holiday! Definitely a smooth transition. I enjoyed a weeks worth of lunches out, vintage shopping and learning great new skills in the office – although it all seemed to go by way too fast.

The second week, Natalie, their Editorial Assistant was back and so I met her, and she delegated tasks to me each day. It was refreshing to be within the Editorial team, working closely with the News department and assisting the Beauty department whenever they needed a bit of extra help. I was so proud to see a few of my stories posted up on the more! website (even if they had been edited) and even had the opportunity to attend a Press Conference for that film, The Social Network – YES! Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield were there in person, and I was sitting a matter of rows away from them! That is a moment I won’t forget in long time!

As well as the editorial experience which I really did appreciate, this is the first place where I have really felt that I could work in. While I have enjoyed my other placements and absolutely loved the teams I have worked with, this is the first magazine where I can truly say that not only do I love the girls within editorial, but I loved the girls within the other teams as well. Everyone was so incredibly helpful and friendly and really warm and welcoming. I genuinely loved everything about working here and I love the magazine itself. I never thought I’d feel that way after such a short space of time.

When it ended, the Editorial Assistant said to email her my mobile number and contact details so if she has any cancellations, she’ll call me to come in and work. In addition, I hope to go back and work with the Beauty department soon! This experience has inspired me so much to carry on, showing me so many opportunities they have available and so I will not give up. I hope to stay in contact with them all, and fingers crossed, you never know what might happen in the future.

Number 7: The Independent

Entry written: 26th September 2010

Friday 30th July was my last day at placement number 7: The Independent. I can honestly say, it worked out so much better and so different to the way I had originally assumed. I was with the Fashion team, so it was quite a relief to know I’d kind of know what to expect.

At first I think it took me a couple of days to settle in, with it being a new environment, and the overall feel to the office was definitely different to what I had been previously used to. However, once I had settled in, I really enjoyed the whole placement.

One aspect I really enjoyed was being so hands on with everything, and it has got to be the first placement I have completed where Fashion returns are NOT my one main task – in fact, I think in total I only really did them for a couple of days. (Now this is not to say that I hate doing them – with my need for organisation I actually quite enjoy it – but it’s nice to experience different tasks rather than just returns. I can safely say after doing them now for almost an entire year, I don’t think there is a returns task I cannot master!)

The team were a great group and I felt so welcomed. I had the opportunity to experience my first proper high end fashion shoot with a model. I also had the chance to experience the Beauty department – or in this case, working on Beauty features, as it was the fashion team who completed all features for both the fashion and beauty areas of the paper and magazine supplements.

I can positively say that with each placement I have now done, my confidence is lifting and becoming greater. I feel as though I am beginning to reach the point in time where the next stage in my development is a paid position somewhere.

Number 6: Working at Now magazine

Entry written: 22nd June 2010

I apologise for the gap in writing since my last entry, I’ve just been so busy with work, job applications, holiday prep, as well as all the other little tasks I had been putting off during my internships. So we’ve definitely got lots to catch up on!

I finished working with Now! Magazine at the end of May and it has seriously got to be the quickest four weeks I have ever had at any placement. I don’t know if time is going quicker now we are in the summer months, or maybe I’ve just slept through a week, but the days just seem to be flying by!

I must admit, Now! Mag
azine is definitely a publication I would LOVE to work for again without any hesitation! The atmosphere was great, the team were so helpful and wonderful to work with, and I had such an amazing time.

I was able to contribute and work on two shoots, one was a model shoot and the other was with the celebrity Kimberley Wyatt (what an absolutely lovely girl to work with!) Both of these were styled by Now’s Fashion Director, Karen Buglass, who I certainly learned a lot from. The shoots were so relaxed, just as with the last few I’ve worked on, with an added bit of humour and enjoyment. The Kimberly Wyatt shoot is my biggest one so far, so I have a lot to thank the now team, especially Karen for letting me assist her.

The IPC Media building is incredible. The layout Is so modern, with practically a restaurant for their canteen (I have no doubt in believing it has got to be THE second best staff canteen I have ever walked into – the first being at my step dad’s building, HSBC in Canary Wharf!) There was a garden type area on a part of the roof with such an amazing view, and a desserts counter that anyone would dream of! I have got to say this is my favourite building yet.

The nicest part of this internship was I actually made a couple of new friends which is always a pleasure. Sophie, who came all the way from Aberdeen to do the placement, and Kelly, who recently graduated from Brunel. We’ve decided to try and stay in contact and help each other when possible, as we all know how difficult it is to get a break into this industry. I think this was definitely the icing on the cake for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch dates, and working together. Hopefully it won’t be long until that happens again someday!

Anyway, since then, I’ve been in touch with a few other publications and making job applications for long term internships (I’ll keep you informed about those as I hear about them), and luckily, I’ve managed to confirm a four week placement with the fashion department of the Independent newspaper! This will be my seventh internship within the year, so hopefully a job is going to be just around the corner!

Number 5: New floor, New! magazine

Entry written: 1st May 2010

So my most recent placement that I had was in the same building as The Daily Express, just on a different floor. I was really lucky with how I got the placement too. I had started talking to one of the photographers of the Express company, who then said she’d take me to visit the Deputy Fashion Editor of New! magazine before I left The Daily Express. She did that and I was given her business card and told to email my CV to her straight away, so that was the first thing I did when I got home. During my week off from placements, I got an email reply from the Fashion Assistant at New! saying that they would love for me to take up the position of Fashion Intern for three months in their fashion cupboard (between March and May). At this point I jumped at the chance, and agreed to start the following week.

When I arrived at my familiar building on the morning of my first day, I was greeted by the Fashion Assistant who showed me around, took me up to the fashion cupboard (which was conveniently on the same floor as the canteen) and introduced me to the other intern. I quickly learned that it was a very “hands on” job and we were left to our own devices in the cupboard, and we remained in contact with the fashion team through email and telephone (as they were on ground floor and we were up on the ninth). This position held more responsibility than I had had in my previous internships, however I did miss the real team atmosphere from The Daily Express because we were always together and had lunch together, like a little family. Here felt more separate, so I was quite relieved for the company of another intern.

Six weeks into my internship, I could feel that my excessive work load was definitely beginning to take its toll on me. I had been juggling interning full time every Monday to Friday, three shifts at Topman every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday as well as three hours of lessons for my driving test which happened over Tuesdays and Fridays. The severe stress and exhaustion from certain aspects of my work had caused me to become ill, so I had to take a week off from New! They seemed okay about it (though I felt so awful at having to do this as I felt like I was letting them down hugely) and said to return once I was well. I returned the following week, only for my symptoms to get worse and had to take the following Friday off and I tried to call the doctor for an emergency appointment. He then scheduled for me to have tests the following week and sent me away with medicine, so I hoped I would improve.

The following Tuesday I received an email from the girls at New! saying they were concerned for my health and didn’t want me to get worse so they had decided to terminate the rest of my internship. At first I was rather angry at myself and upset as I felt as though I had been considered an unreliable intern, when really, my illness was beyond my control and was not my fault. I tried to convince them to take me back but their decision was final. Whilst I was really upset, I could appreciate the situation, they needed someone there to do the job and my sickness was causing me to be absent. I did not expect a termination of my internship so quickly; and was gutted I had only been able to complete two out of the three months. However the same day, my unfortunate circumstance with no internship to go back to changed for the better.

I had been in contact with one of the girls at Now! Magazine (I’d wanted to work for them for quite a while now) and she said to give her a call as they had availability. So while New! finished this week, I start my new internship at Now! next Tuesday! So maybe things have worked out for the best. A new building, new surroundings, new people, a new start. Not only that, but I’ll now be on to my sixth internship so I’m building up quantity as well as quality. Let’s just hope a job is not far off!

Number 4: The Daily Express

Entry written: 26th April 2010

So my fourth placement was with the fashion department of The Daily Express, during February 2010. I’d had this booked up for about five months, so I was definitely pleased when the time came for me to start working.

I can honestly say looking back; this has probably been my favourite internship so far. From my very first day, I felt like I was really part of the team. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, and I really enjoyed the genuine team atmosphere. Two of the girls in particular, I got on really well with, and went to lunch with them pretty frequently. It was nice to not feel like the ‘outsider intern’ like I have felt at other places, when they all went off together and I was left by myself to get on with things. It was also the first internship where I wasn’t the only intern which was nice as we still keep in touch from time to time now.

I was able to help out on four photo shoots during the month I was there, and each was a new exciting experience for me. I found it so refreshing to experience such a calm working environment, despite deadlines and any busy times, there never seemed to be any amount of crazy chaos at all. I can honestly say this is the working environment I want to have.

I completed all the usual mundane tasks, such as returns, calling in items, pulling items for shoots, and it was a real pleasure to do these things for such a nice team of people. I definitely feel like I learned a great deal about the team, and how they work, as well as built my confidence even more with the tasks I was doing.

One of the most memorable parts of my internship was the opportunity I had to attend London Fashion Week (for Autumn/Winter 2010 trends). I went to a good amount of shows over the six days and took my camera with me. I’d always imagined the event to be so glamorous, and while it didn’t fulfil my expectations of
a really high class red carpet style event, it was so much fun to actually be there, at one of the biggest shows in the world. I definitely want to go again as soon as possible!

My last day with The Express team was definitely quite a sad one. It’s the first time I actually felt as though I would really miss the team I had been working with. If there was ever an opportunity to go back and work with them again, I wouldn’t think twice about saying yes.

Number 3: Reveal magazine!

Entry written: 25th April 2010

I had always wanted to experience working within one of the publications owned by The National Magazine Company, so when I was given the chance to spend a week at Reveal! I jumped at the chance.

I spent most of the time here concentrating on sample returns, so I felt pretty comfortable with the fact I had learned how to do these at Celebs on Sunday. Most of my other tasks were based around helping with research for pages, such as finding outfits in high street stores which are similar to the not-within-anyone’s-price-range expensive designers worn by celebrities. I helped with other mundane tasks and took documents between the two NatMags buildings which was nice on occasions just to get out of the tiny office.

One exciting memory I do have, is attending a press event. It was the first one I had ever been to, and the fashion team and editor of the magazine decided to send me as they were too busy with work to be able to go. I went along to hear the presentation, and was given some freebie samples to take away with me for the office. I definitely hope to be able to attend more of these soon!

While I did enjoy experiencing this publication, I don’t think I was there long enough to build relationships with the other members of staff, and as I was a lot younger than most, I don’t think I fitted in quite as well as I hoped I would. However, having said that, I always like to see the silver lining with every experience I have, and I feel from this placement, I got to see how a very small close group work together to produce their weekly magazine. I would say now, that if I was to work within The National Magazine Company again, I would really like to try a different publication and see the comparisons and similarities between them, so maybe that will be another option for the future.

Number 2: Working at Nineteen74.com

Entry written: 23rd April 2010

My second placement was at Nineteen74.com; a fashion networking website which also hosts a fashion magazine. My position here was Journalist/Copywriter. I spent one month with the very close nit company (between December 2009-January 2010), understanding how it works, the motives behind it, as well as assisting with the editorial team of the magazine, Schön!

This was the first placement where I truly learned about the writing aspect of a magazine. How it must fit appropriately for its target audience, while sounding enticing enough to attract those beyond its primary readers. While it was exciting to have such a free creative style, I also found it quite difficult, as through all of my years of education, there have been limitations with everything I have written.

I enjoyed the many tasks I was involved in, which included proof reading and editing many articles of contributors to the magazine, researching articles, creating pieces for the magazine pages and many more editorial responsibilities. I was also given the exciting task of doing full research and full creative writing of my own article once given the title. Whilst it had the limitation of a title, I found it very refreshing that my work could take any direction. It was such a pleasing moment to find my article was suitable after a few edits, to be put into Volume 4 of the magazine, which I am also adding to my portfolio.

This placement allowed me to see what it would be like to have a typical office style job. Whilst it did involve a form of journalism, I definitely thought from this point on, that I needed placements with a more hands on approach, like what I did at Celebs on Sunday. I want to pursue my role in Fashion that involves writing as well as research and styling for shoots. This variety keeps me on my toes, and makes me even more determined that someday I will achieve it.

My first placement: Celebs on Sunday

Entry written: 23rd April 2010

My first placement was with the Fashion department of Celebs on Sunday. I spotted the placement application on a website and read through the job description and thought this could be really interesting! (Well, that and the sorts of jobs sounded glamorous-at the time-and I thought this would be step one in living my life like the infamous Lauren Conrad did on The Hills!). I originally just wanted any sort of placement, didn’t really understand that there were different kinds for each department within all the publications, so the idea of a Fashion placement to me sounded pretty fun.

I spent a month here between October-November 2009, getting to know the fashion team who were lovely and always helpful, as well as some of the other staff from different departments. I really noticed the fast pace everyone seemed to work, and while at first I found it daunting, I quickly got used to it.

I think this placement is where I owe a lot to, as here is where I learned from scratch about the tasks of a typical fashion department. This involved the mundane tasks such as sample returns and calling PRs to call in samples for shoots and helping with research. However, there was the additional perk of assisting on photo shoots! Having my name written in black and white in the credits was like a merit award for me. I realised quickly that I have a love for these responsibilities and would absolutely love to have a job such as this; that doesn’t feel like you’re working for a salary, but that you come to work each day and whilst there may be days harder than others, you never lose sight of the fact you enjoy it. This is when I started to realise that perhaps Fashion Journalism could be a way for me to enter the industry, and over time, more options and various areas would open to me.

The Beginning after The End…

Entry written: 23rd April 2010

I graduated from Reading University with an English degree last summer, 2009. While I was pretty happy those three years were over, I also felt a little lost as it was the first time I didn’t have a definite plan. However, I was not going to let this be a problem.

Ever since I was in primary school, I always had a dream of writing, so I was lucky enough to have such a solid idea to follow through to degree level. As I grew into my teen years, this love for writing blossomed, and so did my passion for knowing about, and owning nice new clothes. These seem just like the typical attributes of any young girl, but I decided to use these to my advantage.

I’ve worked within Topshop for over a year and a half (partly because I always LOVED the clothes and also because I needed a job to help me get through uni) and then transferred to the male equivalent, Topman. Working within both men’s and women’s fashion has definitely given me more of an insight into how both men and women shop, and think in order to create outfits. This might seem a little over-analytical for some, but all these little things helped me to make the perfect decision.

So while I had the freest summer after graduation, I kept worrying about what to do. Journalism had always been my main idea, but now I had to think how to make that turn into something real. After speaking with a few friends, they pointed me in the right direction of applying to publications for work experience and internships.

One thing I learned very quickly, was not to take rejection too personally. I needed to stay motivated, because this industry above most, is extremely competitive. After several no replies, being told “I’m afraid you don’t have enough experience to complete this pl
acement” (Catch 22 much?) and weeks of wondering, “Is anyone ever going to give me a chance?!” I finally started getting replies, and replies turned into my first placement.