Two weeks ago, I said to myself, ‘Kara, no more internships. You’ve been doing it for five months now, start looking for real jobs’. Two minutes later a last minute request for an intern at Cosmo popped up. Two minutes after that, they asked if I could be in the next day? So that was that and I was interning at Cosmo.
Being the first internship that I actually felt was up my street (not slurring on my previous internships which I also loved, but weren’t quite in the right field) I can honestly say I’ve never had so much fun or learnt so much since working there.
They were instantly so kind and welcoming, letting me know they could help with anything and making use of me. My tasks ranged from sorting the mail and occasionally running out to buy blister pads when needed, to interviewing the general public for a feature and transcribing interviews. I even did a fair amount of research and ended up with two articles on the site which you can read here and here!
Not only that, but it was amazing to be behind the scenes of one of my favourite magazines. It’s a pinch me moment, and you get to see the amount of work that goes into features and article pitching (a lot) how many freebies and letters the team get every day (also a lot) and just how crazy people go when the ‘free stuff’ table get stacked with boxes of make up samples (a LOT).
I never wanted to leave as they made me feel like I was one of them from the word go, feeling bad that they were giving me so much work which to be honest, I completely loved doing. I even came away with a ridiculous amount of beauty goodies as a thank you for helping out so last minute and some old books they’d been sent which would only have ended up in a charity box. I’m an ice queen but even I nearly bawled.
So if you ever needed intern advice, these are some things that will ensure you get the most out of your next one, no matter who it is:
Nothing is beneath you.
Tea rounds or running errands, you’re there to assist them. If they have a massive deadline, then they haven’t got time to be running around so that what you’re there for. And the more you pre-emt it by asking if anyone wants a cuppa, you’ll be remembered as the smiley one who made an effort. And if you’d do the same for any of your friends, why not your colleague?
You’ll have down time
Sometimes they just haven’t got anything to give you. And you’ll feel like you’re completely in the way. But being proactive and filling your time wisely (not by browsing Facebook) means you’ll get the most out of your time. Send an e-mail in the morning and late afternoon, a sort of ‘help for hire’ just to let them know you’re free and they can send any work over. Or even research articles and write some in the voice of the magazine: if they don’t publish, you’ve improved your writing skills. If they do, then yippee, you’re on the website!
Be a human being!
Sometimes it’s hard if they aren’t the most welcoming or they’re too busy, but if people are having a conversation, chip in! Smile, chat, ask questions, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you are the one they remember for being the friendly funny one, not the intern that faded into the background who they barely knew the name of.
It is hard, and I definitely didn’t make the most of my internships years ago, but you learn a lot as you go on. So remember these tips and you’ll come out feeling like you made a difference and made connections, something that is key in getting into magazine journalism.
I both learnt a lot from it and realised how far I'd come from my very first internship at Closer. Either way it was probably my most favourite internship yet (it was Cosmopolitan, of course it was!) and I'm already getting intern-remorse from not being there anymore.
Thank you so much to the Cosmopolitan team for making me feel so welcome and giving me so much work to do, as well as my desk neighbours Jenny and Sophie for being such babes.