Last year in a rare spurt of organisation, I emailed over a dozen magazines about work experience with the aim to fill my July and August with internships. This meant that I’d be spending my entire summer working full-time for free. I didn’t really think the whole thing through. That said I’m glad that I let my ambition get in the way of common sense. Yes, I had no money and missed out on loads of summer fun (I haven’t had a proper holiday in two years) but the experience I gained was invaluable. My CV also looks rather awesome.
Seeing as I blog about everything nowadays, I thought it a good idea to do just that. But I’m also aware that certain things should be left unsaid – I don’t fancy getting sued. So I’m just going to do a brief overview of my three placements.
More! Magazine [two weeks]
I spent the night before my internship at more! poring over the last issue seeing as I hadn’t read a copy since…ever. My first few days in the office were spent trying to tell everyone apart; in their “on-trend” skinny jeans, blazers and bobbed hair some of the staff looked alarmingly similar. But despite my refusal to spend more than eight minutes deciding what to wear in the morning, I wasn’t shunned by them. In fact, everyone was rather lovely.
I blogged about my two weeks at more! here.
Shortlist [one week]
My Shortlist internship is proof that good things come from tweeting in bed at 10am.
They said this:
“We need an intern to help out in the Shortlist office for two weeks. DM for details”
And I said this:
“If I wasn’t interning at Time Out next week I’d *so* apply for that.”
Then they asked me if I wanted to come in for the week! As a friend said, “This is why you must never – NEVER – take you eyes off
Twitter. Srsly, why are you reading this right now? READ TWITTER!” Sage words.
Time Out [two weeks]
I actually worship Time Out so I was very excited about doing work experience there. I wasn’t disappointed. They really made an effort to give interns work related to their interests and experience; I was placed on the team producing material for students new to London. They let me scribble lots about places I like (and talked me through the edits they made to my writing), play around on Quark and visit art galleries. *And* they bought me a massive bar of Toblerone to say thank you. I heart them.
The ironic thing is that after getting all that valuable experience, I don’t think I want to work for a magazine. In the last year the amount of time I spend reading magazines and newspapers has dwindled to virtually nothing; I read blogs instead and I like working online. Call me a snob/geek, but it bothered me working in offices where people didn’t *seriously* think about what web browser to use. And who knows what state the industry will be once I finally graduate?
But I digress. I did some fun things, I did some boring things and I learnt a tonne. But I’m so glad it’s over – working for free sucks.