Bittersweet

I was surprisingly melancholy on the last day of my internship. Over two months, I had made a couple of good friends who endured my ranting and raving about how unfair the magazine industry is, gloating every time I scored an interview and play-by-plays of every article idea I got. I filled in for an Editorial Assistant today and was assisting a senior-level editor. The day was pretty quiet, except the two times when she asked me to get her food and/or drinks. It just made me realize how lucky I was at my EA job; I never had to be anyone’s lackey.

I promised I wouldn’t speak ill during this post, so I won’t. All complaints aside, I really glad I got a chance to intern at the magazine not only because it gave me a great preview of how a huge fashion magazine works, but it definitely pumped up my resume. I don’t regret this experience at all, but had wished that I knew how the magazine industry worked while I was still in college. I am lucky enough to have lived in NYC my whole life and I could’ve easily racked up internships at several well known publications. If only I had known about ED2010 earlier!

I can’t take back the past but I can look forward to the future!

Internship-itis

Things have been unusually slow around work this week, probably because the huge gift guide project is over. The editorial assistants still have us running around, but it’s spontaneous, so there’s much more room for dilly-dallying. I’m trying to leave a good impression before I go, but it’s just so hard to concentrate or give a hoot when I know I’ll be gone soon! I don’t have much to worry about, though. I’ve done a pretty stellar job so far and haven’t ran into any major problems (except for ms. bitchy freelancer) and the internship coordinator genuinely likes me. Another fellow intern and I think it’s because I’m a ‘person of color’, since she’s black herself and all about promoting minorities. That’s the first thing she told me in my interview!

Anyhow, I was really bummed and irritated all morning because I was dying to hear back from the bridal mag already (more on that later) when my intern friend, Emily, asked me if I want to take a trip to Bloomingdales with her to exchange a pair of gorgeous Stella McCartney pumps she bought the day before.

What a great pick-me-up that was! We went there to discover that Bloomie’s was having one of its biggest sales of the year, so we both decided to do some serious damage to our wallets, all $7.15 an hour of it! Yes, I’m serious. That is our internship wage. We are supposedly ‘lucky’ to get paid.

I am obsessed with Marc Jacobs and usually love every single item in the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection, but the only thing I actually own is a handbag. I got my first pair of M by MJ shoes today! I am so elated, especially because I paid $79.50 for $220 shoes!

They’re much prettier in person and a really good, comfortable pair of classic, black pumps. I have a serious comfort issue with shoes because of an unusually large toe and flat feet, so buying shoes is always an extraordinary feat.

I also got these Calvin Klein booties, but in black:

Originally $120, i paid $43!!!

I also got a cute cardigan from C&C California, a Splendicity wrap and my very first Diane Von Furstenberg piece – a silk top! Needless to say, Em and I were all smiles when we got back to the office. 

Now, onto the bridal mag job situation. I might have blown my chances today by prematurely e-mailing her to ask about the status of their decision. The executive editor told me last Thursday that they need another week or so and I really should’ve waited until Monday to e-mail her. I was just losing my mind and wasn’t able to do that. She wrote me back today saying it takes time to interview candidates, review their edit tests and have them meet with the CEO. Back up a minute, I didn’t meet the CEO!?!?! She also mentioned again how strong of a candidate I am and that I should accept my other offer until they make a decision and that they will let me know by early next week.

The CEO thing really threw me off guard. If I’m a ‘strong candidate’, why haven’t I met the CEO yet?

I really thought I had this job in the bag, but I guess the elusive dream job hunt continues.

I couldn’t very well finish off this post with just one minor rant or complaint, now could I? I was perusing the website I used to work for today and lo and behold I saw the NEW Assistant Editor penn a story that I had done the entire research for. I went to the trade shows, I contacted the PR people but couldn’t finish the story because I was laid off within that time frame. It irked me a little but I do understand the story needed to get done.

Why did they not re-hire me, you ask? It wasn’t that I was a bad employee, in fact I still keep in touch with my old editor. But I was working at a shelter magazine website and it was becoming very obvious that shelter wasn’t my niche. In fact, I was looking to move away from it, just not in the form of a lay-off! So, it makes sense that they would hire someone that has more passion for writing about dishes and curtains than I do. I definitely still do want to write about home design, just not exclusively so and would much rather do it for a women’s-interest publication.

Two more days until the internship from hell ends!

What's The Hold Up?

I interviewed for a Web Editor/Producer position at a bridal magazine about a month ago. I sent in an awesome edit test and had a pretty good rapport with the editors. It’s a subject that’s right up my allet since I’m getting married next year! The executive editor told me at the time of my interview that she needs to hire someone ASAP and asked if I would be able to leave my internship within two weeks? I said, of course, but a month later, they still need more time to decide. I told her last week that I received another job offer and that I was holding off until I hear back from them first. She requested another week to make a decision and said I was a very strong candidate. Ha! I’ve heard that before and didn’t get a position I thought I was a shoe in for. Really, I understand that editors are very busy people (I was an editorial assistant not too long ago), but do they forget how hard it is to wait for a job response? If I truly am a strong candidate (which I know I am, particularly for this position!), just hire me already!

I declined the temp. web editor positon because I got another full-time job offer, as well! It’s an entry-level journalist/entertainment reporter at an international bollywood/hollywood website. Its a 5-year-old start up and they have offices in India, London (where it was started) and New York. The pay is typically entry level with three weeks vacation, sick days and full health benefits. It sounds great but I asm scared to work at a start-up and I know this sounds horribly snobby, but with fellow South Asian people. The Editorial Director called me on sunday at home to ask me if I’m accepting the offer, when I clearly need more time to decide. Her desperation makes me very skeptical. I know it’s hard to find young writers interested and knowledgable about Bollywood, but still. Also, the work environment is a little shabby. It’s basically an open space, with no cubicles or office space.

On the other hand, becoming a bollywood journalist is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do! My sister and I always dreamed about working for Filmfare or Stardust magazine and I actually have a similar opportunity without picking up and moving to India! In my position, I get to write opinionated articles on bollywood, urban desi and hollywood and I will be able to interview celebrities. So while the pay and work environment is a tad disapppointing, the job description is certainly not.

I am still holding my breath about the bridal magazine, because it is still my first choice! It just feels good to know that this will be my last week as an intern 🙂

What’s The Hold Up?

I interviewed for a Web Editor/Producer position at a bridal magazine about a month ago. I sent in an awesome edit test and had a pretty good rapport with the editors. It’s a subject that’s right up my allet since I’m getting married next year! The executive editor told me at the time of my interview that she needs to hire someone ASAP and asked if I would be able to leave my internship within two weeks? I said, of course, but a month later, they still need more time to decide. I told her last week that I received another job offer and that I was holding off until I hear back from them first. She requested another week to make a decision and said I was a very strong candidate. Ha! I’ve heard that before and didn’t get a position I thought I was a shoe in for. Really, I understand that editors are very busy people (I was an editorial assistant not too long ago), but do they forget how hard it is to wait for a job response? If I truly am a strong candidate (which I know I am, particularly for this position!), just hire me already!

I declined the temp. web editor positon because I got another full-time job offer, as well! It’s an entry-level journalist/entertainment reporter at an international bollywood/hollywood website. Its a 5-year-old start up and they have offices in India, London (where it was started) and New York. The pay is typically entry level with three weeks vacation, sick days and full health benefits. It sounds great but I asm scared to work at a start-up and I know this sounds horribly snobby, but with fellow South Asian people. The Editorial Director called me on sunday at home to ask me if I’m accepting the offer, when I clearly need more time to decide. Her desperation makes me very skeptical. I know it’s hard to find young writers interested and knowledgable about Bollywood, but still. Also, the work environment is a little shabby. It’s basically an open space, with no cubicles or office space.

On the other hand, becoming a bollywood journalist is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do! My sister and I always dreamed about working for Filmfare or Stardust magazine and I actually have a similar opportunity without picking up and moving to India! In my position, I get to write opinionated articles on bollywood, urban desi and hollywood and I will be able to interview celebrities. So while the pay and work environment is a tad disapppointing, the job description is certainly not.

I am still holding my breath about the bridal magazine, because it is still my first choice! It just feels good to know that this will be my last week as an intern 🙂

When It Rains, It Pours

I’ve been at my internship for approximately seven weeks and I think it’s time to move on. I got offered a 6-8 week temporary Web Editor/Producer position at a long-running but not as well known magazine. I am supposed to start on October 1st, which is less than two weeks away, so I had to make my decision ASAP.

Temp. Web Editor pros

pays 3x as much as my internship

– better title

– another connection, especially in terms of pitching story ideas in the future

Cons

– only 6-8 weeks

– will be leaving bigger title for smaller title

– not in my direct genre

Internship pros

– nationally recognized title

– in direct genre

– flexible schedule

Internship Cons

– really bad pay

– not really learning anything

– no direct contact with editors

– no near chance of getting hired

I had an incident with a freelance editor yesterday that really got me down. I broke a sample for the gift guide story I’m assisting with. I showed the editor and made sure to take the blame for it. She seemed pissed off, but didn’t really say much to me. Then, 20 minutes later, she made the other editorial interns and I come into her office and had the internship coordinator lecture us on how pack properly, while singling me out and totally embarrassing me in front of my co-workers. I won’t go into the details, but it was very effin unprofessional and made me want to quit then and there. This is my third internship and I’ve never had an experience like this before. The editor should have definitely handled it better.

It’s just ironic that this job offer came through today when I felt totally hopeless and was starting to get scared that I’d stay an intern forever. When I compare my resume to others, I have smaller names on it and I blame myself for not interning earlier on in my college career. I am glad to get this huge name on my resume, but to demote myself from EA to intern was a very humbling process.

While this temp. web editor position is yet another small title, the experience should be great and I’m not bound to it. I should be done with the project by mid November and hopefully I will have another opportunity in the works. If worse comes to worse, I can always go back to my internship, because my coordinator did mention that she would love to have me in case this position didn’t work out.

I am still waiting on one other full-time opportunity. It’s very close to my dream job, so I will definitely take it if I get it.

It’s just nice to know that I have other options besides being an intern in the near future.

Dressing For the Job

Every morning, it’s a struggle. It’s always been a struggle, but now I have the added pressure of trying to meet all the fabulously dressed people at my job at least halfway. As I open my closet door, I’ll get flashbacks of an electric blue suede pump or a perfectly pleated boxy skirt or a sweet Hermes scarf looped around as a belt and the brilliant outfit I had planned the night before  not only pales but completely deflates in comparison.

I used to be able to parade in sky-high shoes, but college completely weakened me. After flats came back in style and my butt puffed up enough for me to be able to wear jeans (stretch technology also made this possible), I took on a more casual look In high school, I dated a college guy who lived in Banana Republic, Zara and Kenneth Cole and had me dressing the same. As a teenager going to school in the Bronx, it seemed a little odd that I wore dress pants, cashmere sweaters and silk skirts. I was Gossip Girl in the age of Dawson’s Creek and it was totally weird. All that flew out of the schoolbus window when I attended college with Long Island girls who dicatated style as blonde highlights and Juicy Cotoure Velour suits.

I’ve also never been one to iro and fold, but this I must do as my fashion choices seem to be getting more high-end. On my measley salary, I can afford exactly…nothing, but I gotta make it work.

So, off I go to iron my color-blocked skirt and v-neck t-shirt. After having a 4-day weekend (I called in sick for the past two days, which I feel really guilty about. My excuse was that I would draft some pitches and finish the research for a few in-the-works articles, but I haven’t really succeeded much), I have to get back to teetering all day on shoes I bought only for display.

Slave Labor

I know internships are usually the very definition of slave labor, but to know and to experience are entirely diferent things.

Today was ROUGH. I intern at a very popular women’s fashion magazine and I work in all the different departments, which usually means that everyone thinks they have equal claim over my day. My daily tasks are never the same. While some days are easy going and fun, other days are hell. But I’ve never had a truly diastrous day in my 5 week term here until today.

I won’t go into the details, but do editors and editorial assistants forget how it is to be an intern? Do they think we are made of iron and steel and no task is beyond our boundaries? If so, WHY ARE YOU NOT HIRING US??

I knew this internship was going to be a toughie just because of the sheer prestige of the magazine itself. I also knew I would have to take a good hit on my ego. I was an Editorial Assistant for 9 months at a prestigious magazine website, before this. I loved my job, just not the topic. But, I was writing daily and going to press events and doing very un-assistant like tasks. The salary was as decent as an EA salary could get and with overtime, I wasn’t doing too shabby.  But, then back in May, I got laid off with 15 others.

I, of course, applied to a gazillion jobs. The problem was that there weren’t that many to apply to. I had the right to be picky now as I had worked at a great website and had gained amazing experience. I wanted to be somewhere equally prestigious! Well, three months of getting nowhere, I decided to go for a minimally paid internship at this great magazine. It sounded like a great plan and the internship coordinator is completely supportive of interns job-hunting and going on interviews. Since I was technically ‘freelancing’, I was also able to keep getting my unemployment.

There are a total of 16 interns at the magazine, all of which are graduates. We are all in direct competition for very few jobs and it just makes me more and more worried that I will never actually get back into the work force. This is my 2nd magazine internship and I’ve interned at 2 websites and worked at 1 before. I’ve freelanced for various publications and gained numerous clips at my last job. Is this not enough experience?? I wasn’t even considered for an assistant position that got filled earlier on this week, here. I also got turned down for a freelance gig on the magazine’s website, which I thought I was a shoe-in for. Get this, I applied for an internship to work on a big project with a different department and they hired an outside rather than me! And no, she did not have more experience.

When does the struggling end?