What I Learnt As A Heat Mag Intern

Meeting the celebs: Lauren poses for a snap with Gaz from Geordie Shore

Meeting the celebs: Lauren poses for a snap with Gaz from Geordie Shore

Leeds University broadcast journalism graduate Lauren Young writes about her work experience at Heat magazine…

I remember travelling down the night before my internship, being unbelievably nervous but also full of excitement.

Firstly I had to think about what I needed to wear on my first day – it was definitely a ‘dress to impress’ moment. I decided on some fitted black cut-off trousers, along with a white cami and orange blazer to complete the look. (I had been on a massive shopping spree at the weekend to make sure I was Heat-ready!)

I was so nervous on my first day before being greeted by my work experience supervisor – but she immediately put me at ease with her warm smile and friendly demeanour. She took me through to the Heat office and, I have to admit, when I first saw the magazine’s editor Lucie Cave I was a little bit star-struck. Seeing her in person felt so weird.

So What Did I Do There?

Before I actually started the work experience I had been given a pack detailing all the jobs I would be doing – and there was a lot of them. However, I knew that this opportunity was really all about one thing – getting to know the industry.

Most of the jobs I did were admin ones like giving people their post in the office (which I used as a chance to talk to everyone individually and get to know them and their roles), and putting magazines into envelopes or sticking labels on them to put them in the post.

I also went round to different locations in London picking up items for the office and delivering important things. Another task which some people weren’t a big fan of, but one which I absolutely loved, was archiving magazines.

In the Heat office they keep all their old issues for research purposes – so when they have been used by staff they need to be put back, and this job is generally reserved for work experience people to do. As I have been reading Heat since I was sixteen I really enjoyed looking at the old issues and surprised myself as I recognised a lot of them.

One other job that was interesting but also really time-consuming was transcribing interviews with Mark Wright and One Direction, and a video of Geordie Shore taking part in anal bleaching!

Did I Do Any Writing?

On the brief it mentioned that I could write some articles, but I thought I would mostly be doing more menial jobs like those I had carried out on my magazine work experience previous to this.

I was asked to write a copy story on Lindsay Lohan one afternoon before I went home and I sent it to one of the members of staff and didn’t really think anything of it. Later on I went to look at the Heatworld website and it was there, published with my name underneath.

I was so overcome with emotion that I got a little bit teary – I just did not expect them to publish it. It was such a boost of confidence to have an article on your favourite magazine’s website published, with your name under it. I also did another one on Lady Gaga’s new single and wrote a few A to Z’s of celebrities for Heatworld.

Did I Meet Any Celebs?

I met Holly, Scott, James and Gaz from Geordie Shore. Louis Smith came into the office and so did Joey Essex. I picked up tickets from someone to go to the press premiere of the new One Direction movie but no luck in meeting them!

Did Anything Come From It?

Unfortunately I wasn’t offered my dream job but for three days I covered the editorial assistant while she was on holiday and got paid.

This was another massive confidence boost, as it taught me about the role of the editorial assistant and gave me an insight into how much they help the running of the office and, ultimately, the magazine. Highlights included having to assist in competitions, booking cabs and sending Heat to South Africa.

The whole experience was absolutely fantastic and reassured me that this is the career path I want to follow. Covering the role of an editorial assistant was the icing on the cake, as it made me realise that I am good at multi-tasking and that my supervisor obviously had a lot of faith in me to give me this responsibility.

5 best things about my HEAT experience:

1. Meeting Gaz from Geordie Shore (girls, you can’t deny that he is gorgeous!)

2. Watching a Smirnoff Cocktail lesson with a cheeky glass of prosecco in hand

3. Helping to judge Torso Of The Year

4. Having an article published on my favourite magazine’s website

5. Meeting Maria- the sweetest and nicest work experience supervisor

Have you ever done work experience with Heat or any other entertainment magazine before? What was it like, and what did you learn from it? Share your views with us on Twitter @JournoGrads or on Facebook.

 

How I Got My Glamour Internship

m4s0n501
Ellan Savage at the Glamour HQ

Ellan Savage at the Glamour HQ

Ellan Savage recently completed an internship at Britain’s leading Women’s magazine, Glamour. She reveals what she learnt from the experience…

How did she get that?

This question is one I’ve heard a lot over the past few months.

It’s a question I have in fact asked myself a few times. When my internship at Glamour Magazine was confirmed I was genuinely waiting for the moment it would all fall through; the moment someone would email and say “Sorry, we can’t have you anymore”. Luckily that didn’t happen and last month I had the opportunity to work in the shiny magazine headquarters for four weeks.

Recently my classmates from the London College of Fashion and I had the pleasure of returning to the offices for a tour and a chat with the features team and there was one question which resonated round the room: What do you look for in your interns?

The Glamour team told everyone that I was probably the one who could answer that best so here’s what I can tell you about how I got the internship, what I learnt during it and how I made use of the opportunity.

TIMING

On the website it states that Glamour often fill their work experience slots up to six months in advance and this is true – I know when they are next booked up until and it’s a long wait.

When I applied I was fully aware that this might be the case (this is normally the way things work on any major commercial publication) so I gave them specific dates that I could come in and asked if anything would be available then. Bear in mind  I applied in October for an internship in March.

My advice then is state (in your email as well as a your cover letter) when you would like to come in. If you are wanting to do the internship over your university holidays then tell them the dates you’ll be free. If you are 100% free and could pretty much work whenever they asked you to then tell them that – let them know you are happy to work on short notice because people do cancel last minute.

CV/COVER LETTER

I’ll let you in on a little secret here: the Glamour offices get around 200 – 300 applications per week for work experience. This means that most of the time your CV will be read first. If they are impressed by that then your cover letter will be read but ultimately if your CV isn’t up to scratch, chances are your cover letter might not even get looked at.

So what to put on your CV?

It depends where you apply obviously but for a major magazine you need to have previous experience elsewhere. I had my local newspaper, my student newspaper, two online fashion publications and a popular teen magazine on my CV, as well as office experience and a degree in fashion journalism. Be aware that this isn’t unusual – in the same way you would work your way up in paid employment, you need to work your way up in unpaid employment.

In terms of your cover letter my only advice is make it short and interesting. Don’t just repeat what your CV said because that will come across as dull. Tell a joke or a funny story (my cover letter had an anecdote about a nightmare experience transcribing an interview when I was working on the teen mag). Give them a reason to remember who you are.

CHASING UP

Most big publications state clearly on their website that they don’t get back to anyone who is unsuccessful – the pure volume of applications means it is difficult to do so. So what’s the rule with chasing up an application?

For me one email and one phone call would be your maximum. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and remind the employer that you applied but don’t ring more than this. Being pushy and ballsy is important but if you hassle someone who is already hugely busy the most you’ll get is an interview with no real intention of hiring you afterwards.

BE COMPETENT

If you manage to get the internship (hooray!!) then don’t just see it as something to put on your CV – these people may recommend you for other jobs in the future, they may ask you to come back for work (I’ve just been asked to be an assistant for the Glamour Women of the Year Awards over the next couple of weeks) so do everything you can to impress.

That starts with being competent. This sounds ridiculous but it is so important. Answer the phone when it rings and when you do, don’t just pass the call to someone else. Try and get all the information you can and pass on messages. Be fully prepared to do remedial tasks like filing or transcribing and be happy about doing them!

BE INDISPENSABLE

Don’t act like an intern but know your place.

If you act like you’re on work experience and need someone to hold your hand during your time in the office then everyone will get fed up of you fast, so act like you’re part of the team. Chat to people, say good morning, join in if it’s someone’s birthday or if people are having drinks.

At the same time though understand that you are an intern so if someone gives you a task that seems boring or not important then it’s because someone needs to do it and you are at the bottom of the ladder.

OFFER YOURSELF UP

My biggest piece of advice is DO NOT sit at your desk and wait for the team to come to you because, chances are, they won’t. They are busy and able to function without an intern around so try and make yourself so useful that they don’t want you to leave because they can no longer function without an intern! Send emails, go up to people, ask everyone and anyone on the team if you can do anything. If everyone says no then use your initiative and come up with something; suggest feature ideas, organise the cupboards, put together a handbook for the following intern.

MAKE TEA

I’ve heard so many people say to me “You know no other interns offer to make tea”. It became a running joke in the office that if anyone needed tea I’d probably already be making it so get off your high horse (if you are on one) and make tea and coffee.

This isn’t just a stupid intern task, it gets you talking to people, it gives you the opportunity to chat and get to know everyone. I’m not sure why interns think it’s degrading to make tea anyway, on the rare occasion that I didn’t offer tea up to everyone then someone on the team would do it and that would be anyone from the features assistant to the associate editor. No one is too good to serve a round of tea.

Do you have an internship experience you would like to share? Get in touch! Ellan blogs at thelittlelondongirl.co.uk. She’s also on Twitter, @littlelondongee 

- price9 - deals5