VERBAL SELFIE FROM A SELF MAGAZINE INTERN
By Briana Rotello, FCRH '14
By Briana Rotello, FCRH '14
I had first applied to intern at Seventeen Magazine for the fall semester. I was really excited about that opportunity because my best friend from school had worked with them the semester before. She had a very hands-on experience, and that was what I wanted. While I was waiting to hear back from them, I took the time to apply to a couple other magazines. Most of them were fashion based, like Glamour and Elle (my heart kind of skipped a beat when I saw the Vogue Magazine opportunity, but I chickened out) , but I took a chance and applied to Self Magazine, a wellness based publication that focuses a little more on health and lifestyle.
I didn't get the Seventeen internship and I was really disappointed. I felt that I was a perfect fit for Seventeen because I truly shared the same values as the company. While my mom was telling me everything happens for a reason (and my dad was sneakily trying to push me applying to more internships), I got a phone call. I picked it up and it was Self Magazine. I ran into my dad's home office and closed the door. The woman on the other end, Alyssa, asked if I was available to have a phone interview right then. I said yes, and we chatted a bit. It was really easy to talk to her for some reason- I told her about school, my clubs, my other internships (joking too about this HORRIBLE experience I had) and she told me a little bit about the program Self offered.
I hadn't worked with any structure like it. Alyssa explained that every two weeks, interns were rotated in the office to have a chance to work in the many departments that made up the publication. It was different, because while other internships hire you for a certain part, Self hires interns for the entire make up. This enables us to see all parts of the magazine and interact a little with everyone who contributes to the production. I was so interested in this kind of program because of how unusual it was. Alyssa explained that the Editor in Chief, Lucy Danziger, really wanted to make sure the interns were learning as much as they could. I loved it, and at the end of the phone call, I was offered a position as a Fall intern. Of course I took it!
I started the internship in September. I didn't know how to dress yet for the office, so I picked out a blue structured skort (yes, skort. I love it), flats that were only made to look pretty, and a light blouse. Let’s be real, of course I took a picture. Everyone in the office was really nice, especially Alyssa. She set me up on my computer and showed me around the office. I had a nice spot with all the interns and even became friends with a girl from Fordham who was also interning the same semester.
Let me just tell you though: ALWAYS WEAR COMFY SHOES ON YOUR FIRST DAY. I was sent to work in the fashion department for my first round and they had me running all around the city on errands. I picked up garment bags, jewelry, and if I was lucky, I got a car. The car rides were the best ones- sometimes I would spend three hours driving around the city in a black city car. I felt famous. Kind of.
But when you had to walk, you had to walk. Walking in my pretty pointed toe ballet flats was NOT pretty. The most embarrassing part was when I went to Donna Karen and the secretary saw how much pain I was in. He then proceeded to ask me if I was an intern, which I did in fact answer honestly (it was hard), and then grabbed a handful of band aids and threw them in my purse. To this day, I still have mixed feelings towards that secretary.
I was grateful when I was switched out from the Fashion Closet to another department. Some departments I didn't do a lot of work for. I would spend those days on Pinterest or catching up on the Self blog. Other times, I did have a lot to do. My favorite, FAVORITE department was the fitness department. I learned the most and did the most for them!
In the Fitness department, I did the usual, like mail out packages and organize folders and binders. But I also was able to communicate with PR companies of certain products, attend fitness classes, write a blog post, and go to a showroom display for QuickSilver. I learned a lot of interesting health and fitness facts as well. Granted I haven't been able to fully implement these small healthy changes, but since I read them that has to count for something, right?
My time at Self Magazine has been amazing. I have had the best experience I have ever had while working with them. Not only was it what I accomplished while being a part of the magazine, but it was also the people I met.
I was very lucky to have been able to work with five other interns who became close. Each girl has taught me something in such a short period of time. Whether it is being super positive (Sydney), very persistent (Tegan), strong willed (Laurie), just so cool (Julie), or being true to yourself (Diamond), I find myself thinking about these girls whenever I am in a tough situation. I am grateful to have been able to meet with a wonderful group, and I know that I have benefited from working with them as well.
Everything does happen for a reason, as my mom told me in the very beginning. If you find yourself being led a different way than you had planned, wait it out instead of freaking out. You may find this unexpected course beginning to mean a lot more than you thought it would!