Since taking a short course in fashion journalism at Condé Nast College (read about my experience), I’ve been sure that I want to pursue it as a career. I come from a design background but had always wanted to explore my love of writing so took on an array of product copywriting jobs after graduating. With each job, I was given more and more opportunity on the editorial side, where my real passion lies. So when I left my last work place I decided enough’s enough and I took the journalism course to focus on the direction I would like to go. Which leads me to the present day… where I’ve finally completed my first internship at a magazine.
Sheerluxe is an online women’s lifestyle magazine ranging in topic from fashion and beauty to food and travel. I decided to apply here to broaden my scope, as I primarily focused on fashion before this. Interning at Sheerluxe taught me how an online publication is run and introduced me to topics I never knew I was interested in writing about. Here is a rundown of the top 10 things I learned interning at Sheerluxe magazine:
- Staying One Step Ahead: One of the biggest blogging challenges that I hear about from others as well as myself is producing new content to post regularly. We know that scheduling is important but we can’t keep up! At Sheerluxe, they always work a couple of days ahead. New content is ready to go live with everything sorted by the end of the day before. I’ve taken a leaf out of their book and have created my own schedule that I hope to stick to!
- Coping Under Pressure: Despite being ahead, you have to factor in last-minute changes. This happened almost daily. Sometimes it was replacing sold-out products within an article and other times it was the creation of a whole new story that had to be published that morning! Though it was stressful, it did help me work on my patience and taught me to cope under pressure.
- Initiative: Being an intern can be daunting – you’re new and feel like you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing. The rest of the team are busy working away and don’t have much time to ‘hold your hand’ through the process. This is where you’re initiative is important. Before running to them with every question, try to figure out a way of getting the task done. For me, the problem was creating posts I had never dealt with before in terms of layout. I found my way around this by searching for a recent, similar article and using that as a guide. It worked!
- Ask Questions: If you’re really stuck and genuinely don’t think you can solve the problem yourself, don’t be afraid to ask questions! After all, you’ve got a great learning resource within your reach with the people that work there. I’ve come across interns who don’t utilise this and prefer to ignore the problem, hoping someone else deals with it. I’ve even had to ask on other interns’ behalf at times. And when the problem returns, they obviously still have no idea – what is the point?
- Leadership: As an intern at Sheerluxe, I learnt that I am not afraid of leadership – something I wasn’t sure I’d be confident with. When new interns come in, you’re asked to train them up yourself. I was doing this after just one week of working there and found that I actually quite enjoyed the responsibility.
- Network: One of the best aspects of being an intern was meeting other like-minded people. At Sheerluxe, a new intern comes in as soon as one leaves so I had the opportunity to network with a number of different people. It’s always interesting to hear how someone else got to where they are now and there’s always something to be learned by others in your position.
- Flexibility: An intern should be prepared to do the odd errand every now and again – and do so with a smile on their face. Think of the bigger picture, a seemingly irrelevant task assigned to you is creating time for others to do something that takes priority. One day, you may need that helpful intern yourself. Be professional and positive. At one point I found myself counting a stack of over 100 postcards and at another, running out to buy batteries for a computer mouse.
- Lifestyle Topics: As I mentioned earlier, I was looking to expand on the types of post I create and Sheerluxe introduced me to a whole range of them! It was so motivating working in an environment full of so many ideas that I was constantly being inspired.
- Consistency: I know that having a theme throughout your website helps keep it cohesive but I hadn’t truly thought about how the content should also be kept as consistent as possible. By this I mean the structure, the image layout, the credits, the headings, etc. I have seen a few blogs where image size seems to be chosen at random which really messes up the design. I wasn’t particularly bad at it before but I do give more thought to it now and try to structure my content to fit the style of my posts.
- Affiliate Links: I’d heard of affiliate links before starting my internship but didn’t know the first thing about using them within my own blog to produce revenue. For those who’ve not come across these nifty links before, they basically create a unique url that can be tracked back to your website. If someone buys something through your specific link, you earn a commission. They’re a great way of monetising your blog. I learnt how to use Affiliate Window whilst interning.
I hope you’ve found some useful advice within this post and if you have any to add, I’d love to hear about your intern experiences in the comments below!
If you liked this post, check out: Breaking into Journalism the Condé Nast way
To keep updated on new posts, please follow and subscribe!