#TBT: How I Landed My Dream Internship

Exactly a year ago, I was here:

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That’s right, Seventeen Magazine. It was my dream. I know we’re supposed to believe in ourselves and all that bullshit, but I literally never thought I’d snag this gig. I more so used it as an example to relatives that would ask what I wanted to do with my life.

I’ve been asked by a couple of people how I landed an internship with Seventeen, a Hearst publication, and I figured I’d just put this out there for any other aspiring #17interns.

What do I think landed me the internship? Just a lot of hard work, a hell of a bit of luck and a couple train rides to NYC.

1. Ed2010 is an aspiring magazine industry worker’s heaven. Internships, jobs, advice? It’s all there. You can even view salaries of potential careers to see how poor you’ll be when you first start out. I compulsively checked this site about 10 times a day for new postings and applied to everything.

This is where I found and applied for Seventeen’s Editorial Intern! There are also fashion closet, web, and beauty interns, but I loved editorial and wanted to learn as much as they’d let me about the print industry.

I honestly didn’t expect to hear anything back since I assumed they were given to girls with connections and bigger publication experience, but sure enough almost 2 days later there was an email in my inbox!

2. Next was the edit test. An edit test is basically to see if you can write in the magazine’s voice and speak to their audience. In Seventeen’s case, I was drafting content for embarrassing moments, guy quotes and serious life essays.

My best advice for this step is to study the website and magazine and become familiar with their voice. Magazines need a consistent voice to their readers, so they’re not looking for a fresh voice style necessarily. Instead impress them with fresh content or outlook on a topic!

3. Interview! The internship organizer passed my edit test along to one of their editors who got back to me within the week to schedule time to come in for an interview! The interview took maybe 20 to 25 minutes — super short considering I took an hour train ride into the city. The editor was super sweet and made me feel super comfortable — of course, I was still beyond nervous!

4. I played the waiting game for the next few weeks. I sent thank you notes to everyone I spoke with and felt confident that I did the very best I could at the interview. Sure enough, two weeks later, while I was on break at work I got a response! “We would like to offer you an internship at Seventeen for spring 2014!” I’m sorry, what?

Seriously, I had to read the email about 20 times to actually believe it.

That’s my story. There’s really no trick or anything to landing your dream internship, just hard work and luck. My only advice is that you should be open to any opportunity no matter how small. I believe that every single internship helped me get to where I am and if I didn’t take an opportunity because I thought I was better than it then I might not be where I am today.

If you have more questions on how the interview and internship experience as a whole went, reach out to me! Check out more career advice, my musings and reality TV obsession at @_jackiethomas.

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