Internships Turn Into Reality

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

Internships Turn Into Reality

This blog is written by Hillary,  our Campus Ambassador at Suffolk University. She is studying public relations and will graduate in 2013. She recently moved to New York City to gain experience in the fashion and entertainment industries. She is currently interning at ELLE magazine and US Weekly.

Where do I begin! The last seven months have been the best yet, thanks to my internships.

From assisting the creative directors of Helmut Lang with fittings for the Spring ‘12 runway show to interviewing the Victoria Secret Angels, I have seen my lifelong dreams transform into reality.

Interning full time has taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. It still hasn’t hit me that I’ve been able to work with Sasha Charnin Morrison!

Currently, I am interning at Us Weekly as an editorial intern. The last three months have given me invaluable insight into the world of journalism and the entertainment industry. I have been lucky enough to interview some of my favorite actors, models, and designers. There truly isn’t a better way to learn about reporting than getting out there and ‘knocking on doors,’ as many say in the field of journalism.

Here’s what I do to ensure my interviews are magazine worthy!

You may not always get the answers you want or an interview at all, but regardless, always keep your eyes peeled. A great reporter becomes the fly on the wall that sees what others overlook.

I take notes in my Blackberry in between interviews, but you could use a small journal if you prefer to have things on paper.

Make sure you get a good idea of where you’re headed for the interview and what to expect, not only so you arrive at an appropriate time, but so you know what to wear. Sometimes you will be invited strictly to observe, while other times you will be granted access to the red carpet.

On some occasions, you may be invited into the venue. This can be both a blessing and a curse; you will have to approach the guests you wish to speak to and hope their publicist is kind enough to let you steal their time briefly. Unplanned interviews are not fun for many people; keep this in mind and be respectful. Judge the scene for yourself, you can usually get an idea of who is open to talk based on their body language.

Always, always, always speak up and let the coordinators know you are there. You really have to stay focused from the moment you arrive to a press event or party. You never know what could happen and you don’t want to miss out on the perfect opportunity to talk to someone because you were texting!

I always make sure my Blackberry is fully charged; sometimes it’s just easier for me to record each interview on it, rather than use the recorder given to me. It is so important to test out the recorder you plan to use before the event.

When I first started my internship I had a friend talk into the recorder and into my phone; I wanted to see how close I had to get to hear people clearly. When you get back home, you can rest assured that the clips are clean and concise. Recorders are foolproof, however in the moment you are so focused on getting people’s attention that you can easily make a mistake. You may think it recorded whilst you clicked the stop button instead of the record button.

Keep in mind that both your employer and your boss will want the interview(s) transcribed promptly. My internship requires that all material be sent in by 8 a.m the following day. Some interviews can take up to three hours to transcribe. Take it from me; don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take you to type out an interview. Some people can talk a mile a minute! So just keep that in mind and don’t stay out at an event if you think it could take this long. Trust me, I’ve been there and it’s not a fun time!

No matter what, don’t get discouraged! I arrived at the Levi’s Spring ’12 preview and realized there was not a red carpet. This meant I had to maneuver my way around the room and get interviews on my own. Naturally I panicked because it’s intimidating to be surrounded by industry leaders and not know a soul in the building to talk to while I waited for the VIP guests to arrive. Thankfully I waited it out and snagged interviews with the lovely Olivia Munn and Emma Roberts!

No matter what, take as much away from each experience as you can, both good and bad! You’ll be glad you put in the effort as an intern, to learn what it’s like to be true reporter.