For those who have seen The Devil Wears Prada or The Hills, it’s natural for one to wonder if working at a magazine or being a fashion intern is as chaotic and glamorous as Andy Sachs or Lauren Conrad make it seem. After having the eye-opening experience of interning for a fashion magazine myself, here are the five things I learned were true from how the business is often displayed on TV or film:
Whether it’s 8 in the morning or 8 at night, the Starbucks runs never stop. On the plus side, sometimes your managers will feel extra generous and allow you to get a drink on their card. My suggestion? Always volunteer. You never know when you’ll get a free drink… or when your next breath of fresh air will be.
- Your managers will not be pleased if you do not report back to them with a solution or answer to what they asked for.
Always come to your managers with answers, not problems. Never say, “I don’t know.” They will not appreciate it, and they will remember your level of incompetence.
- Your co-interns will know all the details about your personal life within the first two weeks of the internship.
Some people say that being in close proximity with someone will result in an instantaneous friendship and this position is no exception. When you work nearly 60 hours a week and share three chairs and three computers among 14 interns, everyone will know about your latest life updates almost simultaneously as they occur.
If you happen to be a fan-girl, as I am, hold yourself together in the office when a celebrity shows up. Having an entire staff of adults watch you cry when Lucy Hale shows up is not what you want to be remembered for.
- The sense of panic you feel when your manager wants to talk to you. One week into the job or eight weeks into the job, it’s just as terrifying.
If your manager calls the intern phone and requests to talk to you, be prepared to spit out your gum, hold your head high and validate any questionable decisions you might have made in the last week.
Strangers, friends and family will say they want to be a fashion intern, but as any fashion intern knows, the title we hold is much more prestigious than the duties of our position.