By: Janine Puhak
Whether this is your first or fourth lap as an magazine intern, don’t make the terribly common mistake of slowing down simply because you have arrived. After the dust settles and you fall into a workflow, you may suddenly find yourself with nothing to do. You’ve come too far to spend eight hours staring down the clock. We asked three editors what they want you to be doing during the lulls to make the most of your temporary dream gig.
“During downtime, I’m hoping my social interns are scouring all platforms to see if there is anything that we can cover,” says Celia Fernandez, an editorial assistant at Latina.com. And you don’t have to be working for the social team for this advice to apply. Even if you’re an editorial intern, you can use these news items found on social as a jumping off point for a story idea.
“Once during downtime, an intern of ours researched a bunch of different beauty topics and came up with a list of pitches – I’m talking like 15 different ones – because she knew of an upcoming meeting. She anticipated that I would need help coming up with ideas before I even said anything,” says Fernandez.
Take time to backtrack.
Looking at old issues of the magazine can give you a better understanding of the brand’s overall mission. If you’re an art intern, taking a look at past issues, helps you get comfortable of the style of the magazine.
Once you’ve checked in with your supervisor and are completely positive you have nothing it do, take some time to work on a personal project or a school-related one. “I hope our interns are using their downtime here to better prepare themselves for their intended career path, whether that’s catching up on old issues of Marie Claire or working on personal design projects. I understand a little more about what they’re interested in and where they’re at as designers when I see their personal projects,” says Katrina Machado, an art assistant at Marie Claire.
There’s always plenty to be done at a national magazine. “Even in the fast paced magazine industry, just because your supervisor doesn’t have something for you doesn’t mean someone else in the office couldn’t use your help!” says Stacia Afelt, an editorial assistant at Redbook. Ask other editors or other departments if they have something you can help with. “I hope my interns are learning as much as possible – they could ask for new projects, schedule informational interviews or practice writing copy.”
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