Saturday, 20 August 2016

How I got my Grazia Magazine Editorial Internship

This time a few weeks ago I was sitting in the Grazia office with my own temporary desk and a huge smile on my face, a couple of weeks later and I'm sitting in my pyjamas watching Towie whilst stuffing my already over congested and hormonally spot ridden face with yet more chocolate because it's Saturday - and yes thats is a valid excuse. Oh did I also mention my dog decided to have a poo on the carpet overnight so I had to clean that up at 8am. I literally cant even drink my Earl Grey, the flashbacks alone are making me wanna gag.

As you can tell, my life is incredibly glamorous.

Anyway, my Grazia placement.

I know I'm only one of many who have been lucky enough to work at a magazine title but I know when I was researching for information I couldn't really find anyone else who had blogged about their experience or any tips on how they managed to land their placement, so here I am.

How did I get it?

Through sheer determination and persistence is the simple answer to that question.

I always felt getting a magazine placement was never really on the cards, it was a dream that I would always follow up with "but obviously it won't happen" because I feel like these things only ever really happen to other people.

I'm not a university student and I got a C at A level English so as far as I was concerned getting a placement would be pretty unheard of.

I do write for Career Girl Daily, an online magazine, which I imagine would have helped in my application but in all honesty all I did was write a relatively bog standard cover letter, the only thing I did differently was ramble on and on about my love for the magazine, not my dreams and ambitions just my love for Grazia and why they stood out to me over the many other publications I could have applied for. I applied via Go Think Big which is an amazing site and constantly have tonnes of opportunities. Most places require you to go through Go Think Big rather than just bombarding editorial assistants with emails and pleas which is great because someone actually will look at your application rather than it sitting in an inbox.

Also don't be disheartened if you don't hear anything for a while, I applied about 5 months before I was actually offered anything, these things just take time. Showing my genuine love for the magazine is I am sure what helped me get the place, experience is somewhat essential but it is all about going out there and finding your own experience. Never be afraid to contact bigger blogs who are perhaps in need of contributing writers, it will be unpaid but a couple of hours a week out of your own time will help you get that all important placement.

As cliche as it sounds I promise you that if I can get a placement with a magazine in London then so can you.

You just need to be persistent, you don't need to work your butt off trying to make your CV look super savvy, you also don't need to create the most mind blowing cover letter that sparkles with glitter and confetti as you turn the page, you literally just need to be honest. You need to show that you have experience, even if it's just that you were on the school newspaper committee. You also need to be present online, you kinda need a blog, even just a private one that is literally just for you, you need to show that you are writing and producing content regularly, also don't forget to include links! Use to shorten the link and put it in brackets alongside explaining what you have been up to. It's all well and good shouting about what you can do but they are much more likely going to want to see the proof.

#1. Actions speak louder than words.
If you aren't blogging then why not? You have no reason not to have an online presence, you don't even need to make it public but you do need to be writing consistently, show off what you can do and
don't be afraid to brag about how amazing your writing is, no one else will do it for you! Like I said be sure to link to your work, applying online means you can include links so do it.

#2. Approach Editorial Assistants or Use Go Think Big.
I cannot stress how amazing Go Think Big are at helping you get a placement, they don't do any of the leg work, that is down to you but they do make the process far easier and you are guaranteed to have your application looked at. If your dream publication are not listed on Go Think Big then try to find out the contact details of the editorial assistant or PA to the editor, they will deal with interns on a day to day basis so going directly to them will be way more beneficial to you.

#3. Don't be boring in your cover letter.
Think about how many cover letters people receive every single day stating how much someone wants to work for a magazine because it's their 'dream' job. Include a little bit of personality, even a bit of humor, they won't hate you for it. Don't go overboard and start cracking jokes in every sentence but don't be afraid to add a little bit of personality, it's what I did and it didn't do me any harm.

Pretty sure I included a paragraph on how if nothing else I can make an ace cup of tea!

I don't know if a magazine title is where I see my career going in the future, it's quick paced and not quite the same as writing blog posts from bed in my pyjamas but it's an experience that I think you really need to go through if you are considering journalism.

Overall I had an amazing three weeks, I ate a lot of Pret and I drank a lot of tea, I basically pranced around London with a Starbucks consecutively in one hand for three weeks.

I was also then offered a week at Closer magazine so it does pay off.

I have to say it was such a surreal experience and honestly if you want to go for it then just do it, apply and apply until you can't apply any more, you will get there in the end I promise.

If you would like a post on my time at Grazia and some tips on what to do to prepare yourself for a placement then let me know in the comments :)