work experience at a magazine

March 24, 2017, by Antonia Munday

What I Learned During Work Experience at a Magazine

By student blogger Antonia Munday, BA Hons English Literature and Language

I  was nearing the end of my first year and decided I needed to add some work experience to my CV. An opportunity at a magazine presented itself, and I ended up getting a lot more out of it than just learning how to make a good cuppa.

I was lucky enough to hear about this opportunity through a friend’s parent who put me in contact with the head of Human Resources at The Lady. I sent an email detailing how I had heard about the opportunity with a covering letter attached. In this, I mentioned that I was currently studying at university, what course I was doing and why I wished to carry out work experience there.

They offered me two week’s work, which turned out to be the ideal amount of time. It allowed me to watch that month’s issue come together, while offering real insights into how a magazine operates.

The first day was very daunting. I arrived at the office about 40 minutes early due to my miscalculations regarding the tube. However, I was immediately given things to do which meant that I didn’t have time to be nervous.

Initially I was tasked with writing daily pieces for the website; conveying newsworthy items to their readership. This continued to make up most of my mornings. The afternoons were more varied. For instance one day I had to transcribe an interview, but another I had to write about champagne etiquette – this took some research!

Here’s the five most important things I learned:

1. You don’t have to be an expert on a topic to write about it

At one point I was tasked to write an article on how to polish silverware. Never in my life have I even considered polishing silverware, but with enough research I was able to write about it. It’s not dissimilar to how you might approach an essay. Transferable skills – tick!

2. It won’t always be go go go

The Lady was far from boring, however you have to understand that you are fairly low down the pecking order. This means there might be times when you don’t have loads to do. Don’t worry though, these people do have to get a magazine published after all.

3. Make the most of everything offered

It is important to say “yes” to get the most out of the experience. It makes you seem more engaged and willing – the chances are you’ll learn a lot more too. At first, you may feel a bit nervous about certain tasks, but I suggest throwing yourself into whatever is asked. And if you’re not sure, ask for help – they won’t expect you to know how to do everything immediately.

4. Working in London is really fun

For starters, I had an actual official lunch break where I could swan around Covent Garden pretending that I was grown up enough to have a ‘real’ job. The pace of the city was exhilarating and really added to the whole experience. Being an intern is a great opportunity to try different cities on for size, without the commitment of a permanent job.

5. It taught me how to write under pressure

In a busy office, they don’t have time for you to ponder over which connective to use, or picture to insert into the post. You have to consistently produce great quality work in a short amount of time. This was quite stressful at first, but hopefully will come in handy when it comes to dissertation time.

Looking for internships? Want to know more about getting work experience? There lots of advice on our website, and if you fancy an internship in Nottingham this summer, you can find 90 new vacancies here.

Posted in Choosing Your CareerStudent BloggersWork experience