The Editorial Internship: Making the Most of it

Wed, May 5, 2010

Internship Information

It’s the second day of your editorial internship and all you’ve done is make copies and Fed-Ex a package. Don’t give up! There will be times when you feel like more of a personal assistant than an editorial intern, but this comes with the territory. Don’t let the mundane dishearten you. If you stay on your game, following these ABC’s of interning, opportunities will come your way.


Employers don’t want to feel like you are taking this experience for granted. Yes, they may have chosen you above other candidates, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off now that you have the job. Always show that you care about the work you’re doing by showing initiative. Your employer should never come to you. You should always ask, “What do you need?” or “How can I help?” Better yet, as you get a feel for the publication, you should be able to meet your employer’s needs without having to ask what those needs are.

Appreciation also means “dressing for the job you want.” Showing up to the office in jeans and flip-flops is not the way to get ahead. Dressing for the workplace will not only show you care, it will make those you work with take you more seriously.

Balancing Act

As an intern you will be given a lot of tasks and it’s important to prioritize. While interning for Working Mother Magazine, I answered to both the editorial assistant and the executive editor. Sometime their assignments or PR events overlapped. It was important for me to express my conflict with both parties and decide which assignment was more crucial to the magazine. Many interns are afraid to ask for help.  It’s better to express any concerns so that your work is at 100%, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

There is also no reason why you shouldn’t take your work home with you. Don’t stop being an intern once you leave the office. At the very least, you should use free time to edit, research and fact-check. That means less stress at the office for you and higher productivity for your employer.


I cannot stress it enough – keep your contacts. Whether it’s the woman you sat next to at a fashion show or the PR agent at a product showcase. Always asks for business cards and stay in touch. The week before the completion of my internship with Working Mother, I made a spread sheet of names, numbers and emails. The list included PR agents for big name companies such as Wal-Mart, as well as little known inventors with a hot, new product. These contacts will not only help you in future internships, but they can help you land a great interview or even a paying job.

By Kara Thomas.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. grants for women Says:

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  2. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks for your support and enthusiasm for the site! Much appreciated.


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