My life As An Intern

Glamour intern Laura Riggio

Imagine what it’s like for a relatively shy person (that would be me) to approach total strangers in Union Square or Bryant Park or Herald Square and say, “Excuse me, would you like to be in Glamour magazine?” Well, that’s just one of the many challenges I face as an intern working for Suze Yalof Schwartz, the Executive Fashion Editor at Large at Glamour.  As a student in NYU’s Master of Science in Publishing program, I’m encouraged to intern to gain more industry experience—and at Glamour, I’m getting plenty! In addition to finding subjects on the street for our “real women” photo shoots, I’m busy helping Suze with her pages in the print magazine, her blog “Slaves to Fashion” on the Glamour website, and her appearances on television networks as a style guru for the magazine.

The World of Print

The biggest print stories I work on with my editor are “Dress Your Body” and “Tips, Tips, Tips.”  “Dress Your Body” is a monthly story featuring the real women we cast on the street. Each story has a specific theme (shorts, dresses, denim, swim suits, etc.) and Suze styles each woman to flatter her figure.  If, for example, one of the women has a flat bottom, any bathing suit with ruffles or a frilly skirting will do the trick! I am involved in everything from casting the women to creating inspiration boards and assisting on the shoot.  For a recent shoot about shorts, I was even able to pull clothing when, at the last minute, we needed another option.

The “Tips, Tips, Tips” page is a biannual feature about beauty trends from Fashion Week.  During that non-stop week, Suze goes backstage and interviews designers, hair stylists, and makeup artists about their inspiration for each runway look.  She asks them how our readers can recreate the look at home or if they have any insider tips. While I help Suze come up with some of the questions, most of my work is done after the video and audio tapes have been transcribed. I read all of the transcripts and pull quotes for a storyboard.  Once each tip has been placed on the board, Suze meets with the beauty department to decide which ones will make it into the magazine.

Wake Up Call

Suze appears on different television networks at least once a week for segments on makeovers and fashion trends.  Usually the segments reflect something we have done in print but there are times when we create completely separate ones.  After the Oscars we did a segment on who was the best-dressed. Last week we did one on rainwear for under $50.  One of my favorites was a segment on shapewear—you’d be amazed at what a great pair of Spanx can do! While working on the segments is very exciting, I have nothing good to say about those 5:45 a.m. call times!

On a Blog Roll

My editor usually blogs about the television segments we’ve done, asking readers what they thought of the makeovers or trends, but she also likes to write about new products.  I spend a lot of time researching and testing out products so that we can review them for our readers. Suze’s interested in anything that will make our reader’s lives easier, so we want to test out any wardrobe fix-it or new invention. We are always on the look out for something new and noteworthy.

Interning at Glamour has been great, and in some measure this is because I have learned the importance of developing a relationship with your readers.  I have also learned the difference between writing for print vs. television vs. online, what looks good on a print page vs. television vs. online, and of course, what clothing flatters which figures.

Laura Riggio

What are other NYU interns doing this semester? We asked Dani Young, an intern at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, and Michael Seidler, an intern at Vanity Fair’s website, vf.com, to answer a few questions about their positions:

Dani Young, an intern at Levine Greenberg

Dani Young

Why did you want to intern?

You have an opportunity to learn a little bit of everything, even in different departments (if you want), and make connections with professionals you might never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

What are your regular duties?

I do anything and everything asked of me.  Sometimes this means sitting in on a meeting with a client, reading manuscripts, researching authors, attending staff meetings, or proofreading copy.  At other times it means filing, scanning, handling phone calls, or mailing things.

What would you advise other students about doing an internship?

Definitely attend as many staff meetings and ask as many questions as you can.  Outside of class, this really is the only time that professionals in the industry don’t expect you to know anything or everything about publishing (and are pleasantly surprised when they find out you know more than they think).

Any personal anecdotes/interesting/funny experiences you would like relate?

I had an irrational fear of answering the phone my first month, despite the couple of practice rounds I had with my supervisor (or maybe because of it).

vf.com intern Michael Seidler

Michael Seidler

Why did you want to intern?

After seeing a presentation by an associate publisher from Vanity Fair, I became interested in working with the vf.com web team to establish a larger online audience through the use of organic marketing strategies.

What do you do at vf.com?

When I first began my internship, the web team was in the process of re-launching vf.com, and needed assistance with key wording and site production. Since the re-launch, I’ve had the opportunity to pitch and execute a blog-outreach marketing strategy.

What did you learn about the industry that surprised you?

I learned that the separation between online marketing and editorial departments in high-end magazines is well delineated. The online editorial department does little in the way of marketing. Coming from an advertising agency that produces creative content and executes its distribution, I expected more integration in the online process.

What would you advise other students about doing an internship?

Before accepting an internship, research it as much as possible to ensure that it’s a valuable experience. And once you start the internship, make sure to pitch any ideas you may have to your supervisors.

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