In November last year I applied for work experience at my favourite magazine, Cosmopolitan. I was thrilled when Cosmo’s Editorial and Beauty Assistant, Gyan Yankovich, replied to my email and allocated me a week in April this year.
I have been reading Cosmo since my teens and dreamed of working in magazines. As I’ve mentioned before, I became more interested in sports journalism, media, PR and didn’t actively pursue magazines. I knew that if I never applied at Cosmopolitan that I would have always wondered what it would’ve been like in the magazine world.
So there I was lining up at the front desk of ACP’s Park St building. Gyan came and collected me and took me up to the Cosmo office. I was introduced to all the staff and immediately sent on a coffee run. Before I could officially start I signed a confidentiality agreement and a survey asking what I liked or didn’t like about the magazine.
On my first day I organized new products in the beauty closet (it’s very tiny!), conducted a vox pop with Sally Wood, Cosmopolitan’s U Ambassador (you may remember Remi was a finalist) in Pitt St Mall, researched Jen Hawkins’ health and beauty regime, did a mag swap, dropped off pages of the magazine to prepress and transcribed an interview for Features Writer Yeong Sassall.
My first day at Cosmopolitan went by relatively quickly, especially since I got an hour for lunch each day. I finally met former Cosmo Intern Erin Doyle who is lovely and set my mind at ease (I was still very nervous) and gave me some tips.
Day two at Cosmo also went by quickly, starting off with a coffee run. I should make a note of how friendly the coffee guys were to me and every customer who came into the cafe. I then did another vox pop with fashion work experience girl Elise.
After lunch Art Designer Audris Khong gave me a list of shopping to do on Friday. I was delighted with this task as my Dad and I always do the grocery shopping together as our way of catching up on a Saturday. My day ended with more transcribing for Yeong and several models came into the office for a casting.
By my third day at Cosmo I thought I had my routine down pat. Coffee, several trips up to prepress and production etc. However I was finally given a research task by Acting Features Editor Naomi Jaul. Naomi asked me to help her research a feature on celebrity couples and come up with an idea for the ‘You! You! You!’ section in the magazine. Naomi said the ‘You!’ article had to be a cash versus career story.
I got to work on researching celeb couples and Naomi liked my additions to her own research. I then became stuck on the cash versus career idea. All I could think of was interning versus earning money from my casual hospitality job. Eventually after a couple of discussions and brainstorming, Naomi decided the idea had become bigger than a ‘You!’ story and asked me to make a feature story pitch.
I ended up writing a brief pitch on different examples when you have to choose cash or your career. I was really pleased with what I had done that day as I got more of an insight into feature writing at Cosmo. After spending most of my day in front of a computer, I was glad when 5pm came around.
My second last day at Cosmo started off with a coffee run and a brief conversation with Naomi, Yeong and Claire about the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. I ended up suggesting a few male swimmers for the team to research.
My next task of the morning was to sort pages of the June issue using the ‘Grid’, which I knew had Kim Kardashian on the cover because I got a sneek peek at her feature story. The grid was explained to me by Picture and Production Editor Michelle Jackson. Michelle said they use the grid to help them organize the issue and where they can place advertising.
The rest of my day was spent in the Cosmo Fashion Department. I helped out Fashion Office Coordinator Nikki Lowe and Taylor who was also doing work experience in the fashion department that week.
Taylor and myself organized clothes into designer, then sorted and packed clothes to be sent back to PR firms. It seemed like a easy task, but finding the item of clothing on an invoice and packing clothes is very time consuming! And with such a high turnover of clothes, the Cosmo Fashion Department is always in a process of receiving and returning clothes.
My final day at Cosmo was by far the best. I came into the office with some home made baklava as a thank you to Gyan and the team, did my last coffee run, made two trips to the local Woolworths for Audris’ photoshoot, and met Cosmo’s sex columnist Emma Markezic.
I had wanted to meet Emma after I was liaising with her for Milk PR reguarding the Great Australian Sex Census. It turns out that Emma devoted her entire column in the June issue to the Sex Census. I was delighted to see that Emma wrote about the Census in Cosmo as it’s such a valuable piece of PR (especially since I set it up).
But the most exciting task that I did while at Cosmo was helping out Acting Fashion director Charlotte Stokes on a photoshoot. This wasn’t a fashion feature, it was Zoe Foster’s photo shoot for her monthly column. The chances of me meeting Zoe were very slim as she does six different looks for the next six months. So I was very lucky to be there when a photo shoot was scheduled.
Although Zoe is now Cosmo’s Dating Guru, she was Beauty Editor when I first started reading the magazine. I was a fan of Zoe’s beauty column and meeting her was the icing on the cake of a great week at Cosmopolitan.
After I finished at the photoshoot, I went back to the Cosmo office, said goodbye and thank you to the people who were still there and left. I had a really great time and got an insight into the magazine world.
My only regret is that I hadn’t applied at Cosmo sooner. I would really love to do more work experience in magazines but as I am already commited to Melbourne Storm and now Universal Music Australia for the rest of this year, I will have to see how things go.
So my advice to anyone who is reading this is to just to do it. If you want to work in magazines, PR, print, TV or radio.
Just. Do. IT!
Take every opportunity you can get. It only takes one person to give you a chance for you to then forge your own path.
I was given a chance and have now ended up with a variety of experiences at Milk Kiddle Langmaid PR as an intern and PR Account Manager, intern at Melbourne Storm and Universal Music Australia and work experience at Cosmopolitan Magazine.
All of my varied experiences in the media industry have helped me decided which path is the right one for me. Internships are invaluable industry experience so make the most of it while you’re at university.
WORK EXPERIENCE & INTERNSHIPS AT COSMOPOLITAN: please refer to their website for further details.
Erin Doyle, 22, loves to travel and see live music. She’s already backpacked her way around Europe for three months, and has seen many live music acts varying in genre from Pink, rapper The Game and Aussie band, Little Red.
Erin’s ultimate goal and dream job is to become a magazine editor. But ideally, Erin would love to be a features, lifestyle or entertainment writer or editor.
Since September last year, Erin has been interning at Cosmopolitan magazine one day a week. Coming from Wollongong, Erin has to travel an hour and a half each way just to get to her internship in Sydney.
Cosmopolitan magazine is what some women would describe as the ‘bible’ and, is the world’s biggest selling magazine. There is no doubt that Erin’s experience and, current internship with Cosmopolitan will set her apart from other graduates applying for publishing positions.
It was during high school that Erin first decided she wanted to work in magazines. After doing some research, Erin discovered that “the majority of people who had my dream job started off through doing work experience.”
As a way to get her foot in the door, Erin applied to many publications in her first year at university. She ended up doing work experience with Cosmopolitan and Girlfriend magazines.
Doing a week’s work experience at Cosmopolitan must have been a dream come true, as Erin has been reading the magazine since she was 15 years old.
After finishing her work experience with Cosmopolitan and Girlfriend magazines, confirmed Erin’s belief that she was on the right career path. “If one industry could be the perfect fit for a person…this one is for me.” Erin kept in touch with Cosmopolitan and was invited back to do further work experience with the magazine.
Although Erin didn’t know anyone in the industry initially, she says that she wouldn’t have known about her current internship with Cosmopolitan, if it weren’t for her continued work experience at the magazine. Erin says that she is,
“Proof that getting an internship without initially knowing someone can be done…networking is crucial when trying to pursue a career in this industry and work experience [or] internships is a great way of meeting people and building contacts.”
Eventually, one of the Cosmopolitan interns left and Erin put her hand up for the role. She says landing her intern position was a “combination of hard work and good timing…without being there, I never would have known about the vacancy.”
Erin knows how lucky she is to be interning with Cosmopolitan, because “it’s also part of ACP – Australia’s biggest publishing company so it’s a great way to network and find out about jobs at other mags in the same company before anyone else.”
Now interning one day a week at Cosmopolitan, Erin says her jobs can vary each week. The tasks she has been asked to do include, “transcribing interviews, typing, doing research for articles, hitting the streets to conduct vox pops, thinking up questions for upcoming interviews and the occasional coffee run.”
Erin has also been asked to write articles for the magazine, one of which was published in the recent August issue. She has also been apart of a photo shoot, covered Editorial Co-ordinator, Gyan Yankovich’s desk when she’s away and has helped beauty editor, Leigh Campbell clean out the beauty cupboard. After which, Erin was given a bag of beauty goodies, one of the many perks of working at a magazine!
Erin explains that Cosmopolitan is a amazing and friendly environment to work in, nothing like The Devil Wears Prada but that the women working at Cosmopolitan work extremely hard. “I get to be around some pretty talented women who I’ve learnt quite a few skills from” she says.
All of Erin’s experience at Cosmopolitan and Girlfriend magazines will definitely be an advantage after she graduates from university and applies for publishing jobs.
Erin has been able to put what she’s learnt at university into practice, while at the same time she is close to her dream job of working for a magazine.
Her passion and enthusiasm has gotten Erin to where she is today.
It really proves to every student out there, that with persistence and a willingness to show that you want to learn and help out more than once, you will eventually be rewarded for your efforts.
I can only imagine the feeling Erin had when she saw her name printed at the end of an article that she wrote published in Cosmopolitan magazine.
Erin’s advice for students wanting to apply for work experience in magazines:
“I definitely recommend trying to get as much as work experience as possible and ideally an internship. You learn so much that they don’t teach you at university, make invaluable contacts and it puts you so far ahead of your peers when competing against them for jobs in the future. Start as early as possible and don’t be afraid to apply to as many places as possible. Competition for internships (especially in magazines) is strong and rejection is inevitable but don’t let that get you down. Just keep knocking on doors and eventually someone will open it. Then do whatever it takes once you’re there to prove yourself.”
You can read Erin’s article in the August issue of Cosmopolitan by clicking on this link: Erin Cosmo page – co0811YOUtwitter
Look out for Erin’s article in the November issue of Cosmopolitan (it will be her first paid article).