Inside the Internship: A Day in the Life of an Editorial Intern

When people think of New York fashion magazines images of Meryl Streep yelling and Anne Hathaway running in heels tend to come to mind. But my life is not “The Devil Wears Prada”, I’m not Anne Hathaway and I’m definitely not fetching unreleased copies of Harry Potter for Meryl Streep.

However, I do get to do a lot of cool things on a day-to-day basis.

Whether it’s toy testing (where I intern has an entire research institute) or transcribing celebrity interviews, the life of an editorial intern is ever-changing.

My main goal though: help make the lives of the editors easier.

That’s what makes an editorial intern different from, say, a fashion or beauty intern. Fashion and Beauty manage the products that Editorial writes about. So, an editorial internship is less less behind-the-scenes (though I’ve been lucky enough to play in the beauty closet and yes, it’s amazing) and more about making the final, written product better.

If you want to get a peek at what being an editorial intern entails, here is a general breakdown of my responsibilities throughout the week:

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I am up and getting ready to shower, eat breakfast and take care of any morning tasks that my brain really isn’t ready to compute. This typically results in me finishing the episode of Grey’s Anatomy I fell asleep watching the night before.[/svt-event]

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I am about to head out the door. My internship is about a seven minute walk from my place, but I like to get there early. This gives me time to get up to the 28th floor, make myself a latte and finish any last minute personal tasks.[/svt-event]

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I’m lucky to get a mid-morning start instead of the crack of dawn, but right at 10 a.m. is when I start my intern duties. This includes checking emails for any pressing tasks, rifling through reader mail and submitting press releases and celeb stories that may interest the editors. This typically takes up to an hour.[/svt-event]

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By this time, I’ve usually been given a task. A lot of the time the other interns and I go up to the 29th floor – the research institute – to help the guys in the Consumer Electronics and Engineering Lab. Up there, we do a lot of organizing and playing with toys (We’re prepping for the November “best of” toys issue).[/svt-event]

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I’ve also gotten the chance to help bake cookies in the test kitchen to test oven ranges (they makes dozens of treats on a regular basis), organize the prop closets and run around the city to pick up props and such at different stores.

Photo by Emily Creighton
Photo by Emily Creighton

On slower days though, I’m just transcribing interviews for my editors, reaching out to media contacts for various brands and people and working on long term projects that keep me computer-bound. Depending on the scale of the task, these sometimes take me all day.[/svt-event]

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This is typically when I take my lunch. Everyday is different so I don’t follow a strict schedule, but this is like prime hangry time. Sometimes the other interns and I eat in our building, other times I go out or even stay in and take care of personal work that needs to get done.[/svt-event]

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Post-lunch everyone has “the itis” and things slow down a little bit. I finish up any assignments I didn’t get done before my break, or I move on to the next task that I know I can finish up that day. I do this with a cup of coffee in my hand and wait for the clock to strike 5 p.m. Then, I’m out until next time![/svt-event]