Interning at a London Lifestyle and Beauty Magazine

Ever wondered what interning at a magazine is like? 

After being an intern for a few weeks I thought I’d write a post about how I managed to get it in the first place and what it’s really like to work in such a fast-paced environment that all seems so glamorous from the outside. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely glamorous sides to it, from the free beauty samples, celebrity interviews and free tickets to events and new show openings, but don’t expect to be doing that all the time, or at all!

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

Day to Day Life as an Intern: What I Did and What I Learnt

My first day feels like a bit of a blur looking back, I got lost round the building three times, I forgot everyone’s names, and I didn’t get to write any articles- but I still loved it.

I loved the atmosphere of the place, I loved how sleek and modern everything was, I loved that there was always something happening whether that was a photoshoot around the corner or an interview with Jo Malone. I was literally living my dream of being at a beauty and lifestyle magazine and the whole thing felt quite surreal. So, here’s what life as a magazine intern is really like…

You Won’t Be Writing Articles Everyday

I was there for 2 weeks and I wrote a total of 2 articles. I know, I was slightly shocked too. I kept thinking, ‘I’m here to do journalism, why am I not writing anything?’ which got very frustrating at times.

It took me a little while to remember that I was the lowest in the ranking there and had the least experience, so why would they give me articles to write when they have somebody better to write them? I understand it now, but it definitely was a bitter pill to swallow when I was watching everyone else writing articles I would’ve love to write.

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

You Will Be Given the Most Boring Things to Do

Similar to the point above, you’re the intern, they are bound to give you the jobs that they don’t want to do or that take a long time to complete. That doesn’t mean that I was running around getting everyone coffee and cleaning up after them, that didn’t happen at all. But it does mean that most days I was researching for an article they were about to write or coming up with potential interview questions for them.

The bulk of my time was spent transcribing interviews, basically I would spend hours typing out exactly what the person was saying in an interview they’d done the other day so they could turn it into an article for the magazine. Sometimes this was very boring and took so much longer than I wanted it to, but since it was a magazine I liked to read, I was often listening to interviews with really interesting people that I looked up to.

You Will Probably Come Home with a Lot of Free Makeup

Freebies! And lots of them! Since it’s a beauty and lifestyle magazine I did go in assuming that I may be able to bag a couple of free samples, but I literally came home with double the amount of makeup than I had brought with me. I have to admit that was probably my favourite day working there because I LOVE makeup a lot and I was basically in heaven. Magazines like that get sent so many products to test out and write about and they’re left with too many products and no where to store them, so they give it to all the people that work there

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

Not Every Day Will Be a Good Day

Probably the most important point about interning at your ‘dream’ magazine. You go in with high expectations and you might love the first few days, but I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a day or maybe more that you just don’t want to be there anymore.

I experienced a fair amount of these days, I’m not used to working long hours and doing work that wasn’t always very interesting which meant that as I became more tired and a bit ill, I had some days where I just wanted to leave. I wasn’t getting paid which made those days even harder, but I just had to keep reminding myself why I was there and how important it was to push through those days and make it to the end. And it was worth it.

I struggled at times and felt run-down and stressed but overall I learnt a lot and came out the other side knowing that it was something I still wanted to go into after university

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

How to Get an Internship

Don’t Wait Until You See Them Asking for Interns

When I first began looking for internships, I was expecting to find magazines advertising for work experience applicants whereas in reality, barely any do. This means that it takes a bit of digging to find the right contact to send your CV to and you just have to send speculative applications to all of the magazines you’d like to work with even if they aren’t advertising for interns. I found this kind of confusing, surely they’d want to advertise for interns? But anyway, don’t let the fact that your favourite magazine might not have a section dedicated to applying for work experience with them, apply anyway and you never know what could happen.

Be Patient

In the beginning, I made the mistake of only applying to my top 2 magazines that I really wanted to intern with. After not hearing back from either of them I realised I was wasting time when I should be applying to a whole load of magazines all at the same time. I think I sent emails to over 50 magazines in the end which sounds like a lot but in an industry where rejection is so high, that’s what I had to do.

It took quite a while, but eventually one came through that I was really excited about so it shows that it does pay off to keep applying and trying to get the internships you want. I found it quite disheartening at the start that you don’t often get an email back saying “no” and giving you a helpful reason why, you’re either ignored or occasionally accepted for an internship which took a bit of getting used to. So don’t worry, it’s very unlikely you’ll get the one you want straight away, it took me a few months but I was so happy when all the hard work paid off in the end!

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

Don’t Apply to a Magazine That Doesn’t Excite You

In my mad rush in the beginning to find an internship, I applied for a few magazines that I really didn’t find interesting and I ended up turning them down which probably looked very unprofessional and I should’ve just avoided this all together. So, learn from my mistakes and only apply for magazines that make you excited to work with them and that you generally like to read! There’s no point spending a few weeks at a place that completely bores you, yes it will probably look good to go on your CV but is it worth it when you could just wait a bit longer and get an internship that you’d actually enjoy?

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

Don’t Let Having No Experience Stop You

I went into this with my only journalist experience being a couple of articles in my student newspaper which made me feel like I didn’t stand a chance. I assumed that all the other applicants would have so much more experience than me and be better qualified, but at the end of the day, there’s always someone else with better grades and connections so you just have to fight to stand out. I worked hard to adapt my CV and show how even the tiniest things demonstrated my love for journalism and how I would work well with them. You don’t need to already have lots of relevant experience to get an internship, I didn’t even have a blog at that point!

interning at a london lifestyle and beauty magazine, journalism internship

So yes, at the end of it all I would say that the whole experience was completely worth it, even the days that I didn’t enjoy as much. You get such an amazing insight into the world of journalism and how everything comes together to produce the magazine.

So, if any of you are reading this and thinking about applying for work experience then definitely go for it! You might find it hard in the beginning or have those days where you want to go home like I did, but it’s honestly an opportunity that I will always be thankful for to help me on my journey into journalism.

Have any of you interned before or want to do a journalism internship in the future? 

Beth x

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28 Comments

  1. August 17, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    This was such a fun read! I wanted to do this kind of internship when I was in uni, but I took a very different route. It was so cool to read about your experience and the reality behind it all.

    • August 17, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks! What route did you take?

  2. August 18, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    Even though there were boring times, this sounds like a fun job over all. I’m so intrigued by the fast pace beauty and lifestyle world. I had fun reading this

    • August 19, 2018 / 11:49 am

      Yeah overall I had a great time! Thanks 🙂

  3. August 18, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    An interesting read! I’m glad you had a great time doing internships at the magazine company 🙂 I will be doing my internship probably next year, so I should look for internship opportunities from now! 😀

    • August 19, 2018 / 11:51 am

      Thanks! Good luck finding an internship for next year!

  4. August 18, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    This looks like such an amazing opportunity Beth, I’m so happy for you! I’d love to intern at a magazine, journalism is something I’m really interested in.

    Soph | http://www.lovesoph.co.uk

    • August 19, 2018 / 11:53 am

      Thank you! Yeah you should, I was so nervous in the beginning but I think it’s really worth it to see if you like journalism and working in that kind of environment.

  5. August 18, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    This is so interesting, and looks like an amazing opportunity. Definitely some advice I’ll be remembering when I start applying for internships next summer.

    -pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com xo

    • August 19, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you, yeah it was and I think it was definitely worth it! Good luck getting your internship!

  6. August 19, 2018 / 3:31 am

    Thanks for the informative read with important tips!

    – afinnontheloose.com

  7. August 19, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    I loved this post and it is so interesting to hear what you did in your internship. I have always wondered what the reality of interning at a magazine company was like and this post gave a great insight. Some great advice for applying for internships which will definitely help me in the future x
    A x | http://www.simplyxanna.wordpress.com

  8. August 19, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    Internships like you described, can be very difficult. But also so rewarding! That line of work sounds like so much fun! Like a party everyday type deal hahah but no job is fabulous everytime of the day. It’s all hard work, but worth the experience. Good luck with your internship!

  9. August 19, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    This was such an interesting read! I’m about to start my final year as an English lit, journalism and creative writing student and plan on looking for some internships for next summer so will definitely be coming back to read this again. Thanks for all your tips!

  10. Melissa Kacar
    August 19, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    This was such an interesting post to read! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

  11. Batmom85
    August 20, 2018 / 2:28 am

    This was so interesting and insightful! I want to intern and just have to get the courage and the time to do so by this is on way of my next steps in things I want to accomplish over the next couple years. I really would love the hustle and bustle of t all. This sounds amazing congrats on landing that I know it’s hard work to keep emailing etc but that’s amazing! Such a great opportunity!

    • August 21, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks! Yeah definitely go for it if you have the time, it was such a great experience!

  12. August 20, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    This was such an interesting read! I’d love to do a journalism internship in the future, I just need to pluck up the courage and contact different magazines. The tips you included will definitely prove to be usueful!x

    Elin | http://www.myblurredworld.com

    • August 21, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      Thanks! Good luck, you should definitely go for it!x

  13. Macey Gloria
    August 20, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    I can TOTALLY relate to forgetting name’s; I don’t know why, but I’m rubbish at remembering them:’) I used to want to work in publishing/for a magazine (like Bridget Jones haha), so I found this super interesting!!
    http://twinklexthoughts.blogspot.com/

    • August 21, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      Me too haha! I think I don’t really listen when they tell me and then I just never remember 😂

  14. Erin Grace
    August 26, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    It is my absolute dream to work for a magazine so I found reading about your experience so interesting! The one thing I was always unsure about was how to actually get the internship in the first place so I found that super useful. I am so glad you found it a useful experience too! X

    Erin // Everything Erin

    • August 29, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it useful and I hope you manage to get an internship too when you start looking! x

  15. August 30, 2018 / 9:08 am

    This is a really interesting read, thanks for sharing your experience! I’d love to do something like this so these are some really good points to note.

    Shelley x

    http://www.onlyshelley.com

  16. September 10, 2018 / 11:10 am

    I’d love to do an internship similar to this once I finish university and I loved how honest this post was, sounds like it was a great experience!xx

  17. September 14, 2018 / 7:47 am

    I’m interested in doing an journalism internship in the future and this was such a helpful post to give an insight into it and how to get there! I’m going to make a note of this post so I can come back to it in the future!

    • September 14, 2018 / 10:28 am

      Thank you! Good luck for when you apply for one, I hope you get it x

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