As Mia reminded us last week, interning is probably the single most important thing you can do if you want to become a successful Anna. But what most people don’t understand is that interning is hard work, especially at a magazine. Like she said, sometimes you have to give up a little bit of your life for it.
So why do it? For that answer I looked to one of the most motivated interns I’ve ever met. Marissa Smith is another veteran of Glamour (and blogger extraordinaire). She explains how, despite the tough lessons, she fell in love with the industry and gained a whole lot of confidence from the experience.
What draws you to fashion editorial as a career path?
I actually didn’t want to be in fashion editorial when I came to college. I first wanted to be a buyer for a major department store. After taking classes at school, I decided that math was not my thing, and buying wasn’t either. I took a class at FIT during the summer for styling and completely fell in love with pulling clothes, and my whole idea coming to life. As soon as I left the class, I applied for magazine internships. Styling editorials is the best way to show my own style, be creative and reach everyone to try new and different clothing options!
What was the hardest lesson you had to learn as an intern?
The hardest lesson I learned interning was how to stand out as an intern. Being with at least five other interns at a time, it’s hard to show your bosses that you’re worth something to them. I think by working with your fellow interns and showing that as a whole you can get things done productively and fast, it proves to everyone that you’re there for the right reasons. Also, always eat. Even if its when you go to the bathroom. Not eating is the worst thing you can do while interning because you’ll feel deflated after 3 hours if you don’t eat!
Is there a specific direction you want to go in, like styling, market editor, etc.?
Specifically. I want to be Melissa Ventosa Martin, Style Director of Glamour Magazine. But more broad? A stylist in the Conde Nast building would be great, at Glamour would be even greater. But styling. I want to be able to play with clothing, put outfits together that are completely for creativity and not wearable. I want to be able to start new trends.
What is the best way to prepare for an internship at a magazine?
The best way to prepare for an internship with a magazine is to read the magazine. Get to know what the magazine is about, who they target as customers and readers, what kinds of things they advertise. What they believe in. I read the current issue of the magazine for each interview I had. I think it helped relating to the employees at the magazine, and it helped me understand if I really wanted to work for that magazine or not.
What did you learn about yourself at Glamour?
While at Glamour I learned so much about myself, but mainly that I actually could do what I wanted to do this whole time. I sat in for my boss a couple times, and I proved to myself that I could handle starting out as an assistant and I could work the e-mail magic all day, as well as handle other tasks that were thrown at me. I believe in myself so much more coming out of this internship than I ever have because I did or saw everything that I would like to be doing in the future.
What is the best advice you can offer for new interns?
New Interns: Please, listen to directions, don’t take on too many tasks at once, and finish one thing at a time. Regardless of how fast you are going, if you start and do not finish many things it will make you look worse than if you take you’re time and do one thing at a time. Even if you do get overwhelmed! also – BREATHE.
What is sparking your interest/inspiring you right now?
Right now? I’m obsessed with Christopher Kane’s F/W 11 collection. The fact that he incorporated the detailing of colored water into his pieces as well as accessories blows my mind, and also reminds me of being a 10 year old in the 90s, you can’t get more 90s than that. Also Italian street style. I’m visiting Italy in 6 days, and I can not WAIT to see what everyone wears. It’s my favorite inspiration.