Monday, 30 January 2012


Once again it's been quite a while since I posted. Work has been really busy, and like I said last time I feel like a bit of a fraud writing about interning when I haven't been one since last June.
While I'm really happy to have my job it is a freelance position which means no job security, something which I discovered a few days before Christmas when my boss told me there wouldn't be the budget for me to work the next project in January. By this time it was too late to secure work for the new year so I became resigned to an uncertain 2012. My boss has assured me I'll be returning in February when the next issue starts work but the prospect of an entire month not earning was still rather daunting, especially when as freelance holiday and sick pay are something I am not initialled to. 
I'm in the fortunate position that I can *just about* afford to have this month off. I'm moving into a new house which needs to be entirely gutted so I'm back home with Ma & Pa (no rent - free food!) and heading out early every morning to head to my new place for endless, painful days and nights of ripping up carpets and steaming off wallpaper. If I did have to work this month the likelihood is I'd be living in a building site until Easter at the earliest. So this month the nights out, clothes, and other luxuries are definitely out and some nights I wake up in a cold sweat wondering what I'm going do if I don't go back to work in February (I still don't have a start date) - how the hell am I going to pay for this bloody house?!

While I am worried about the future and keeping my eyes peeled for new opportunities (best to cover your back - always have a plan B) I know that as scary as things are right now it could be worse. My best friend lives in Sweden and had been interning at a magazine. It looked like she too was on the road to great things - and no doubt she totally is, it's just she's reached a stumbling block. The magazine in question took her on as a freelance stylist, but in a familiar turn of events the budget for her was cut. While she has tried to find other work the opportunities are fewer there and with only a few months experience she has made the brave and difficult discussion to start interning again, and not only that, but a completely new profession. I know that whatever she does she'll be amazing. Talent always shines through, but both our situations have taught me two things, the first being NEVER take anything you have for granted. The second - people really need to buy more magazines.

Also thank you for all for your emails. It's been really nice to speak to so many of you and I hope I've been of some use and able to offer any small piece of advice. Like I said in my last post if any of you fancy taking a stand and writing on here about your experiences, your hopes, your fears just tap me out an email.

Friday, 23 September 2011


It's been a couple of months since I last blogged, and the job I was offered on a part time basis has turned into something a little bit more permanent so most of my time has been taken up with that that and my main blog. Obviously I'm thrilled and love my new job. I'm currently working on our Christmas issue and can't wait to get the decorations up! (I know it's only September...)

One of the things I've struggled with is having my own interns now. Maybe it's because it's not so long ago I was one of them but I find it so difficult to ask them to do anything so I end up running about like a mad woman - or giving them really nice tasks and letting them go on shoots while I'll do all the crappy jobs. Hopefully I'll adjust soon. So while it's great to have this job I'm not counting my chickens yet. I've seen a girl on a year long paid internship at a major UK fashion weekly basically go back on the scrap heap when she couldn't find a fashion assistant position at the end of her time there. Fingers crossed I'll be fine but you can't help thinking of the horror stories or feeling slightly undeserving when I know there are so many great interns out there just waiting to be noticed.

Speaking of being undeserving, getting this job has in some ways shown me peoples true colours. When I was offered my job I was conscious of keeping it under my hat until I'd had my first day and was sure it was mine. I didn't want to upset any of my intern friends by shouting from the rooftops. I've had it done to me in the past so I didn't want to be insensitive. When I finally told everyone I was so surprised and touched by how genuinely happy they were for me... well all but one. Someone who had been a friend prior to my interning but was also trying to break into the industry took it rather badly, and took to slagging me off to other friends. Apparently it's 'unfair' that I finally have a job and I 'don't deserve it'. He also made bizarre claims that he had applied for my job and been interviewed for it when it was never even advertised. Bizarre. Just goes to show if you put your energy into negative things you'll never get anywhere.

Anyway, London Fashion Week has just finished which like the rest of the fashion industry relies on interns. I've been going to fashion week for the last six or seven seasons with my blog so have never had the experience of being an intern in that environment but after spending most of this last year interning at various magazines and websites I definitely have a new found respect for the long hours and lack of respect they generally receive.

That said if this is the industry you want to get into fashion week is a great place to start building up experience, whether that's in PR, journalism, styling, photography, illustration etc. and as it isn't a long-term commitment you get the chance to sample what the reality of your dream job might be. I spent the week attempting to meet up with girls I'd been interning with this last year who were working front of house/as dressers/doing show reports as part of their new internships. It's a great way to get your foot in the door so keep your eyes peeled on twitter in the run up to next seasons shows. You should see loads of SOS tweets from designers, magazines, bloggers and PR companies all desperate for your assistance.

Also I've been feeling like this blog could do with a little new blood. When I started it a few months ago I couldn't really see that far into the future or imagine where a job would come from so assumed that I'd be blogging here all the time with my intern highs and lows. So if you are an intern and are as frustrated as i was, get in touch. You don't have to be a fashion intern, it can be anything from politics to the music industry. Anything. You don't even have to be doing your internship in the UK. So if you'd like to do a guest post email me at and let off some steam!

Monday, 20 June 2011


So this has been a crazy week for me. This time last week I was sat on my sofa wondering what internships to apply for next when an email came through on my phone. I didn't recognise the name and sort of skimmed through, "wondered if  you would like to work on..." - I've had lots of emails like that. Obviously the last one I got turned out to be amazing but mainly they tend to be from other bloggers who seem to think they can arse-lick you into writing their blog for them as a contributor, for free, like it's a privilege. But this one was different, and I started to get excited "I can pay you £XX per day..." hang on... someone is offering me MONEY!!!
I know you shouldn't be motivated by money but try being high and mighty about it when you've been working full time, with no breaks, for 9 months, for FREE, watching all of your friends making holiday/festival plans and wanting to scream. This made me take the email very seriously indeed and I had to read through it several times before I could convince myself that this was a real job offer not some crazy person getting their kicks from pranking interns. It wasn't just the money that got me worrying I was the victim of a hoax, it was the amazing job on offer, fashion assistant on the inhouse magazine of an iconic London department store. Ummmmm.... where do I sign???
Then the icing on the cake, the editor was also looking for an assistant to help on separate commercial work and would I be interested, again for money.
I was so excited, I just wanted to phone everybody, message everyone but some how I remained calm, lets not get carried away now, I didn't even have a start date, so I kept it zipped determined not to become the fashion world's Cheryl Cole. I think maybe I was just so excited and so stunned that someone was offering me paid work I was terrified of having the rug pulled from under me.

Well, I start tomorrow!
It's a fantastic opportunity and I'm feeling a little bit 'circle of life' about it - I used to work on the shop floor of this department store in my second year at university. Again I have my stylist fairy godmother to thank for this. The same person who recommended me for the last internship put my name forward for this. I am so thankful and amazed, it just goes to show you never know who notices you or who you've made an impression on - naturally I plan to repay her kindness in massive quantities of wine.

It isn't a permanent position as the magazine only comes out twice a year but fingers crossed it will lead to other fantastic things - so long as I don't muck this up.
As I'm typing this I'm still trying to decide what the hell I'm going to wear tomorrow. All of my good fortune has taken it's toll on my fashion mojo and I've spent most of today standing dumbfounded in front of my wardrobe.
I feel really lucky to be working on this project, especially after meeting up with a friend in the week who is well into year two of his fashion industry interning. It seems so unfair that some people get jobs handed to them from family connections while others run themselves into the ground for so little reward, but I have faith that he will get there soon - as I've learnt it seems to all be down to luck.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


It's been rather a long time since I blogged. That hasn't been down to a lack of material, more a lack of time. I've finished my placement at the last place I told you all about, a major women's UK fashion weekly, which turned out to be the worst one I've done so far. Re-reading my last post I'm surprised at how diplomatic I was about the situation, or perhaps I was still in a 'think positive' frame of mind. By the end of my time there I was itching to leave. Like I said, no one there was openly nasty but the whiff of contempt that wafted in our direction really did start to grind us down after a couple of weeks - as did the ridiculous 'tasks' asked of us by some of the stylists which we were duped into doing on the grounds of them being 'magazine buisness'. Of course they never were, and involved us trailing around London collecting items lost on various drunken nights out. The stylists spent their days on Facebook and bitching about us not making them enough tea, and when the office manager invited us to look through a beauty sale they had already ransacked we were met with whispers of "What the fuck are they doing?", "So rude!" and "Ohmahgod!". Only two people in the whole office bothered to learn our names and when one girl only managed to come in for five days of the month no one noticed. Stylists would ask you questions and walk away from you while you were answering which is hardly inspiring or confidence boosting. When I start to get a little down about the fact I don't have a paid job I always tell myself that it's ok, because I'm still learning, the point of internships is to learn and develop but the fact is I don't think I learned a single thing while I was there.

Over Easter I decided to take a little break from interning. I still haven't come up with a career plan b so I thought maybe a break from the industry would help, I spent a few weeks temping in an office (the fact I earned my last wage in September 2010 also contributed to this). I didn't get much of a chance to sit and contemplate my future, after a week and a bit I was emailed by the style editor of a UK celeb/fashion magazine. A stylist I'd worked with at one of my past internships was freelancing there and when their current intern bailed she recommended me. That stunned me if I'm honest as I hardly knew her, I didn't spend too much time with her in the office, although I did assist her on a shoot, but I never expected her to remember me - let alone hold on to my contact details. I spent a few hours weighing up my options, I was supposed to be temping for another two weeks and in my head I'd already spent my as yet unearned money, but on the other hand it's not everyday that someone takes the trouble to contact you directly... So here I am - skint again! So far it's proved to be a very wise decision. Originally I was due to be here for four days, that became two weeks, two weeks became a month, and my security pass has just been extended for another month. I feel like I've been here forever. This magazine is owned by the same publisher as the last one but the difference in attitudes couldn't be greater. The respect given to interns here is amazing, beyond anything I ever expected or experienced in the past. The fact that they're so grateful makes me blush, and even if they aren't able to keep me on I won't resent it, they have undoubtedly restored my faith in the industry, and who knows who's going to think of you in the future. So maybe I did learn something after all, no matter how bleak and depressing it seems, never lose hope.

Monday, 11 April 2011


I haven't been doing much blogging lately. My newest work placement seem to be absorbing all of my free time and the journey to and from work seems to take longer everyday.
So far it's not too bad, though it isn't what many of you might expect from one of the biggest UK weekly magazines. Take eight interns, give them five chairs, a tiny office, one computer, and one phone and you get my daily working environment. - Cozy, and, erm, warm.
Thankfully we all get on really well, minus one who's stupidity must be seen to be believed, so much so that I will be doing a post on her 'best bits'. Prepare to be astonished that such a person can navigate their way into such a respected magazine office... but like I said, that is for another time.
We don't really get much interaction from the permanent members of the fashion team which isn't really great, especially as this industry is all about building up contacts and meeting people. I'm not actually sure that they even know our names. It's not that anyone has been mean, we're just on the other side of the office and they simply don't have any interest in us. We are the latest batch of interns, here today, gone tomorrow, and though I don't agree with it I sort of see their point. It must be annoying to have an endless stream of new faces, never staying more then a month or so. I suppose some people would think it's pointless getting to know us, but I would like to think that once I have a job it wouldn't kill me to say good morning or smile in the lift.
As this is the start of week three and little progress has been made sniffing out a full-time post our thoughts in the cupboard have turned to plan b. Five of us are studying, one is on a gap year and two of us have graduated. Some of the girls still in education have decided this isn't the path for them, the gap year girl is trying to weigh up if this is worth it, while myself and my fellow grad are starting to ask ourselves how long can we realistically continue to intern (I'm into my seventh month, she's onto her eighth). The problem is neither of us have a plan b... not even a hint of one. Perhaps we're going slightly mad amid all the returns and credits but possible careers so far have included baker, florist, and fruit seller. Whatever, they make for some pretty funny conversations.
We do keep coming back to founding our own magazine, but sadly we are lacking in funds so anyone out there with a huge disposable income who would like to set up a kick-ass new UK based fashion magazine, my email is in the top corner!
So until I have some kind of epiphany this is my lot, but like I said, it's not all bad, I've met some amazing girls so far - and as we all know young people are the future, so those who let us do their dirty work and blank us better watch out - we're coming for your jobs!

Monday, 28 March 2011


I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all of your support and comments on the blog. It really has been overwhelming, especially as this is quite a niche subject. I've been a little quiet over the past few days trying to get all my freelance work done before I started my newest internship today, so if I haven't replied to your message or comment yet I will be doing so asap.

So many of you have been asking for help and advice on getting internships so I'll be doing a post about my experiences, and tips about what has worked for me.

So often internships can feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall. The past two weeks have been especially challenging for me and made me question my approach in the way I operate.

I mentioned in my first post that the magazine I had been working for had a paid position going that I had applied for, I was told that it was likely they would want to see me to discuss it and that I was in with a pretty good shot. The optimism of an intern is easily built. Could it be? Was I about to finally get paid? ...errrrm, not exactly.

Never underestimate your rivals.

Mine was a 24 year old gay guy with a degree in graphic design. When we first started working together everything I said was eye wateringly hilarious, everything I wore was stunning and beautiful, I could not shake him off at lunch times, he actually stood outside the toilet on one of my attempts to lose him for an hour. How quickly these things change when you are both going for the same job. Overnight I wasn't so funny, or pretty, or well dressed, and my hair was no longer that interesting, the rest of the fashion department, however were all of these things. All I could do was look on aghast as he managed to seduce every member of the staff with a shower of bullshit compliments. Now here is the rub, I am a 23 year old girl, and if I walked into an office and behaved like a bunch of strangers were my bestest friends they'd be gossiping behind my back like I was some obsessive psycho who was probably lezzing out on them. In short, they would want me out. How do you fight that fire? Well surely the fact your hugely overqualified for the position and your experience massively outstrips his should help, right? You're up against a man with no prior fashion experience, and one other internship relating to his degree subject. This is a man who needed you to sit him down and teach him what Fashion Monitor was, and when you ask him why the sudden desire for a career in fashion he replies,

"Cuz graphics is kinda boring innit, and fashion is, well, it's more exciting, innit?"

They might like you but they love him.

And it's at that point you bang your head against that wall.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


- So somedays as an intern are better then others.
Monday was spent basking in the beautiful spring sunshine assisting on a fashion shoot for a UK weekly magazine at a 1950's diner by the side of the river.
It's not all bad.