Checking in again

So now I’ve been at Shape for six weeks and have three weeks left. It’s weird because that seems like so few, but it’s still one third of my internship.

The biggest thing I’ve realized is just how laid back the atmosphere is. After my experiences with Mizzou journalism, I guess I was expecting much more intensity, and it took me a while to realize that that’s just how it is. I can take an hour for lunch, I can check my e-mail at work — as long as I get my assignments done by the end of the day. I’m not sure if this is a difference between weeklies and monthlies, or if that’s just how Shape operates. But it’s been great because it means there’s time for me to talk and have fun with my boss, befriend some other interns, and meet editors and staff members at other publications for  lunch or coffee.

I’ve continued doing the smaller intern tasks, which include researching celebrities, transcribing interviews, mailing give-aways, calling publicists and getting press pictures. But I’ve also gotten to do a lot more than that. The fact that I am the only intern reporting to my boss has made much of her work with me a team effort. I’ve been amazed by how much she trusts me, my work and my opinions. She gave me a section of the September cover profile to write on my own. After we got comments back from her editors, we looked through them together, and then she gave me half the piece to revise. I brainstormed many of the heads, deks and subtitles that ended up in the copy. And because she is a writer much more than an editor, I’m her proofreader, and she has me copy edit everything she writes before sending it to the next level.

I’ve also been doing more on the publicity side of things. My boss had me contacting publicists about potential meetings and interviews, and I was responsible for acquiring press photos and book and album covers for a story package. Plus, I get to go to shoots. Shape is working to use more celebrities as models for fitness, beauty and fashion stories, so it falls to my boss to book the celebs and schedule their shoots. I recently went to a fitness story shoot to observe and take notes — and I also got to hang out with the star. Upcoming next week we’re shooting a fashion story all around Times Square.

So I’m getting writing, publicity and research experience with my primarily role, and I’m also reporting to the copy chief to get in some more editing. I’m very glad for this because I actually enjoy copy editing and could realistically see myself starting my career in an entry-level copy desk position. The copy chief seemed to be impressed by my skills, catches and diligence, so she regularly sends me pages to proof and stories to edit. It comes and goes based on when stories come through, but it has been a nice way to supplement my other responsibilities. Plus, working on two parts of the magazine’s production has helped keep me busy when one side of things slows down.


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