Sunday, 30 August 2015

Why Is It So Hard To Get A Magazine Internship In 2015?

I've been wondering for some time how it is possible, that in a world full of creatives, the only people that manage to land an internship in certain sectors are people that know someone, or get incredibly lucky. As an example, Cosmopolitan gets thousands upon thousands of work experience placement requests every year. How can a young person wanting to get their foot in the door of this industry ever expect to get an internship when they're struggling to stand out in an e-mail inbox full of the same underlying question: Please give me a chance.

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Teen Vogue Handbook: A must read for anyone wanting to work in fashion, magazine, journalism or design.


It's getting harder and harder to be noticed.

These days big Youtube or Instagram stars get more opportunities than someone that has studied and slaved away for a small chance to get noticed. It's not fair, but it's happening more and more.  The masses flock to individuals with a large following and buy their products. It's endorsement, rigged up to look like hard work. It's the Zoella's of the world not writing one word of their books, but the struggling writer that spent 20 hours writing the first chapter doesn't get a second look.

 A degree doesn't mean a whole lot these days, it's the work experience you manage to land that will ultimatley get you a job if you manage to impress anyone whilst doing coffee-runs. The sickening thing about going to University is that you should come out with a better paying job, but most graduates hoping to work in a magazine or fashion job can hope for an internship if they're lucky. Is this right? Should people study for 3 years and then be happy to then get an internship? Is it acceptable to study for three years and then be on an intern wage at 21 just to be able to boast a company such as Conde Nast on your CV? It's an unspoken truth that landing work experience at some of the larger publishing and fashion companies is just a frosting for your CV.

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"People will say 'Oh I love Vogue!' but when I ask them to tell me something specific they liked or a photographer whose work they enjoy, they look at me as if I'm crazy." - Anna Wintour
 Stereotypes are creating delusion.

Something that makes it so hard to land an internship or job is the stereotype around working within a magazine. You're around celebrities, it's glamorous and  you get invited to lots of different parties every week. I wish this was a stereotype that didn't exist because it makes so many young girls want to work in a magazine when the only name they really know is Anna Wintour. There is no reality check that can make a girl see that magazines aren't glamour and fun all the time. Films like 'The Devil Wears Prada' create a world people want to live in, but the reality is that the girl desperately wanting that work experience will never get it, and a girl whose Dad knows the Teen Vogue employee will.

 A magazine is hundreds of passionate people pulling pages together to create something beautiful that women and girls can enjoy. I can't say I'm not jealous of the people that manage to grab some kind of internship or coffee running job at these companies, but I would sure love to be given a chance to gain an insight into the industry before I'm deleted from the e-mail inbox.

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What are your thoughts on the stereotype around magazines and internships? 

You can read my previous post here.

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Natasha Kendall Blog

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28 comments

  1. I don't approve of unpaid internships at all - they just perpetuate mediocrity in my mind, as only those with wealthy parents can do them. Paid ones? Well, I remember well the challenge of getting my first job - I applied for over 90 jobs - each with a hand written letter and a cv typed on a manual typewriter. Now, it's so easy to send out a major mailshot. And that makes it harder still. Just be tenacious.

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  2. I don't agree with unpaid work, whether it before 'experience or not'. I'm very lucky in that I have a job I really love in and industry that's sadly never going to have a demise.

    Cat x

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  3. That's so true, I definitely find myself in what you wrote especially the first paragraph. I live on the French Riviera and here it works like this most of the time - you have to know someone who knows someone. Very stressful and frustrating. But step by step I will get to it with hard work.
    xx kindest regards to you, keep inspiring us with awesome posts!

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  4. It's the old story of needing experience to gain a job but needed a job to gain experience.

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  5. With such competition it is difficult to get noticed. I'm not sure I agree with unpaid internships as you can only afford to do them if you have good financial backing from family etc.

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  6. I'm on the other end of the spectrum I do agree with unpaid internships provided they are for a short period of time. As a makeup artist the only way to start off in the industry is working for free one of the biggest artists in the industry, Kevyn Aucoin still did test shoots when he was earning 10K plus a week.

    In this day and age unfortunately it is who you know and how big your name is which I do not agree with. I have heard of ballsy people pretty much taking up camp at HQ's and trying to speak directly to the right person. Maybe if you make enough nosie you will get heard x

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  7. It really is difficult. Ir elapsed that when I graduated at 21- so 10 years ago now. Even back then it didn't matter about your degree, it was all about experience. It's so tough, but you just have to keeplookpng for those opportunities. I think networking is more important than a killer CV as well. Trying to stand out is near impossible now. It's a lucky break. x

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  8. They must have so many applications - I'm not sure I agree with unpaid ones at all, after all they would run a job or two for free on all the applications they get which just isn't right. It's a shame its so hard to get a leg up in some jobs now though. x

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  9. Ah I wish there was some sort of magic wand - it seems like such a tough industry to get noticed in. I hope you get your big break soon x

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  10. You are so right about the whole big youtuber getting their foot in the door for having a huge following but the girl who has slaved away for years to be able to make something of her life is ignored. I hate the way working at a magazine is portrayed in films, sure it looks glamourous but the road to success and to do a job you actually love is long and hard. I bet half the girls who apply for internships wouldn't last very long whilst someone who is perfect maybe overlooked. Internships are baffling to me but I won't go into how I feel about them as I will be sat here all night! Great post by the way, you are an incredible writer.

    Georgia x

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  11. I think it's the same with creative sector, unless you know someone it's hard to get your foot in the door.

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  12. It seems that this is the way the world is going, it's so sad that so many hugely tallented people get missed!

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  13. It is really hard to stand out these days in many fields, but I find especially creative fields. Hard work just doesn't seem to be enough anymore and it really isn't fair. Thank you for posting x

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  14. It is so difficult now to get noticed amongst others especially in creative fields.
    Great post

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  15. It's hard to get into any industries these days! Unfortunately, it's about who you know.

    Catstello | www.cattitudeandco.uk

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  16. Its not good being unpaid... HOWEVER.... when hubby became an airline pilot... I know a completely different job, he had to work unpaid for 6 months to show them how good he was before getting a contract. It was written up that it was only 6 months and if he didn't do it, he wouldn't have got the job newly qualified. He took out a study loan to cover his expenses in that time and we lived frugally on his small "finance income and my wage" We haven't looked back since! Sometimes you have to do something others wont!

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    1. That's a good example of why to do unpaid internships. I agree with them to an extent. I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend that would support me if I wanted to do one but I guess it's hard for people straight out of university going back to living at home - it doesn't look great when you want to show that your degree hasn't been for nothing if you end up working for pennies or for free! x

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  17. I am on the fence really. I don't think you should have to do unpaid and I think travelling expenses should be given x

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  18. I can understand the struggles of internships and getting into your chosen line of work. I've applied for loads of apprenticeships and such, all coming back to me with a 'you don't have the right qualifications' even after all the time and effort I put into studies.

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  19. It seems like there is a struggle across a lot of industries at the minute to get work. And a lot of times it seems to be who you know rather than what you know

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  20. Well it is like everywhere else, unless you know someone who knows someone it is hard to get noticed these days

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  21. I've just completed my magazine journalism degree and this is so so true. Unpaid internships are a joke and it is so hard to break into the industry.

    Daniella | Freshly Pressed Beauty

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    1. I am considering doing a magazine journalism masters after i graduate next year; do you think it is a worthwhile thing for access to the industry after? x

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  22. It isn't so much the big bloggers/youtubers that frustrate me but the celebrities. The Zoella thing with the book was annoying - i am someone who loves stories and has wanted to publish a book since i could write! - but she did build up her blog following and put in a lot of work to get the following she has today.

    I'm more annoyed with the celebrities who put their name to a clothing line when they literally are famous for marrying someone famous. Zoella has a lot more talent than those people!

    I agree though - i want to work in the magazine industry and often don't even get a rejection response; just silence. I'm also a features editor for my student paper and trying to secure interview contacts is impossible! People simply don't reply. I try and come up with the most intriguing email title possible, but i am left wondering what more i can do?

    Writing Possibility

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  23. It is so difficult - I do worry for my eldest daughter currently studying English and journalism at university as to what job she will find. Kaz x

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  24. To me it does feel that sometimes the real talented one go ware due to not having enough network but also on the other hand I have seen some genuine internships

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  25. This was very interesting x

    http://itszoee.blogspot.com.au

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  26. I have never applied to an internship like that so I can't really answer your question. HOWEVER - I agree that it's super hard to get noticed in a blogosphere with so many talented bloggers. But I guess the important thing is to never stop working and believing in yourself x

    Cristina, xo // My Cup of Tea

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