So this past Monday I started at Marie Claire as a beauty intern. And though I spend most of my time amidst a pile of the newest beauty products – I know, I must be dreaming, right? – I’ve learned a ton about fashion, the magazine industry, and snagging internships as well. Yeah, I’m excited to brag a little because THIS IS MY FREAKING DREAM, but also, I know just a few months ago I would’ve KILLED to hear about what goes on behind Hearst’s perfectly polished glass doors.

No one treats you like dirt and calls you fat.

I mean, seriously, I’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada. Don’t laugh at me, I didn’t know what to expect! Everyone’s actually really nice and smiley, and remembers your name. Then again, might not be the same at Vogue or other magazines. I’m just really grateful I’m working at such a friendly place!

It’s not always a walk in the park.

I think some people, including me at some point, have this idea that interns at fashion magazines just sit around all day and look at clothes. It’s actually REALLY exhausting. I work from 10-6 every day, and it feels like I’ve been there for 5 minutes because I’m constantly doing something, from calling companies to get new products in to organizing the beauty closet. Seriously, I get home and can barely make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I’m so tired.

You’re gonna feel stupid. A lot.

From getting way too nervous talking to higher ups to not being able to figure out how to open the stupid doors – you have to push a button first, ugh – I feel dumb all the time. But guess what? Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, at the magazine started as an intern, and I’m sure they felt like a total newbie for awhile too.

The Hearst cafeteria RULES.

Don’t even get me started on the sandwich line. Or the sushi line. Or the desserts. If you know me, you know that I love me some edamame. THEY SERVE IT THERE. Oh, and it’s a great place to creep on Nina Garcia, like I did on my first day.

You really do get free stuff.

Apparently the beauty department has a sale every few months, and the money they make goes to charity. But the interns and others working in the department get first dibs, for free! All I can say is, this better go down while I’m in town!

The industry is ridiculously fast-paced.

I mean, it’s insane. I’ll call in a product from a company, and it’ll be sent to me in less than an hour. If only it was like that at home when I’m online shopping! Sigh.

Everyone dresses to the nines…

I guess this is probably expected, but everyone’s outfits… oh my god. Every morning when I go into work, I spot at least 10 insanely awesome looks and think, “Damn, I wish I could steal that off her back…”

…but you feel stupid if you try too hard.

I felt pressure to wear heels to work for awhile, and then it occurred to me: the interns that wear heels have an incredibly rough time doing their jobs – that’s something no one in the industry can appreciate. Functionality over fashion, for sure.

Organization is key.

God, I can’t even tell you how many lists I make every day, complete with color coding. There’s always so much going on, I’d be a total wreck if I weren’t so OCD about organization.

It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more.

I probably sent in close to 200 applications for internships at magazines. If you plan on doing something similar, don’t ever feel like it’s not worth it. The city is amazing, the fashion and beauty are breathtaking, and the magazine industry is so exciting. Don’t give up!


Published by

Kate Foster

NYC-based writer. Beauty Assistant at Seventeen Magazine.