Tuesday, 10 May 2011

My Glamour internship...

Switching from uni life to a “London intern” was nerve racking but looking back I adapted quickly.  Commuting to London was a learning curve and after fretting about what impression I would make was pleasantly surprised at how the Glamour girls accepted little old me.  After all, they have seen lots of interns and my inner self was saying they were probably all better.  Self deprecation isn’t a bad thing as well as first day nerves, they all help you strike the right impression.  I did wonder though if I had done the right thing, as I was missing two weeks of term but as my uni lecturer says, this type of experience is absolutely vital to making your degree worthwhile.

I know it is common knowledge that you will be told not to worry about what you are wearing but I, of course did.  With a little help from my Mum – she is good at knowing what not to wear and there’s nothing like a Mum to give you the truth.   I settled for a peach chiffon frill blouse, a pair of khaki paper bag trousers and a tan pair of loafers to compliment my trusty Mulberry!  One thing to note; commuting requires a comfort factor which I quickly adapted to by choosing comfy shoes and taking heels to change into. 

I saw this issue right from the start in the dummy folder all they way to print on the shop shelf!

Week One

Wow!  I am exhausted after a few days into my first week and can see now how much energy goes into all the pages of Glamour.  Task number one was to conduct a poll in Oxford Street.  Sounds easy but when faced with pouring rain and a few cold shoulders; it was a pretty taxing task.  I had to ask three questions aimed at women who were likely “Glamour” candidates and record my findings for the features team.  I learnt as I went along that if I sounded confident I would be able to get these women to really open up.

OMG have been asked to find a pink watering can – needed for photo shoot.  As I am not an avid gardener was slightly panicked by this.  But hey, a little help from the Daily Mail’s YOU magazine pointed me to Sarah Raven’s products on line and voilà, mission accomplished.  I also requested a seedling tray to loan and both items were sent off to the photographer for a feature on money.
Later on in the week I saw the finished feature up on the wall and was proud to see my contribution.

I now know what a “dummy run” is – each month the pages in the dummy mag are updated with all the new stockists.  I am amazed at how much I have learnt by the first week.

Week Two

Something I have learnt is that in this industry if you want to progress you need a good address book.  It is all about talking to as many people as you can.  As nervous as I was, I made myself approach the Events Manager, for GQ and Glamour, Michelle Russell, as I was intent on introducing myself.  I have a real interest in fashion events and knew that I could not miss the opportunity to get myself known to her.   I am glad the nerves did not take the better of me, as she was a warm and friendly person who instantly sat down with me and gave me valuable advice and tips.

Even a Glamour girl would not miss out on a sweet treat in the afternoon to accompany a cup of tea, so I headed down to Selfridges with the editor’s special card to get two boxes of free Krispy Kreme Donuts.  It meant half an hour more in the gym for me that night, as I could not resist one!

I gained a good idea of the techniques for interviewing celebrities because I transcribed the recordings for the entertainment editor.  It was great cos’ I got a sneak preview of the WOTY awards winners.  But, that’s for me to know and you to find out…

I wish I had taken some tips from my weekend job waitressing at weddings because that would have prepared me for my next task – flower arranging.  I was given a budget and headed to Fortnum and Mason, which I thought was a safe option.  I didn’t then realise that I had to arrange them for Jo, the Editor, who was being filmed at her desk and needed a floral creation.  So I panicked, may be a little too much, at the thought of my creation being on TV, and having made a phone call to Mum was feeling a little more confident with the bouquet I had chosen.  However, Sophie, the PA, commented that it looked a little Christmasy and slightly wild.  Panic reappeared and so I tried to frantically create a summer creation.  Joined in the kitchen by a member of the Art Team, I recovered what could have been a disaster and we managed to redress the situation.   It was just my luck that a beautiful bouquet arrived from Mulberry quite coincidently and really did show up my amateur floristry skills.  Is the WI looking for younger members?

Week Three

Really pleased that I have involved my family into this internship (I’m not so sure they are though!)– Dad is dropping me off at the station, Mum helps with the daily outfits and the big brothers are good for testing out Glamour ideas. 

A competition to win a celebrity handbag was an insight – have you ever wondered who wins these competitions and whether they really do happen.  Well they do and I parcelled out a Daisy Lowe, Eliza Doolittle, Kat Deeley, Kylie and Jessie J handbag full of goodies.  How lucky were they to receive these. 

Kylie's handbag

The Beauty Department also needed help with finding matching lipsticks in a box full of more lipsticks that I have seen in my life!  I had to then get in touch with the press offices to check the prices – it was quite odd calling up and saying, “Hello, this is Charlotte calling from Glamour magazine” – might I just add, the number one women’s magazine in Britain!

A girl and especially a Glamour girl can never have enough beauty aids, so when I was invited to a sale in one of the other Conde Nast offices where everything was on offer for 50p, it was a dream come true!

Week Four

Oh yes, I must mention my celebrity spotting – Dermot O’Leary – on one of my daily walks running errands to either Vogue House or on a Pret run to pick up a few Flat whites for the office. 

This week took me out and about taking candid camera shots and short face-to-face interviews in and around Oxford Street for the next Vox Pops feature.  I was on a manhunt but as Scarlett joked, that was fine just as long as I actually did the Vox Pops too!  Quite nervous about doing this at first but really enjoyed the challenge and surprised at how most people are very receptive to giving you info, even men!

Really getting into the stride of commuting to London and have even taken to reading the evening Standard and Metro, morning and night – a first for me.

Week Five

The highlight of this week was my invitation to go on a photo shoot with Emma, from the Picture’s Team.  I stayed up in London with a friend so that I could get to Finsbury Park easily.  The shoot was at a photographers house, very shabby chic and gorgeous.  Learnt a lot, I helped steam the clothes, pick up breakfast and lunch from M&S and I really enjoyed meeting the models, even though the male model was two hours late!  Can’t wait to see the two features in print!

On the last day I decided to end my Glamour internship with some little cup cakes from Fortnum and Mason.  Very fitting for a Glamour Girl…

Finally, intern is the wrong word for my work experience – doesn’t it mean detained, restricted or confined.  On the contrary, I felt stimulated, appreciated and motivated and loved every minute of being there.

Look out for the August issue for my vox pop article!

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