8 Keys to Acing Your Editorial Internship
Congratulations! A publishing company has hired you as an intern. Now you will be busy reporting, writing, and editing until your head and hand starts aching. Unfortunately, they may not pay you for such hard work, but if you want to work as a full-time paid writer or editor some day, you have to take this internship seriously. See every opportunity given to you as a step towards your future career and reap every benefit you can. Here’s some useful advice for making the most out of this internship.
1. Ask questions.
When you are completely new to the office, you may feel silly to asking lots of questions. Do not worry, just breathe and remember that experts also asks questions. Ask questions and clarify your doubts and confusions regarding your work. When you are working on a story, ask questions of your editor as to what exactly he or she wants. Your editor will appreciate it and it will have a good impression on them.
2. Be curious and observant.
You need to be aware of every story, big or small, that the editorial team is preparing. Show your interest by offering your help and don’t worry about what kind of work it is, just be part of it. You also need to find out when the magazine is shipped out or what happens to the articles once it leaves the editor's desk. In short, you have to be aware of every event that is taking place inside and outside the office. If you are a part-time intern, you may need to work extra hours to keep yourself updated on the crucial events.
3. Attend meetings.
In editorial meetings, section leaders discuss various published and upcoming stories that you may find interesting. Attending such meetings not only increases your visibility, but you will also gain insight into your editor's way of thinking. You may get a clear understanding of which stories receive a lot of attention or those that prompt quick discussions, smiles, or even snores.
Ask your boss whether you can attend the meeting or not. If you get permission, take advantage of the opportunity and make notes of all the important points. You never know - this meeting may open new doors for you.
4. Keep a track of your assignments until the end.
Once you get an opportunity to work on a story, give it your best. Editors might not be surprised by every article you submit, but they will surely remember the hard work you have invested while working on the assignments. Do not forget about the article after submitting it. After a few days, remind your boss about the assignment, and ask your boss when the article will get published. Ask for feedback and look motivated to make further changes.
5. Cultivate your own stories.
Seeking out stories on your own can provide you can be beneficial. It demonstrates your readiness to try new ventures. It allows you to work on topics or stories that interest you and it gives you an opportunity to work with new people from new sections. The best way to get your work approved is by working on stories that are new and interesting. You also can choose a general topic and draft it in a novel way to give your readers an entirely new perspective. You need to think completely out of the box.
6. Take a feedback like a professional.
Now that you have submitted your story, you are excitedly waiting for a feedback from your editor. Your excitement may wain as soon as you see your article covered with red ink. Take a deep breath and try take it in positively. Understand your mistakes and ask your editor to elaborate on their comments. You can also ask your editor for a few minutes so that you can discuss the entire article with them. This may help you to understand a lot about their preferences and what changes they would like to see in your story.
7. Find mentors.
Much of our career relies on people with whom we have maintained a healthy relationship. Build as many relationships you can during your internship. If you are not able to develop a strong connection with your editor, try spending time with your editor by having lunch together or maybe a cup coffee every once in awhile. They would love to share their success stories and struggles they had to reach where they are today.
If you have talented colleagues, you should mingle with them to learn about your field. Once you develop a friendship with them, they will surely give useful advice from time to time that may prove significant in your career.
8. Collect your clips.
The stories you have created and references you have developed during an internship is the key to enter the world of journalism. You need to save both hard and electronic copies of your published stories. You should keep track of newspapers or magazines in which your stories were published, so that you can record it in a document. For the electronic copies, you may need to ask the company for access to high resolution PDF files so that you have the quality and type of files needed when you submit clips.
Above all, enjoy your internship and cherish the experiences you have as they will definitely help you in the future. Journalism jobs are very exciting, and if you work hard in your internship then you are surely going to win a front-row seat of a journalist.