When I was in high school, the thought of working as a writer at Vogue, for me, was better than getting the opportunity to meet Mick Jagger in person. It was everything. It was the reason why I worked tirelessly in all of my English/creative writing classes in high school. It was the reason why I fought my way in to publications at age 18 to start my freelancing career. Hell, it is the reason I am doing what I am doing here today.
I don’t want to quote Drake right now, but I see no other option … :::sigh::: in the editorial world you truly gotta start from the bottom so in 20 years you can say “now we here!” Gross, let’s disregard that moment, shall we. Moving on. So internships in college are a must. I truly believe you can’t get anywhere in the editorial world without them. And hearing that Condé Nast has axed their internship program is devastating on so many levels.
When I realized I couldn’t just waltz into Vogue and start writing after I graduated high school, I got hungry for editorial internships. Mind you this was during the “LC and Whitney Teen Vogue” era … and every girl in her 20’s who thought she had an ounce of style was fighting for these prized positions so she could sit in a style closet, pretend to type on a Mac computer and discuss boy drama and last night’s events at Le Deux with fellow interns.
I won’t lie to any of you though. I met one of my best friends at a style internship. And we (sometimes) sat in our intern office on our Mac computers and kind of felt like Whitney and LC, but secretly loathed them at the same time because we were the real deal. Unlike them, we spent our internships fact checking and looking for any and every opportunity to get a chance to be published in the mag and impress out editors. And no, this was NOT a Condé internship. We were hungry … and if we got the opportunity to go to Paris, we would have gone. Lauren didn’t go to Paris. Lauren stayed at the beach with her boyfriend. How did that work out for you? (Sorry I couldn’t help but drop that epic quote from The Hills).
I’m devastated for my once 18-year-old self and current hungry young style writers with big Condé Nast dreams that will never be fulfilled. I get it, high-powered editors are sick of toying around with interns who are just there to be “there” or don’t give a shit, or feel entitled and just want “Vogue Magazine Intern” on their resumes. There is nothing worse than a shitty intern. BUT … there are diamonds in the sea of slackers, high-powered editors, there are diamonds.
For young, driven style writers (ew I sound like I’m 80), walking in to an internship should be intimidating, yet one of the most memorable moments of your life. It should be something you want to throw your entire self into. It should make you want to ask questions, ask more questions, and go above and beyond your role as an intern. Saddle up because you will be asked to do some shit-tay things … but do it with a smile. You might not get paid, and if you DO get paid ANYTHING … get down on your knees and thank sweet Jesus, because in my day (hello … I’m a granny), that was a rarity. Do everything in your God damn power to have your editor say to you on your last day, “you’re hired.” If you don’t feel that in an internship … kindly leave.
But for the young writers with crushed Condé dreams, your careers aren’t over. Trust. There is life outside of Condé, believe me. Just because the curtains have closed on the Condé internship program doesn’t mean one day you won’t be rubbing shoulders with Anna Wintour somewhere. Truth.
Signing off … your wise, old granny style writer :::shaking cane:::