Category Archives: Intern Life

Giving Students and New Grads a Voice

You know I’m all about networking, seminars and interning to help you make the way towards your dream job, so it’s no surprise I would be all on board when I heard the country’s leading online career resource spot, TalentEgg.ca, was launching an awareness campaign to fight Gen-Y under-employment.

The platform is called Student Voice, and it’s mission is to give students the opportunity to voice their school-to-work transition concerns, experiences and wishes to Canadian employers. Each day students and new grads will be sharing their career-related stories, and so far almost two-dozen young professional have contributed.

And of course I was one of them. You can check out my story about something that is near and dear to me: unpaid internships. Read: Attract and Retain the Best Talent by Offering Paid Internships.

If you are a student or new grad with a positive career experience story or wish the job hunting process was a bit different for young professionals, I would encourage you to submit your story to this great campaign. We all need to work together to voice our opinions if we want things to get better for our generation!

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Guest Post for The Happy Freelancer

A little while ago I was asked by my Twitter friend and fellow PWAC member, Heidi Turner, to write a guest post for her wonderful writing blog. The Happy Freelancer shares many great personal stories as well as career advice for freelance writers. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to this wonderful online resource along with many other freelance writers whom I admire.

Check out the many inspiring posts as well as my guest post about my experiences as an intern in All Work and No Pay: Surviving Unpaid Internships.

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Starting Another Volume of the Intern Diaries: Rockin’ it with The Stereos

As I mentioned at the start of the year, I’ve commenced yet another edition of the intern diaries. This one is a little different than the rest; I’ve traded in publishing for some experience in public relations.

So far i’ve done everything from writing and editing press releases, to making press kits and picking out the perfect nail lacquers for an editors’ beauty shoot. One of the most exciting experiences thus far has been assisting at a media event for a clients’ new product launch.

The Goods

And what a great event it was. With a live performance from Canadian band The Stereos to compliment the launch of the rock-inspired line of hair products, to the delicious food and perfect rock n’ roll decor at Queen Street’s ULTRA Lounge my first PR event was a great success.

The guys after their performance

I got to meet a lot of beauty and lifestyle editors whom I’ve admired for quite some time, and even made friends with a few interns who were attending the event on behalf of their publication.

To top it all off the event was even crashed by a supermodel who had missed her flight to NYC that morning and came to hang out with her friends in The Stereos!

Photo By: Claudia Grieco

Supermodel TIIU KUIK (who has been in VOGUE and some of the most famous designer runways) with Claudia Grieco from The Kit. (Photo from Claudia's Blog)

Stay tuned for more pages from the intern diaries in the coming weeks.

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Should you work for Free?

Keeping up with all this intern talk, I found something else I’d like to share for all my past, present and future intern amigos.

My friend @laurenonizzle found this flow chart created by designer Jessica Hische.

You start in the middle and answer some YES and NO questions to find out if that unpaid internship/job is worth all your time and effort.

You will probably find this chart humorous and quite frankly very truthful, but I have to say it was a little quick to judge. While there are mixed views about working for free (tough competition, exploitative, necessary for success, slave labour) in these times I don’t really see a way you can’t get to where you want to go without one (or two, or three…).

Never mind the networking and hands-on experience, but internships give you a sneak peak into the word of whatever career you have your heart set on. And what better way to find out if it is really the right thing for you than having the chance to do a “trial run” per se for a few months. You may love it and know for certain that there is nothing else better for you, or you may find it was not how you imagined and go back to the drawing board for another shot at a career path that you will love and excel at.

Internships can be draining, emotional, intimidating, frustrating, exciting, and rewarding all at once. You have to believe in what you love to do enough to be willing to work for free (hopefully only for a little while anyway). You have to be smiling and helpful and eager to do whatever is thrown your way, even when you know you are above the task and you feel like yelling, “WHY WON’T YOU HIRE ME ALREADY?”

There's more to being an intern than coffee runs.

But in the end it is all about what you make of the opportunity. Be smart enough to pick an organization with a track record for good internship experiences, and talk with anyone and everyone you know about their experiences and words of wisdom. Don’t be shy. Ask the stupid questions. Get there early and bring a pen and a notebook. Always ask if there is anything more you can do. And don’t forget those thank you notes when it’s all over.

Be the best you can be.

You may be still waiting for your internship(s) to pay off (I know I am), but it will happen. One day. And when it does, I hope you remember to be nice to YOUR interns.

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This Time Last Year

It’s funny how you can look back on things  and decide they were even better than you previously gave them credit for. Like when you were younger and you couldn’t wait to drive a car, make money, or pick your own clothes.

I’m just getting into the groove of 2011, but I still find myself looking back. Looking back at Facebook photos, archived emails and blog posts that remind me of where I was and what I was doing exactly 12 months ago.

My first picture as a Pinellas News Intern

Not only was I still a journalism student last January, but I was also an intern at the Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. Who would have guessed it would have been such an exciting and such an eye-opening learning experience. Not me.

It all started with a trip down to the Sunshine State. Funny enough I’m back down here right now and I wish I could be spending my days again reporting for the community paper. But my internship is long over and whats more is that little paper no longer exists.

As I took a drive downtown yesterday to visit my old stomping grounds as an intern reporter, the nostalgia really set in. This little community that I had known as my vacation hideaway since I was three years old became a place full of lively stories and interesting people that I was so eager to meet and write about. In the beginning I was quite intimidated at the thought of having to report in a city where I hardly knew anyone or anything, but that all wore off quicker than I expected just by talking to the natives and doing as much research and exploring as I could.

The view of downtown St. Petersburg

Not only did the internship give me a ton of great reporting experience that I have been able to build upon in my career, it gave me many memories and a newfound appreciation of the city of St. Petersburg that I will keep with me and think about every time I come back to visit.

Reporting from President Obama's town hall meeting in Tampa

Looking for a dose of the past? You can check out the stories from week one, two, three and four of my internship.

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Intern Diaries: Vol. IV Conclusion

As the month (and the year) comes to an end so has editorial internship #4.

It has been an exciting and enjoyable past few months working in the fashion closet amongst creative minds, fashionable bodies and racks of couture garments. All of the hard work, early mornings, late nights and frantic deadlines have only made my love for magazines and fashion grow stronger. I won’t be able to open up a magazine without flipping to the masthead to make a mental note of all the important names and titles before I turn the pages to enjoy the beauty and expertise they have edited together for my viewing pleasure.

Click here to read my final blog post on the Interns’ picks for Best Dressed of 2010.

Below you can check out some of the photos from the ten-page January spread “Chalet Chic” which I was on set to assist with.

Photos from Next Models Canada

Stay tuned for another volume of the Intern Diaries starting in early 2011.

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Another Tale for the Intern Diaries

My internship is nearly complete and it has definitely been keeping me busy. So busy that I haven’t even shared any of my experiences. *tsk tsk*

The fictional magazine office from one of my favourite films, Funny Face

As I finally find a moment to step back and take it all in perspective, I thought I would share some of the highlights from the past few weeks as a fashion editorial intern.

Blog Posts

One of the best parts of my internship (naturally) has been contributing to the fashion blog. I haven’t had much fashion news writing experience before, so this has been a new and enjoyable learning experience.

You can check out my byline in these posts:

Photo Shoots

Another first for me has been assisting on set at editorial photo shoots for a magazine.  Spending a day on set for a fashion spread is part of the job description for many editors, and the amount of work that goes into getting that perfect shot totally fascinated me. Never mind all of the pre-planning to organize a location, props, hair and makeup artists, models, a photographer and of course a plethora of clothing, shoes and accessories to be featured, the day of the shoot is long and can be very hectic. The editors have a specific idea or theme in mind for the photos and it can be many takes until that perfect shot comes through the lens.

A small selection of the beautiful items I was responsible for packing, unpacking and documenting while on set.

I was on set for a spread that will be in the January issue of the magazine (you can check it out for yourself in a few weeks when it comes out). I was at the studio early and returned well after nightfall but it was quite exciting to be part of the behind the scenes planning and executing of the set, and I met some really talented industry professionals.

Modelling

Now I know you are probably thinking to yourself, “since when is modelling on the list of intern duties?” and, “Daniela who are you kidding?” but really I just couldn’t say no. I recently made my modelling debut on the fashion blog when a fellow intern asked me to help her out with a post she was writing about how to wear thigh-high socks. So in the name of fashion I put my insecurities aside and spent the day test out a few different pairs of socks for the comfort and style level and then reported my findings back to my fellow intern and one of the fashion editors. It turned out to be a fun and informative little experiment, and one more thing for me to add to my “life resume” as I like to call it.

The internship is not over yet and you can expect to hear a bit more in the coming weeks. Until then, feel free to mail me any spare TTC tokens you have lying around if you’d like to contribute to my internship. Thanks in advance.

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Interning 101

I saw this on my friend Nicole Wray‘s Blog a little while ago and thought it would be nice to share with all those I know who are interns right now or will be interns in the near future.

We could all use some reminders now and again to get where we want to be.

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The Intern Diaries: Volume IV

As I mentioned earlier, I will soon become an intern for the fourth time.

I’ll have to admit, I hoped I was done with this stage of my career but I’m still looking forward to another great learning opportunity, and a possible gateway to the working world. Unlike my pervious intern gigs, this one won’t be strictly editorial. I’ll be spending part of my time in the fashion closet sorting clothing and accessories, calling PR companies and designers and getting organized for fashion shoots, and the other half contributing to the fashion blog (It may sound glamorous, but I assure you it will be hard work). I’m super excited to get to experience the daily happenings at one of the country’s leading fashion magazines and I’m sure I will be meeting many talented people in the magazine industry along the way.

Stay tune for more additions to the Intern Diaries in the coming weeks for updates.

But before this all goes down, I’m off to the city that never sleeps for my own little adventure. I’ll tell you all about it when I return, and don’t worry I won’t keep you guessing about the exact magazine I’ll be interning at for much longer.

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The Intern Diaries Week Four: The Grand Finale

Some wise words

For some reason I have the lyrics of this old Sinatra song in my head as I write this post.  The end of my four week stint as an editorial intern at Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida has arrived. Four weeks, 21 stories, and dozens of Twitter updates later its time to go back to Canada for my last semester of J-school (more on that in a future post).

It seems like only yesterday I arrived down here, got my official press pass and started learning about this city by the bay. Four issues of the paper later, I have learned so much. There have been many high and low points, many great accomplishments and frustrating moments, exciting encounters, long hard days, and leisure time to explore.

I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities I was given at the paper (even if I was a little reluctant to learn Quark and Photoshop and get out there with that big Nikon camera). I can now say i’ve dabbled in almost every area of the newspaper business, and I’m sure if I stayed a little longer I would have been learning about the ads and circulation too. Although I’m looking forward to going home to see all my loved ones and get back to more learning at school, I’m sad to be leaving the internship, and, lets be honest, the subtropical weather.

Click here to read my articles in Pinellas News for January 29th.

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