I was reluctant to begin this piece with such a cliché, but quite frankly, it’s the utter truth: ever since my pre-teen years, I’ve known that my future career will one day lie in the realm of a glossy magazine. From religiously turning the pages of my then beloved issues of Mizz
, I found myself struck by an overwhelming sense of realisation. In hindsight, it really was a no-brainer, but the 12-year old, perhaps somewhat naive me came to understand that my profound affinity for writing and my (healthy) obsession with the fashion industry could be utilised. So the next time I became faced with the number one worst question I could possibly be asked: ‘Oh you study English, so you want to be a teacher?
’ I would attempt to hide my disdain and reply: ‘No, I’m going to become a fashion writer
’. As confident and determined as I was (and still am), I knew that I was in for the long road. The burning truth is that as exciting and glamorous as it may seem the competition is fierce and there are millions of girls my age who aspire to the same position. I’m no professional, but I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories for example, that the industry can be mean and people will do everything and anything to try and beat you to the top spot. Luckily for me, I was in no way prepared to let this happen…
The main thing that fashion mags love to see is experience experience and some more experience, but how do you get experience with a blank cv? You have to start with nothing at some point, right? Work experience in the magazine industry is like gold-dust. So after copious amounts of perseverance, determination and patience, I eventually landed a variety of fashion writing jobs and was granted a couple of press trips to London Fashion Week. Feeling like ever the optimist, I decided to test my luck and apply for work experience at heat magazine. I applied via Go Think Big (gothinkbig.co.uk), the online platform where Bauer media and other huge organisations advertise work experience and internship opportunities, by submitting my cv and extremely well-planned cover letter (standing out is key!). After hearing nothing for over a month, my instincts told me that I hadn’t been successful. Oh, how wrong I was…two weeks ago I received a very important phone call asking me to join the fashion & beauty desk for one week’s work experience. Naturally, I was ecstatic and before I knew it, I was making my way to the head office located in the heart of central London, with Leicester Square and Covent Garden on its doorstep. Filled with a combination of apprehension, pride, but most of all excitement, I entered the building and was immediately welcomed by the lovely fashion team. I sat at my desk and was introduced to the variety of tasks that I would be performing for the duration of the week. Despite the vast amount of hard work that the heat team put in to making the magazine such a success, I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly, relaxed atmosphere in the office, causing my nerves (butterflies) and any preconceived notions to be banished. My supervisor for the week was the Junior Style Writer, Hannah Brimson, who sat at the desk next to mine. It really was a pleasure to work so closely with her; I admired her professional, light-hearted nature, and how she made me feel involved as a part of the team.
My main duties included: taking charge of press sample returns and courier deliveries, calling and answering the phone to PR companies (I felt so happy being able to say ‘Hello, heat…’), creating looks for the magazine’s ‘get the look’ feature, transcribing celeb interviews, writing ‘who wore it best’ stories for heatworld.com, price and style matching, and writing captions for the Jennifer Aniston LBD red carpet looks (which were actually printed in the mag, along with my name on the ‘this week’s burning question’ page – super cool, I know!). There was no task that I didn’t enjoy doing, I genuinely loved every minute of it – including the office perks such as the special delivery of hummingbird cupcakes! Whenever I had a query, the team were always more than happy to help, making me feel entirely in my comfort zone and most importantly treating me with respect. Seven hours (including an hour for lunch) seemed to go too fast for my liking and by the end of each working day I really did not want to leave! After completing my final day *sobs* I left heat towers with an element of sadness, but with my head held high and brimming with new-found knowledge and experience. My lovely supervisor even handed me an amazing gift to thank me for my work (as if working in the office wasn’t a treat in itself!). But it really shows that a lot of diligence and enthusiasm goes a long way, because next month I embark upon a two week placement at heat’s sister magazine, Closer. I’m confident that things will keep going up from here and I’ll be sure to pop back into the heat office to say hello to some familiar faces!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my wonderful experience. If you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll try my best to answer them.
And in case you want to have a little nosey, here are the links to the stories I wrote for heatworld…
Post to you soon! xoxo