My S(ummer) Internship Experience

6 Aug

(Originally posted on May 28, 2010)

Lunch with the Editorial Team of S and CL

I have rendered my internship in Mega Publishing Group located at the 18th floor of Strata 100 building in Ortigas and was assigned to their entertainment magazine, S. Because it’s an entertainment magazine, everything revolved around prominent personalities in the country which are mostly celebrities.

In my first day, I was immediately asked to write a press release of the current issue of the magazine. So I reviewed the issue right away and wrote a press release based on the template given by the editorial assistant. Then I was asked to write public relations articles for a few products. There were only four people in the room –the graphic artist, the editorial assistant, the managing editor and me I never imagined a magazine can be run only by a few people. The editor-in-chief was not there because I was informed he was on a meeting that day.

I was given more tasks as days passed by. I have experienced editing proof copies, where I always have to watch out for tagalog words that needed to be italicized, typographical errors, and ensure facts are correct in photo captions. I also had fun reading and encoding letters to the editor. I have also prepared questions for the interviews, interviewed people and transcribed the interview recordings.

I was also tasked to write a couple of feature stories for the July issue of the magazine. Most of them are short stories which are mostly for star events like album launches, premiere nights and press conferences. The longest story I’ve written was about the collection of former TV personality Aubrey Miles which will occupy four pages including the photos.

There are also days when you don’t have to write anything. In these days, I have filed and sorted out photos and files, contacted people in charge of events, followed-up with stories, sent complimentary copies of the magazines to photographers and contributors, did research on the profiles of future interviewees, looked for pegs for scheduled photo shoots and assisted the editorial assistant in coordinating with other departments.

To cap off my internship, I have participated in a photo shoot of celebrities for the cover of the July issue. It was a very tiring yet a memorable experience.

With all these, I have learned a few things.

One is to really be friendly around your colleagues. When you’re new, you’ve got to start off from scratch. You have to be familiar with the system and you can only get through this with the help of a companion and later on a friend in the office. Another is that you cannot have a good working relationship with everyone, because some people just want to keep for themselves. In those times, you have to realize that those kinds of people shouldn’t bother you and you just have to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Deadlines are very important. You cannot have a valid excuse for not meeting deadlines no matter how much you already have on your plate. It’s also very important to be honest in the interview. This helps in setting the right expectations. I remembered being very frank with my interviewer who’s the managing editor. I told him that as a journalism intern, I can do anything that meets the four categories in my evaluation form. And if I feel something is not right, I will tell him right away. Well, that time came when he asked me to steam the clothes of the celebrities in the morning of a photo shoot. I told him straight up that I didn’t feel it was part of my internship. He didn’t agree with me but he didn’t let me do it anyway. That incident sort of caused a conflict between the two of us and should I say a bad experience for me. But I guess internship is not all about the good stuff. It’s all about getting exposed in the real world that is waiting for you after graduation. And whether you like it or not, the real world is not your ideal world. There are so many challenges and hardships. Well, it wouldn’t be called work for nothing, right?

As a whole, the experience was all about a mutual relationship. You give some and you take some. And in the case of my internship, you can never really tell if you have given more than what you have taken. What’s important is that you were able get a feel of what it’s like to work in an environment that you will most likely be after graduation.

At the end of my internship, there are four categories in my evaluation form as a journalism student intern –desk work, research, interviewing and writing. Fortunately, I was able to achieve all of these four during my internship for S magazine of the Mega Publishing Group. What can I say? It had been a very productive summer for me.

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