XCity Plus has put together seven stories to make you glad you aren’t an intern.
Stevie Martin, holiday cover at Shortlist and Stylist and freelancer
“I BCC’d everyone at Bauer Media; Grazia, Empire, Heat, Closer, asking where the toilet was. It also went to all the radio brands too, like KISS and Magic FM. I remember people joke replying and someone said, ‘There is no toilet,’ and, ‘Good to ask around, make sure you get a non-biased sample for your answer.’ I know they were being nice but I wanted to jump out of the window.”
Katie Gatens, digital editor at Atlas Magazine by Etihad Airways
“On a placement, I was asked by the editor to take her card, get £100 out of her account and take it to the embassy for a journalist’s visa. I came back and thought it’d be funny to pretend I’d taken £600 out instead. She shouted at me in front of the whole office before I told her I was joking. I ended up getting a job there though.”
Lucy Kehoe, (Magazine, 2018)
“I was interning at a big women’s magazine and one of my jobs was to go and meet any PR people, take the goods, pretend I was interested and then kindly push them out the revolving door. I did it for a coffee company, a protein bar company, you get the idea. Then one day, on instruction, I went to meet a voluptuous blonde middle-aged woman in reception who was sat with a big black shiny bag.
“We said hello, exchanged pleasantries and then she told me she was from a company that made sex toys. She reached into the bag explaining each item including: a bullet vibrator, a feather ‘teaser’ and a huge cock ring. By this point I was red in the face, sweating horrifically and just wanted to sink into the walls. I managed to say thanks and scurry away upstairs and got back to find the team laughing their heads off. The features editor immediately opened the big black bag, took the bullet and said, ‘I’ll have this!’. It wasn’t all terrible though: I sold the cock ring for £86 and the feather teaser for £10.”
Arielle Weg, Meredith Corporation fellow, Cooking Light
“I took an internship at celeb website, The Dishh in Manhattan, New York. A week before I emailed the woman I had been dealing with and she didn’t reply, but I still showed up on day one. It turns out she had been fired a few weeks before, and no one knew I was coming. They decide to keep me and gave me $25 a day which didn’t even cover my train from New Jersey. The staff of four people were all in their 20s and were led by Jonathan Cheban, Kim Kardashian’s best friend. He would come into the office, was super rude and would play his TV show on three screens in the office. They would have secretive meetings and leave the interns for hours without instruction. Then in my second week on my way home from work whilst I was on the train I got an email saying they fired me. It was sent by a 20-year-old and I have still have no idea why I was let go.”
Alex Daniel, Multimedia Journalism student, Southampton Solent University
“One of my tasks at the independent football magazine Mundial was to iron t-shirts that they needed for a photoshoot. I have to say out of all the things I thought I may have been given to do during my placement, ironing wasn’t on that list. Think it’s fair to say the lads in the office found my poor ironing skills amusing. As I’m sure most 20-year-olds who still live at home with their mum will say ironing isn’t one of their strongest attributes and I’m no different, so I was very weary not to ruin any of the t-shirts. Thankfully no t-shirts were ruined in the process of my dodgy ironing much to relief of myself and everyone in the office, I hadn’t felt pressure like that since taking my driving test.”
Ex-Tatler Intern (Wants to remain anonymous)
“When I was interning at Tatler, they had the Teen Tatler ball. My job was to supervise the loos, which mean sitting with girls who had drunk too much, and reporting them so Tatler could ring their parents to get them to pick them up, as well as escort about-to-puke girls to the toilet. Vomit is my worst fear, it was terrible.”
Isis Almeida, Senior Agriculture Commodities Reporter, Bloomberg
“I once confused an Arab contact for a Brazilian one and greeting him with two kisses, as we always do back home in Brazil. That was pretty awful.”