Frances with a Copy of Grad Magazine

How I Got a Magazine Internship in Philly

Last spring, I thought I would feel a sense of relief once I submitted all my coursework for my junior year. But I couldn’t help feeling the anxiety of senior year—which meant finding an internship. Along with dipping my toes into the workforce, I’m required as a global media major to take the Internship in Communications course. The class helps prepare us for the workforce by learning about proper workplace behavior while also reflecting and discussing our experiences with other students.

Before we left for the summer, the Internship in Communications instructor, Chris Mullin, emailed a list of places to find media internships, including the Media & Communications department website and Phillyadclub.com. She also recommended that we read the Career Education Center’s advice on finding an internship and building a résumé and cover letter.

I jumped headfirst into the job market. Every morning I would wake up, check job listings, tweak my résumé and cover letter, and email several hiring managers. Emails to websites, tech startups, TV stations, radio stations, and magazines filled my sent mailbox. Oh god, I thought. Is this what my life is going to be life when I graduate? For weeks, I didn’t hear anything back.

The pressure was on when Chris emailed us again in mid-July asking for updates on our internship search. I had nothing to report.

Trying a new tactic, I started emailing Philly media companies I follow and asked if they offered internships. That’s when Grid magazine popped up in my head. I had first heard about the sustainable-minded publication in my Writing for Magazines class during my sophomore year. One of my classmates brought it in to discuss for our magazine market analysis. We learned that Grid covers Philadelphia environmental initiatives as well as community events supporting sustainability. Since then, I’ve been following the magazine online.

I did some digging and found out that they had offered internships in the past, but that they hadn’t posted anything for the fall. I searched for the managing editor’s email address. I sent her a short email about my interest in the magazine and asked if I could send her my cover letter and résumé for an internship.

When I heard back from her the next day, I grinned. This was a good sign. After sending her my cover letter and résumé, I was asked to come in for an interview. Almost immediately, I went to the search bar and googled “How to Prepare for an Interview.”

My professional attire, interview question cheat sheet, notebook, bag, travel information, and snacks were all set the night before. All that preparation paid off, because I was offered the internship the week afterward. I truly believe that I got this opportunity because my cold email showed initiative and was genuinely passionate and sincere.

Now, I’m officially the fall editorial intern for Grid magazine. I’m excited to go out on assignments like a real reporter and network with my employers. Also, getting a byline in a print magazine will be pretty awesome.