The Most Important Thing You Should Do While Interning



There's no doubt that Eleanor Pendleton has an enviable career. The 20-something digital beauty publisher has worked everywhere from InStyle Australia, to Cosmopolitan Australia, and the Sydney Morning Herald, before she launched her own website and digital beauty magazine, Gritty Pretty. She’s seen huge success thus far, tapping Australian beauties Miranda Kerr and Lara Worthington to front past covers of the mag. So it’s no wonder girls are always asking Pendleton for career advice. In a recent interview with Career Squad (a new website aimed at helping you find your passion), she opened up about the importance of interning and work experience.

“Completing work experience during study (as opposed to after graduating) is imperative [if you want to work in the magazine and publishing industry]. I used my time as an intern as a precious learning experience—I soaked up my surroundings, relished in being given small, menial tasks such as photocopying, handing out mail, and fetching coffees. No job was too big (or too small) for me. I was so excited to just be there and watch these glamorous, intelligent, and creative women work, and I saw value and purpose for being an unpaid intern—MAKING CONTACTS.” She explained that her first role (editorial coordinator and beauty writer at the now-defunct Cosmopolitan Hair & Beauty, Cosmopolitan Bride, and Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazines) was thanks to her internship. “I landed the job because I had been an intern at those magazines for the past six months. The importance of an internship is making contacts and being present. If you can make a good enough impression, you’re going to be the first person the editor thinks of when the time comes to fill a coordinator position. Publishing is a competitive industry, and a small one, so work experience is everything when it comes to squeezing a foot into the door.”

So there you have it. If a career in publishing is for you, consider searching for internships and giving it your all—you never know who you'll meet, or where it'll get you!

Read more of Eleanor Pendleton's interview over at Career Squad.

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