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My O Magazine Internship

Jasmine Babers

From LOVE GIRLS to Oprah Magazine

Love GIRLS Magazine D.C. was launched January 2014. One of the first ambitious writers to join the team was Bria Alston. Alston traveled to the Quad-Cities April 2014 to attend the Love Awards. She interviewed keynote speaker Monique Coleman of High School Musical. This was just the beginning of her adventures in media. We were thrilled to discover that just one year later she was interning for O Magazine.

Discovering that one of our own had received the internship of her dreams, we had lots of questions about her real world expereince.

LGM:
How did you learn about internship?

Alston:
I was on a website called ed2010.com looking for an academic internship for the fall.

LGM:
What was the application process?

Alston:
I sent my cover letter and resume to the contact in the internship description. The very next day, I received an email for an interview in New York.

LGM:
What kind of responsibilities did you have as an intern?

Alston:
My daily tasks consisted of working in the editorial closet. The editorial closet is full merchandise seen in O Magazine. We would bring bags that were in the closet the night before out into the hallway for the messengers. The bags came from different PR (public relation) companies working with Oprah Magazine. When a package is sent from one of the PR companies, interns record the information about the time, date, company, the editor it came in for, and the intern who checked it in. When editors were done with a story, we would send back the clothing and other items to the PR company. To track what we sent out, we had to record the same information as check-in, except it was going out.

LGM:
What did you learn?

Alston:
Be curious. When you ask questions editors are impressed because it shows that you want to learn more. By asking questions you learn more about what you're doing, and what goes on around you. One day, when I was sitting next to one of the freelancers, the fashion assistant asked her if she had the credits for the upcoming issue. After they tended to the situation, I asked the jewelry freelancer, "What are credits?"

She said, "Credits are the prices for the product that are displayed in the magazine. It has the company's website and price so that readers can purchase the product."

Another time, I asked the fashion assistant why certain editors receive the same brand name of items. She explained, "Each editor has a list of companies they work with."

I had no idea that there was an organized system when editors requested items and clothing from a certain brand. I also learned why certain stories are "killed" in a run-through. Some stories didn't make it to the issue because there weren't enough pages for it to run, or the creative direction simply did not like the story.

LGM:
How long was your internship?

Alston:
My internship was from September 3- December 18, 2014. I went in twice a week.

LGM:
What was the best advice you received during your internship?

Alston:
The editors always told us to carry a notebook. Carrying a notebook is very important because you can jot down notes for the day, this can help you remember them down the road for when you do the assignment again. It's also important to carry a notebook around because in my case, the editors saw that I was putting in effort to really understand and remember what I was doing. You can also write down your day-to-day tasks, and memorable moments you had that day.

LGM:
What are your plans and hopes for the future?

Alston:
I want to be an editor or Editor-in-Chief, or the creative director of a magazine. I also want to write and publish children books.