Working at Condé Nast

bingeonvogue

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Hi girls - not sure if this is the right place to post this, feel free to delete if it's inappropriate

I've realized in the last year that I really want to work in the magazine/publishing industry. Ideally (and it's kind of embarrassing to admit this as it's such a huge goal) I would love to be a top editor at Vogue or W or some similar Condé Nast publication. I love writing and editing, and I know I want to work at a job that incorporates different aspects of my passions and strengths. I want to write but I love the glamour of the publishing industry (although I am, of course, aware that it's much more glamorized in movies etc. and the reality would be much more gritty). Does anyone have any tips on how I should start going about preparing for this and what kind of internships I should apply for..? (I'm so sad that Condé Nast cut it's intern program :sorry:)

I'm currently a junior at at top 10 universtiy, my GPA was bad freshman year but I've gotten it up in the past 2 years and last semester and this semester it's 4.0. The drawback is that I'm an international student and only have an F1 visa so I would really need to get hired soon after I graduate so that I can stay in the country... I'm considering taking a gap year to find internships so I can build my resumé before I graduate. Thanks so much everyone and sorry if this isn't the right place to post this -- I thought since there's so many insiders in the fashion industry on this forum someone might know something about this :oops: Superrr stressed because of this + my lack of citizenship rn... :cry:
 

vanitas

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I don't know much about fashion industry magazines specifically but if you want to get into publishing via writing it can help to have samples of work to hand which show your ability to write editorials.

I've written a few pieces for some small, not terribly well known design magazines (usually tutorials) and I had to show some samples of published work (luckily I'd previously written some advertorials for a company I worked for years ago, which really brought home to me how useful it is to have samples) and had to put together a proposal for some articles when I originally submitted to the first magazine.

I'd start by looking at a number of publications in the area that interests you, most websites have a section with submission guidelines and there's an article on the subject here:

http://www.writeraccess.com/blog/top-fashion-magazines-for-freelance-fashion-writers/

Finally, look at a number of magazines for entry level jobs and internships as many people start at one magazine and move to a different one once they've gained experience and proved themselves, so it's probably worth looking at a few different publications. I know someone who started working at a photography magazine, which was not her area of interest at all, but did well enough to then apply for and win a job working for a fine art magazine.

I realise my answer is not based on experience of the magazines you are interested in, and that also, as a freelancer, I'm talking about a slightly different type of employment, but I wanted to share what I knew because what you're aiming for is a completely achievable ambition and I've always found it surprising what information proves helpful to people in the long run. For example, if you were unable to secure a position in time for your visa, you could still work on submitting freelance ideas to a number of publications as a way of gaining experience for a the future.

best of luck!
 
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bingeonvogue

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I realise my answer is not based on experience of the magazines you are interested in, and that also, as a freelancer, I'm talking about a slightly different type of employment, but I wanted to share what I knew because what you're aiming for is a completely achievable ambition and I've always found it surprising what information proves helpful to people in the long run. For example, if you were unable to secure a position in time for your visa, you could still work on submitting freelance ideas to a number of publications as a way of gaining experience for a the future.
Thank you! :) Definitely checking the link out and you've given me lots to think about.
 

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gettingthere

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I don't have any insider info on journalism or the fashion industry, but I'm willing to bet that there are opportunities for you to gain experience at your university.

I know that in academia, it's really important to join a lab and get research experience as an undergraduate, and there are always professors looking for undergrads to help out with their research (you can even get course credit for working a lab). There might be similar opportunities in the journalism department, with professors who put out zines or other publications. Snoop around your university's website or approach your professors; they might know of something you can start on now. The experience--and a good letter of recommendation--would most likely give you the upper hand when you apply for competitive internships during your gap year.
 

sabine

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How old are you? I can't say much in terms of the academic/career steps you'll need to take, socially however, you need to get yourself as involved in the industry you hope to integrate into as you can possibly manage, make friends, go the parties, do favours for the people you hope to work for - prestigious internships will generally go to people that are already recognised and appreciated. Obviously you need talent and the skills - which it sounds as though you have, but this industry is as much of a members club as it is a group of talented, highly trained individuals. look for internships at younger, cooler, magazines for now and really get to know everyone you interact with there - those are the places W and Vogue will source their staff from in later years, plus countless people you work with will transition between magazines over time, if you make a good enough impression, they'll surely put in a good word for you when they do.
 

bingeonvogue

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I know that in academia, it's really important to join a lab and get research experience as an undergraduate, and there are always professors looking for undergrads to help out with their research (you can even get course credit for working a lab). There might be similar opportunities in the journalism department, with professors who put out zines or other publications.
Thanks! Will be trying these :luv:
 

bingeonvogue

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How old are you? I can't say much in terms of the academic/career steps you'll need to take, socially however, you need to get yourself as involved in the industry you hope to integrate into as you can possibly manage, make friends, go the parties, do favours for the people you hope to work for - prestigious internships will generally go to people that are already recognised and appreciated. Obviously you need talent and the skills - which it sounds as though you have, but this industry is as much of a members club as it is a group of talented, highly trained individuals. look for internships at younger, cooler, magazines for now and really get to know everyone you interact with there - those are the places W and Vogue will source their staff from in later years, plus countless people you work with will transition between magazines over time, if you make a good enough impression, they'll surely put in a good word for you when they do.
I'm 21 right now. Is that considered old to be breaking into the fashion industry?
What you say seems completely correct -- do you have any advice as to how I could start to get to know people in the industry? Most of the people around me are just in academia/ business people. The only vaguely fashion industry related person I know is a guy who's doing model work in Korea with Esteem but that's also a temporary thing until he goes to grad school (and he's not a super established/connected model either as he's only been working for a year). :wtf:

Thank you so so much for taking the time to reply as an insider -- I realllly appreciate it :luv:
 
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ssmini

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^ i would really like to know about this too, I'm also at university and 21, i been working with some magazines but as a freelance and really want to start working on W, Interview or i-D
 

Nanoushkaïa

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^ i would really like to know about this too, I'm also at university and 21, i been working with some magazines but as a freelance and really want to start working on W, Interview or i-D
What did you do as a freelance ?
 

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I know someone who works (paid role) at Vogue right with Miss W and is in her early 20s (I don't want to say her exact age for fear of identifying her). She went to a very prestigious college studying something totally unrelated to Fashion.
She had basically zero fashion experience.

Luck also plays a HUGE part.

I have found people either have:
1) extensive experience, social networking (worked their way up)
OR
2) are exceptionally academically and professionally successful in unrelated fields (impress via intelligence and sideways movement) - these people are usually much younger.


Good luck!
 
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ssmini

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This gives me so much hope :p
I wish i was at a prestigious university. mine sucks, we dont have chairs to seat, not tables, we cant have art history classes because the techology is stolen so classes are interrupted, plus they are stolen from the people who work on the univ.
We also used to have two headmasters becaude they fought for the position and they both wanted to be part of the univ, so we were in a place of shit, the other day a piece of the roof almost felt on one of the students head (she could have died) and after all this its still called a university.
2 years ago a man with a gun came in, Im on a position where i dont care finishing univ i just want to get a job and live this fucking city.
Fashion has been my dream since im 4 years old. I just wish an oportunity comes along so i can leave and hope my parents support me on buying an studio wherever it is or if not sharing it with someone idc right now i just want to persume my dreams.
I believe in art field you dont need a diploma although i have excellent grades im willing to give that up for my dream, i feel my time is now and i should leave my country but i dont have much money saved so i think i will need a roo mate if my aprent dont approve, which i dont care anymore
 
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RoseOfSteel

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I just want to chime in with my $0.02 to take up any opportunity that comes your way! College is a really cool place where you can try many, many different things. I'd recommend writing for as many groups as possible, dabbling in different areas. Is there any area in your school that you could take on a leadership role? Or an area where you think your school may be lacking, and you can add to it? My school had a bunch of groups and networks to join; they held events to network, workshops on how to apply/interview for jobs, etc.. As far as internships go, have you sat down with your career development folks? I didn't take full advantage of my school's opportunities until my last two years and I was amazed by all the had to offer, definitely wished I had checked it out sooner!
 

ssmini

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I truly hope your dreams come true in some capacity. I genuinely mean that.
thank you very much! I wish that could ever happen but my univ is a disaster i seriously cant believe how i study there there are rats, dirt, wall broken and as i said before the roof almost felt into a friends head.
Thats why i took the decision i want to leave and persume my dream on the fashion industry because it has always been my dream, so im just trying to make the connections
 

vanitas

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I believe in art field you dont need a diploma although i have excellent grades im willing to give that up for my dream, i feel my time is now and i should leave my country but i dont have much money saved so i think i will need a roo mate if my aprent dont approve, which i dont care anymore
You are completely correct about this. I have a degree in an unrelated field to the one I now work in, as do numerous people I know who are significantly more successful than I am in design.

What matters is that you are capable, able to network and promote yourself well and are persistent. A friend told me years ago that the people who succeed in creative professions are usually the ones who keep trying and to a certain extent, I think he was right.
 

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Seconding everyone saying that a lot of it comes down to networking and finding opportunities to build a portfolio of work and show people your abilities.

Another thing to think about is that the publishing industry--especially magazines--has changed a lot over the past ten to fifteen years. There's so much content for free online, so many people who are happy to write for free or very little, fewer people subscribing to or buying print, and magazines are still trying to figure out how to make decent money off their websites. So rates for writers in general are pretty low, and someone just starting out would probably be paid an honorarium rather real money. An entry-level job at a magazine would pay 30-50% less than entry-level jobs in growing industries--which is tough when most fashion publications are based in expensive cities.

Some people are passionate enough about the work that none of that matters to them, or they're talented enough to move up the ladder pretty quickly. But more than a few give it a try for a few years, then start wondering "Why am I working so hard for so little?" and end up trying to transition into related industries like PR, marketing, or corporate communications...or get married and drop out all together.

If you're really passionate about it, for sure go after it and see what happens; you don't want to be wondering "what if?" years later. Work hard, network like crazy, and keep your ears open for opportunities...but also keep your mind open to opportunities in other industries and keep your resume diverse in case you decide later to transition into something else. I've seen some very sad, bitter people in their late thirties and forties who didn't have the talent/opportunities to move up, stuck it out too long, and got trapped in jobs that they no longer enjoy and that pay badly.
 
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