Working at Condé Nast

elle_w00ds

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No doubt you will need to study some kind of journalism/professional communications degree.
Yes doubt. If you want to work in PR or fashion, a business degree is preferable and it also allows for more flexibility were you to decide differently later :)

I'll appropriate two of my friends for case studies:

Girl A is Danish, went to London to study marketing at London College of Fashion while working part time at that department store which isn't Harrod's throughout her course. She now does international PR for one of the major shoe brands (think Gianvito Rossi, not Birman or Schutz).

Girl B went to Georgetown for organisational studies while working for a contemporary prized boutique chain. She also completed an internship with a major auction house. She went on to write (and then edit) for a Condé Nast publication and is now in online retail.

Both girls come from extremely well connected families without which I highly doubt either of them would have landed the same jobs so shortly out of college. Both girls also come from minted families without which they wouldn't have been able to survive on fashion industry salaries.

If you have done any research at all you would probably already have stumbled upon this video, but I'll attach it just in case:
 
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PetiteLapin

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Reviving this very dead thread because I've recently realised that my dream would be to work for a fashion magazine. I realise that it may seem a very cliche goal due to the popularity of films such as DVP, but fashion and writing are both huge interests of mine and I can't think of a job that I'd enjoy more than working for a Condé Nast publication, even though I know that the process would be difficult, unlike it's portrayed in movies.

As this forum has grown quite a lot since the 2015, I was wondering whether any of you girls have any additional insider information as to how to optimise my chances at working at a Condé Nast (or similar) publication. I'm still in high school and have a 4.0 GPA and a 99% average in English. I'd be particularly interested in writing for a magazine, so if anyone has any pointers into the best colleges to aim for (I'm assuming somewhere in NY would be ideal in order to make connections and have access to more opportunities throughout the year?), which degree would be ideal, internships to apply for and how to best prepare myself now while I'm still in high school, I'd appreciate it so so so much :luvluv:
I don’t know about the fashion industry exactly but I just wrote a lot and self published as well as submitted. This started my portfolio. Not long after doing this, I started writing for the magazine I was a fan of (social sciences). Although I no longer work for this magazine, they come to me for help as I now do editorial work as a freelancer. I started writing for the magazine company while I was in high school. I also got accepted as a writer for the community magazine (youngest on the team for both magazines).

A writer’s resume is different from a regular office job resume so if you’d like, I would be more than happy to help you.

I started making the switch from social science articles to books and business articles. Due to my strong background, it wasn’t too difficult. However, I actually know some stuff about business. I’m just expanding my topics to expand my portfolio and make it easier to get a writing job in fields I know nothing about.
 
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jacquemuse

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@lattelover in case it's helpful: I found a post from a woman who, as far as I can tell, didn't really have connections but wrote like crazy and really hustled during university. She ended up at Teen Vogue (her focus wasn't fashion—she did news and politics writing) and is now writing for Refinery 29. She has a post on her writing experiences during university and how she got into Teen Vogue.

Although her path is a bit different than what you described wanting, I think it's useful just to understand mechanically what she did—how she got a first job, how she pitched to publications, how she leveraged her existing experience—as I find a lot of career advice doesn't necessarily give you steps to follow, or a way of specifically understanding what someone did to get to their current career.
 
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Snoopy

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Internships are what jobs in this industry are made of. Just start and get as many as you can and really apply yourself to try and meet as many people in the industry as you can through them and stay in touch.
 
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noyoudont

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A friend of mine just got a job at Condé Nast - we used to study law together and he realised it's not for him. He always had a love for photography, art and beauty and just started writing on some topics. Apparently he just sent his cv and a few pieces and photos as a sample and got a job (at least that's the story he's telling :jackoff:).
I guess if you'll just keep trying and have a bit of luck, it might work for you as well! Just thought this story might give you some hope/motivation.
 
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sentier

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Probably not somewhere anyone should aspire to work in this day and age. It is is ruins financially and I could probably see it lasting 3-5 years in its current state tbh. Sad but it's certainly not the place it used to be - better to work somewhere with a solid future IMO.
 
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SaintLaurentSkinny

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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 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 its intern program)
Hi! All of these tips are really great. I currently work in fashion as an Editor and a freelance fashion writer. Feel free to message me anytime!
 
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bingeonvogue

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Hi! All of these tips are really great. I currently work in fashion as an Editor and a freelance fashion writer. Feel free to message me anytime!
Haha thank you gorgeous, that's really lovely of you--I actually ended up going in a very different direction career-wise but I appreciate the offer a lot and maybe someone else can benefit. (Plus congrats on what sounds like an amazing career! :kiss:)
 
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Drew

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Congrats @bingeonvogue ! I'm glad everything worked out for you!

For anyone else who stumbles on this thread, though, I really have to second @sentier :

Probably not somewhere anyone should aspire to work in this day and age. It is is ruins financially and I could probably see it lasting 3-5 years in its current state tbh. Sad but it's certainly not the place it used to be - better to work somewhere with a solid future IMO.
Publishing and journalism are not great industries to get into. They've been cutting staff and budgets just about every year since 2008, if not before that. They're competing with free online content as well as with other, new at-home leisure activities that have gotten huge over the past 10-15 years--like gaming, endless TV and movies on Netlifx, and social media.

They've always paid poorly, too. When I got my first job in the industry 2007, my salary was $28k; it took me 10 years to get up to $55k. I'm freelancing now because the 3-hour round-trip commute from the suburb I could afford to live in was killing me with stress--and I can afford to freelance now only because my husband got a really well-paying job. I toughed it out on my own at first, but most young people have support from their families and a lot of more senior people have spouses who are well-paid.

And it's really not as glamorous as it looks in the movies. Most offices keep up an impressive reception area and a few really nice conference rooms for meeting with people from outside the company, but the office space for employees is pretty bad. In one of my old offices, for instance, mice and cockroaches showed up a few times a year, most of the computers were 5+ years old, broken chairs weren't repaired, the carpet was dingy and covered in coffee spills, conference rooms were tiny, the video conference equipment was more annoying than helpful, etc., etc. The big, semiannual meeting where new lists were introduced went from being an everyone-invited 3-day event in a hotel ballroom with a catered lunch and cocktail reception to a webinar all but the most senior people listened to at their desks while doing other work and trays of sandwiches plopped down in conference rooms.

And Conde Nast in particular is struggling.

The virus is making everything worse too: book sales are way down because so many book stores are closed and people are being more careful about spending. For instance, Netflix is $15/month, has thousand of hours of shows, and can be enjoyed with whoever you're quarantining with; while reading is mostly a solo activity and an issue of The New Yorker costs $9 and is maybe an afternoon's reading and a new book is at least $15 and probably gives you 5-10 hours of entertainment. People who are casual readers are also discovering that their libraries have a lot of ebooks.

It's really hard to say what the industry will look like after the virus calms down and its economic effects set in. Even if things turn out reasonably well, the industry's pre-existing problems are still huge.

All that said, I completely love my work and my colleagues are wonderful. The authors can be delightful. I still get a little thrill when an author puts my name in their acknowledgments. And I love everything about actual, physical books--jacket and page design, the jacket and cover materials and the binding, the typography, the page quality... Well-made books are one of the joys of my life. At my stage of life, I can't imagine working in another industry.

But--if I were young again and just finishing school, I'm not sure I'd do it again. I lived in a small, crummy, drafty student apartment with loud pot dealers next door for eight years. By the time I left, snow was coming in through a hole in the roof over the back stairs. I couldn't pay for a home internet connection until 2010, I drove a fifteen-year-old car, I never went anywhere on vacations... It took my husband and me five years to save up for a place of our own, and even then all we could afford was a foreclosed condo... We talked about having children then, but could never have afforded daycare or saved for their college. We're really, really fortunate that my husband was able to leave publishing for a better industry a few years ago.

I will never not love books, but the industry requires many, many sacrifices right now and probably many, many more in the future. And even then, you might get laid off in your 50s after spending twenty or thirty years at the same company (as I saw happen with several colleagues) and find it difficult to get a new job at the same salary.

If books or magazines are your life-long dream, then maybe all that's worth it to you. But it's helpful to keep in mind that dreams can easily change when you're young. Something you've never heard of right now could end up being a wonderful fit. And while you might love a career, careers aren't people. They can't love you back, they can't promise to always be with you, they don't care how much you sacrifice for them, and they don't feel bad about telling you to throw your shit in a box and get out.
 
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SaintLaurentSkinny

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Congrats @bingeonvogue ! I'm glad everything worked out for you!

For anyone else who stumbles on this thread, though, I really have to second @sentier :



Publishing and journalism are not great industries to get into. They've been cutting staff and budgets just about every year since 2008, if not before that. They're competing with free online content as well as with other, new at-home leisure activities that have gotten huge over the past 10-15 years--like gaming, endless TV and movies on Netlifx, and social media.

They've always paid poorly, too. When I got my first job in the industry 2007, my salary was $28k; it took me 10 years to get up to $55k. I'm freelancing now because the 3-hour round-trip commute from the suburb I could afford to live in was killing me with stress--and I can afford to freelance now only because my husband got a really well-paying job. I toughed it out on my own at first, but most young people have support from their families and a lot of more senior people have spouses who are well-paid.

And it's really not as glamorous as it looks in the movies. Most offices keep up an impressive reception area and a few really nice conference rooms for meeting with people from outside the company, but the office space for employees is pretty bad. In one of my old offices, for instance, mice and cockroaches showed up a few times a year, most of the computers were 5+ years old, broken chairs weren't repaired, the carpet was dingy and covered in coffee spills, conference rooms were tiny, the video conference equipment was more annoying than helpful, etc., etc. The big, semiannual meeting where new lists were introduced went from being an everyone-invited 3-day event in a hotel ballroom with a catered lunch and cocktail reception to a webinar all but the most senior people listened to at their desks while doing other work and trays of sandwiches plopped down in conference rooms.

And Conde Nast in particular is struggling.

The virus is making everything worse too: book sales are way down because so many book stores are closed and people are being more careful about spending. For instance, Netflix is $15/month, has thousand of hours of shows, and can be enjoyed with whoever you're quarantining with; while reading is mostly a solo activity and an issue of The New Yorker costs $9 and is maybe an afternoon's reading and a new book is at least $15 and probably gives you 5-10 hours of entertainment. People who are casual readers are also discovering that their libraries have a lot of ebooks.

It's really hard to say what the industry will look like after the virus calms down and its economic effects set in. Even if things turn out reasonably well, the industry's pre-existing problems are still huge.

All that said, I completely love my work and my colleagues are wonderful. The authors can be delightful. I still get a little thrill when an author puts my name in their acknowledgments. And I love everything about actual, physical books--jacket and page design, the jacket and cover materials and the binding, the typography, the page quality... Well-made books are one of the joys of my life. At my stage of life, I can't imagine working in another industry.

But--if I were young again and just finishing school, I'm not sure I'd do it again. I lived in a small, crummy, drafty student apartment with loud pot dealers next door for eight years. By the time I left, snow was coming in through a hole in the roof over the back stairs. I couldn't pay for a home internet connection until 2010, I drove a fifteen-year-old car, I never went anywhere on vacations... It took my husband and me five years to save up for a place of our own, and even then all we could afford was a foreclosed condo... We talked about having children then, but could never have afforded daycare or saved for their college. We're really, really fortunate that my husband was able to leave publishing for a better industry a few years ago.

I will never not love books, but the industry requires many, many sacrifices right now and probably many, many more in the future. And even then, you might get laid off in your 50s after spending twenty or thirty years at the same company (as I saw happen with several colleagues) and find it difficult to get a new job at the same salary.

If books or magazines are your life-long dream, then maybe all that's worth it to you. But it's helpful to keep in mind that dreams can easily change when you're young. Something you've never heard of right now could end up being a wonderful fit. And while you might love a career, careers aren't people. They can't love you back, they can't promise to always be with you, they don't care how much you sacrifice for them, and they don't feel bad about telling you to throw your shit in a box and get out.
I think everyone has a different experience. Yes, traditional publishing is suffering because the world has changed; we're mostly online now. But, that being said, there are a variety of online-only companies that are thriving. Example: The Coveteur, Fashionista, Into the Gloss, NY Mag's The Cut, Vice.com and new e-commerce companies that have writing and editing included. BOF is also doing very well. Regular magazines; no, it'll never be the same. Digital media is abundant but the new nature of the fashion game is changing rapidly every year. Most of my friends are making a very good salary at these new companies or revamped companies, myself included.

I would read this: https://fashionista.com/2019/01/fashion-editor-career-industry-future as well.

There are many new, exciting routes to take. They just won't be like people think; Carrie Bradshaw writing a column and making 100k+ a year. It just depends on what you're looking for.

P.S Conde Nast has always been shit.
 
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sentier

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I think everyone has a different experience. Yes, traditional publishing is suffering because the world has changed; we're mostly online now. But, that being said, there are a variety of online-only companies that are thriving. Example: The Coveteur, Fashionista, Into the Gloss, NY Mag's The Cut, Vice.com and new e-commerce companies that have writing and editing included. BOF is also doing very well. Regular magazines; no, it'll never be the same. Digital media is abundant but the new nature of the fashion game is changing rapidly every year. Most of my friends are making a very good salary at these new companies or revamped companies, myself included.

I would read this: https://fashionista.com/2019/01/fashion-editor-career-industry-future as well.

There are many new, exciting routes to take. They just won't be like people think; Carrie Bradshaw writing a column and making 100k+ a year. It just depends on what you're looking for.

P.S Conde Nast has always been shit.
Would be careful with some of this. For a long time everyone has propped up tech companies because they are popular with now only realising how many won't actually ever make any money. Uber was a great example last year of an IPO that went to shit just because we were all expected to think just because it was popular it was profitable. A couple of of these listed here, Vice as a prime example are certainly in bad shape.

Don't get me wrong, I would encourage everyone to follow their dreams here and find the right workplace (and congrats on your career, not trying to tear the post down at all) but my point is to all please do your research properly before working somewhere - just because they pay well doesn't mean they're always in good shape and don't want any of you lovely women here entering any sinking ships. I wish there was a way we could bring journalism back how it used to be, truly one of the most valuable professions there is.
 

daintease

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For a long time everyone has propped up tech companies because they are popular with now only realising how many won't actually ever make any money.
Can you elaborate on this? The tech industry, as you said, has always seemed like a pretty stable market to be in. I’m graduating in 2022 and I’m worried about what the (US) economy will look like when I enter the workforce. My resume’s decently competitive but with internships being rescinded all over the place, I’m also worried I won’t be able to beef it up before I graduate.