and yes, they wear their trackies and running shoes around the office!
22.06.2009 - 26.06.2009 17 °C
I spent the week doing work experience for the ladies (and one guy) of Women's Health, a two-year old publication produced out of a tiny office in the massive North Sydney Pacific Magazines building. The atmosphere was just as you'd expect: friendly and laid back, plastered with past magazine covers and Triple J (alt. music radio station) playing in the corner...and the writers and editors running around in their active wear after their lunch break (and yeah, they're all quite fit!)
The week breakdown was as follows...
Monday: I spent the morning compiling possible story ideas from news pieces and features I cut out of The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, and the Sydney Morning Herald weekend sections, tagging them as one of the magazine's six feature categories: fitness & health, money & career, mind & wellbeing, sex & relationships, food & nutrition, and beauty & style. This was a great way to start each morning.
Afterwards Hanna, a writer, sent me on an errand: for a pricing piece she was working on, I had to run over to the IGA supermarket and buy two types of muesli (the Black & Gold home brand and more expensive Carmens) and batteries (home brand for a whopping $1.60), which she tested along with high and low-priced toothpaste, chocolate, etc. to figure out if the extra money is worth it. (For the record, IGA batteries last for only two hours in a flashlight, and skimping on pricier muesli means you're also skimping on flavor.)
After lunch the beauty editor, Nicole, asked me to put away several bags of products she'd been sent to test: Chanel makeup, Benefit face scrubs, Dermalogica day creams, lotions from the Body Shop, and more shampoo and conditioner, serums, eye creams and nail polishes than I could use in a year. Everything's kept in what resembles a narrow walk-in closet, and I had quite a lot of fun checking out the products as I crammed them onto the overfilled shelves. I became increasingly envious every time I went downstairs to pick up the mail and ended up picking up two or three bags for Nicole, each elegantly wrapped and ribbon-ed like glamorous little presents.
Tuesday: After perusing the papers for story ideas, I retyped a couple stories from previous US Men's Health issues for an upcoming issue (much of the men's and women's Australian version reuses content from the US publications), then spent the rest of the day transcribing an interview about internet vs. digital radios for Alice, the men's and women's magazine editorial coordinator, and part of an interview features editor Tara conducted with Helen Fisher, an author from the US who wrote a book about match.com and how couples come together based on their biological personality types. Needless to say, my fingers were very sore when I left the office.
Wednesday: Today I finished transcribing Tara's interview, then Alice set me up with an organizing project: taking a towering pile of folders filled with every article's rough draft, notes, and research from the July issue, and sorting it into three plastic-sleeve filled binders. In numerical page order. That task took me close to three hours to complete.
Thursday: Today was a day of research for Alice and Bessie, a writer and associate editor. The topics? Everything from how music affects your health and fitness (upbeat music makes you run 15% faster!), to recent breakthrough research about sex and relationships, fitness, and...coffee. Apparently there's a caffeinated sunscreen being developed.
Friday: The staff decided to have a bake-off today, so everyone brought in an array of cupcakes, cookies and sweet bread - plus avocado salad and a tower made of carrot sticks. This is a health magazine, after all. Michael Jackson songs played all morning in memory of the King of Pop, whose death I still can't believe. "Beat It" was my favorite song of his, and I remember playing it nonstop on my way to gymnastics class, refusing to get out of the car until the song finished.
Between cookies, I also helped Bessie research for an upcoming article about bouldering (essentially rock climbing, but without the ropes, harness, or height above about six meters.) I called various climbing gyms and companies to find out safety tips from the experts, compiled a list of "climbing terms," and called an additional list of stores around NSW to see if they could send us climbing shoes, crash mats, chalk buckets, and other bouldering gear for an accompanying photo shoot. Considering I had no idea what bouldering was before I started researching, I now feel like an expert on the subject.
So there you have it! Another internship to grace my resume, and I didn't even have to get anyone coffee.