Diary of a Magazine Intern


This article was published today by The Daily Touch HERE

As I have been talking about it so much, I thought it was high time I shared with you what went on during my week at Bliss Magazine.

As a 14 year old, I loved Bliss. I took its fashion as gospel, devoured its real life features, and read its relationship advice a million times over. In fact, my old issues of Bliss are still lurking under my bed, shrouded in six years of love-worn dust. I had a little flick through them the weekend before I started at Bliss, and despite the rather out-dated fashion stories (gypsy skirt and flares anyone?), their writing is still perfectly angled. Fun, friendly, and definitely not patronising, it is perhaps no wonder Bliss has survived whilst other teen magazine have fallen in recent years.

The first day at a work experience placement is never easy. I was barely out the door when my car broke down. ‘The train it is, then’, I thought, shaking my head in disbelief. I arrived outside the building no less than an HOUR early, despite the fact I had already lurked in a cafe for the hour previous sipping a nervous latte. Oh and I got locked in a department store toilet, which I then had to kick down. Just your standard kind of morning.

After a few minutes of lurking, repeated phone-checking and bin-man avoiding, I decided to go inside. I would like to say I am always this early for all appointments, but sadly I would be lying. My decision to head inside was partly swayed by a need to not be late for once in my life, but mostly swayed by the fact the air temperature outside was most definitely sub-zero. Chilly.

So I went in. Rang the little bell, pushed/ pulled all the doors the wrong way, and confused the security guard.

bliss mag

I was set to work almost straight away. First task: read and write a brief report on the daily news stories. This would turn out to be a regular task. As an avid (and proud) reader of The Daily Mail, what could be better? Perhaps the highlight of my daily news research was looking at Paddy Power’s odds on the survival of Katie Price’s latest marriage: cutting edge journalism at its very best.

As the week went on, I gradually spoke to more and more of the small but crazily effective team at Bliss, who are all lovely. If any of you have a copy of Bliss to hand right now, open it, take a look, and realise just how much content there is in that magazine: it’s crazy. Pages and pages of fragrance adverts are nowhere to be found: every page is quite literally stuffed with goodies. What I found even more impressive, is how ontop of their workload the team are. There was no panic and no rush. In fact, they were well ahead of their Friday print deadline, and already busy on the next month’s issue.

Any internship will give some good jobs, and some not so good. The good, for me, were features research and writing interview questions. The fact that the work I did would have some real impact on what went into the magazine was really satisfying. The not so good? You’ve guessed it: transcribing. Already not a fan of transcribing after the Design Museum press conference ‘incident’ (see my previous post), it is one of those necessary job evils. To be fair, the interviews I was asked to transcribe were interesting, funny, and insightful. To be honest, what makes it unpleasant is the simple fact that so many celebrities just cannot speak properly. One transcript, featuring a male singer (who will remain unnamed) in particular comes to mind. I don’t think he said a single coherant sentence in the entire interview. That, coupled with 50% of his vocabulary being the word ‘like’ made for a rather difficult afternoon’s transcribing. I will lap it all up under the name of experience though- surely I will never again experience an interview that bad (please?).

Perhaps the best thing about working at Bliss was the opportunity to talk to women who had similar career aspirations to myself. I was very reassured that many of them had studied the same degree as me, and the Sub Editor had even read English at Durham. Cue lots of chat about the city’s various dingy nightclubs (if they can be called that). Their advice, stories, and reassurance was quite simply invaluable. If anything, my week at Bliss only inspired me more to achieve my goals.

As the week drew to a close and the snow started pouring down, I was very sad to leave Bliss. The team offered me the chance to come back to do some further work experience, which I will definitely be taking them up on. As I tottered out of the office on Friday afternoon, goodie bag of make up in hand (a definite perk of magazines), I was feeling happy and confident after a great week. If my placement at Bliss taught me anything, it was to not be afraid or ashamed to be chasing what I want to do. There is an awful lot of pressure on graduates to immediately find that dream, 30k job. (Much of this pressure I feel from my mother who insists ‘any job is a job’…) But why should I be embarrassed that what I want to do will take a little longer to achieve? I know for one thing, it will certainly be worth it.

‘The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.’ Philip Roth.



Images: 20th Century Fox, Panini,

5 Responses to “Diary of a Magazine Intern”
  1. Thank you so much for this post! I’m starting a week of work experience at Bliss tomorrow and you’ve made me more excited than I already am to get there. Is it nerve wracking? I’m worried I won’t reach their expectations!

    • alysonlowe says:

      Hey Alannah! Ah I’m so pleased you found it useful! Congrats on getting the placement – the Bliss girls are such a lovely bunch, and I’m still friends with them now. I was nervous when I was driving to the office, but you will definitely settle in literally within minutes! Have you interned anywhere before? Bliss was my first internship but was definitely what started the ball rolling and got me to where I am now.

      Let me know how it goes 🙂 xxx

      • Ah thank you very much! Oh you’ve really really made me feel good about so thank you! I’ve met Charlie who works there before, so I can only assume they’re all as lovely. No, Bliss is my first so I’m hoping it’ll get the ball rolling like you. I will let you know how it goes- it’d be good to speak to you a little bit more too because you seem to be doing exactly the kind of thing I hope to when I complete my degree! And nooo way are we from the same town!? Small world! xxxx

      • alysonlowe says:

        Ahh amazing – I’ve known Charlie since I was literally about 5 haha, she lurks around Tenterden gym too so I sometimes see her when I’m home for the weekends. And of course, if you have any questions at all, literally fire away xx

    • alysonlowe says:

      Also – I just found you on Twitter – we are from the same town. Bizarre! x

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