• thelittleboy

the tea on interning at Cosmopolitan UK

(and how I managed to get the opportunity)

here's little old me in the toilets of Cosmopolitan back in December 2019 (pre - pandemic). I made it a thing to take pictures every single day that I was there for memories, and if you

follow my private Instagram account you would have received the treat that is my Cosmo selfies collection everyday for four weeks straight. you're welcome x

the road to this internship was like the walk between Victoria Station and Victoria Coach Station - if you know, I'm sorry. if you don't, congratulations.

let's start with the fact that for months I was emailing multiple publications to see if they would take on an intern - keep in mind that the internship was for a uni module and without it, I wouldn't have passed my unit.

I estimate that I emailed over 100 publications; big ones, small ones, ones I hadn't heard of until I sent the application (not that that's relevant). my point is, unless you know someone who knows someone who knows someone in the journalism/media industry, your chances of getting an internship are slim, especially with the big companies. which brings me onto my next topic: UNIVERSITIES SHOULD NOT MAKE AN INDUSTRY PLACEMENT A COMPULSORY PART OF GRADED UNITS BECAUSE IT IS UNFAIR AND UPHOLDS THE ELITIST NOTION OF "it's all about your industry connections and wHo YoU kNoW".

moving on.

despite the industry's clear elitism, an opportunity may arise when you least expect it. I was three days away from an interview with the founder of a fashion news company before someone from Cosmopolitan emailed to say that they were impressed with my CV and cover letter, and wanted me to start the following Monday for a one month internship. love love love that for me!

here's what I did to get my internship:

I went onto the Cosmopolitan UK website to find the appropriate email, which I found here. I then emailed my CV and cover letter, with a brief introduction to myself and an explanation of what exactly I wanted from them.

that was really it; it took a few weeks to hear a reply - hence the reason why I had pursued another company - but they eventually got back to me around two weeks later.


my time at Cosmo was a dream come true. not only did I have the opportunity to mingle

with the industry experts, I had five articles published with them (four online and one in print).

here I am in the toilets of Sony HQ in Kensington on an important shoot, where they had free Tampax that I should've taken advantage of. >

what did my day to day life look like?

every day would be slightly different to the last, but I would have specific tasks each day that would need to be completed. these included bringing up the morning's newspapers and magazines from the library and getting rid of the ones from the day before, and delivering post around the office (at least 10 times a day because the staff at Cosmo are popular girls).

aside from that, I would either be researching, writing features, transcribing interviews and pitching in meetings (which I only actually did once and it was horrific; but don't get it twisted, it was deemed an impressive idea by the editor in chief!)

  • a side note about interview transcriptions: they will take hours, and I mean hours. maybe I'm just slow, but a 40 minute interview took me almost six hours (and I wish that was a joke) to transcribe, because of the constant pausing, rewinding and breaks to think about what was said because I just couldn't make it out from the recording.

as aforementioned, I was lucky enough to have four of my articles posted online and promoted on Cosmopolitan UK's social media accounts, as well as one in print which is HUGE when you're a 19 year old nobody.

achieving one of my (many) childhood dreams aged 19? not bad if I do say so myself.

I was also asked to rearrange a cupboard full of old issues which didn't bother me at all. I have a bit of a thing for organisation, neatness and putting things in order - until I kept finding older issues to go onto the shelves after using all available space. it took me around two hours to sort five boxes of newer issues and the cupboard of older issues.

walking into a magazine internship, what's the first thing to expect? The Devil Wears Prada springs to mind considering I watched it the day before I started, but it was an office filled with good vibes, freebies from companies like Dior and Giuseppe Zanotti, and a singing Santa the week before Christmas.

halfway through my third week, I assisted on a video shoot with Meghan Trainor (aka Miss 'All About That Bass'). you can watch the video here :)

assisting on the video shoot was probably the most stressful two days of my life. about an hour before I was due to go home, I was asked to assist with getting some kit together for a shoot that would be taking place the next day. we had to sort cables, battery packs, tripod, studio lights AND their stands, and then transport them down to the post room to be collected by the courier the next morning.

everything was done smoothly on our part, and we made it to Sony HQ two hours prior to shooting to set up the equipment. as you'll come to see further down this post, the courier was over an hour late, so we had under an hour to set up the mountain of equipment .

the shoot itself was done within 30 minutes, and I got to meet Meghan, her husband (who played Juni Cortez from Spy Kids - if you know, you know), as well as her entire entourage, including her mom, brother and managers.

I should add that I finished my month at Cosmopolitan UK with about £700 in FREE makeup - I'm talking Tatti Lashes, Chanel eyeshadows, Real Techniques brushes, Anastasia Beverly Hills pigments, Juicy Couture blushes, Givenchy Lipsticks - the list goes on. myself and another intern were treated to a makeup haul for free from the beauty department, and I have made an impressive collection of makeup and skincare from the 'freebie table', which would be restocked daily as more PR packages rolled in.

if you feel so inclined, you can read my features for Cosmopolitan UK here, here, here and here!

here's an insight from my *private* Snapchat about the day I was behind the scenes helping on the Meghan Trainor shoot - summed up in two photos.


- thelittleboy xo

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