Lorraine's Blog: Internships: what you need to know

We've all been there



(Jacket by Vanessa Bruno, T-shirt by Cos, jeans by J Brand at Donna Ida, shoes by Dune, bag and sunglasses, both by Chanel)


My career started as an intern at The Cornish Times aged 16 (you all know the story by now!). I worked on the weekly paper for a summer and never went back to school. I wanted to be a journalist and nothing would stop me. The chance to intern at a local newspaper, where I was well mentored and nurtured, confirmed for me that I was making the right career choice. Those early days hold a very special place in my heart – my summer of hope, ambition and new experiences.

I myself have been privileged to learn from and work with many wonderful interns over my years in both daily newspapers and monthly magazines. Three of my PAs started at ELLE as paid interns: one is now a commissioning editor on the features desk here, another has just landed a big editorship at a rival glossy and a third is on a groundbreaking website. I am proud of them all and I am still in touch with them all. I am more than a referee on their CV; they are friends and I have been honoured to attend their weddings and watch them develop amazing skills.

This is one of the reasons I launched Edited by the Interns, an initiative to champion young women (as most of our paid interns at ELLE are women) along the path to career success. To show how we nurture and mentor our paid intern candidates at ELLE, I would like to know what you think of the project for our October issue. Comment below. So if you want my job, this is how you go about getting it! And if you want to be sure to get this issue to find out who our winning interns are, subscribe now. To find out more, follow me on Twitter @LorraineELLE as we judge those who have entered.


(Bag by Chanel)

Look what I found! One of my favourite Chanel bags and the Jubilee is its moment. Coco would approve.


(Shoes by Dune)

These are my most summery pair. Florals? Who doesn't love them?

(Lashes by Paperself)


How amazing are these? City skyline false lashes! Who can spot the London Eye?

(Nail polishes by Essie, Revlon and Bourjois Paris)

This Jubilee weekend we're getting into the Royal spirit of things with Union Jack nails

I asked Team ELLE for their intern experiences and this is what they told me:

Marissa Bourke, ELLE creative director @MissyHoops

'I started my career with an intern position at The Face. It was a defining moment in my life as I was working with the best of the best from early on. That internship led to a job on the magazine and set the wheels in motion for the rest of my career. I have never "worked" a day in my life as I have always really loved what I do.'


Sunil Makan, ELLEUK.com picture assistant @sunileo86

'I began here as an intern and I have learned so much: tangible skills, as well as becoming more business aware. It's great to be part of a well rounded team where everyone is learning every day.'

Amy Lawrenson, ELLEUK.com beauty writer @amylawrenson

'Six years ago, I became a paid intern at ELLE working on the website. Within six months, I was a permanent member of staff. I was encouraged to work my way up to beauty writer. From my days as an intern, this year I won a Johnson & Johnson Award for Best Online Beauty Journalist. ELLE has not only helped me find the role that's right for me, but has enabled me to become great at what I do.'

Annabel Brog, ELLE acting deputy editor @AnnabelBrogELLE

'I started as a paid intern on a women’s mag. Obviously the pay was poor, so I worked five days a week in the office and made ends meet by working five nights a week behind a bar. I just made sure it was a fun bar. I have never been so tired, or so happy. And just look where it took me.'

Sophie Gridley, ELLE junior sub-editor @sophiegridley

'When I landed the role of paid beauty intern at ELLE, I was shocked to find that interns at ELLE aren't see-through! Everyone was so normal. Interning here opened doors and provided opportunities I hadn't experienced at other magazines, in other internships. That puts you on a kind of "fast-track" development plan, so that in six months or a year you learn about 10 times as much as you would learn on any kind of course or training. Best thing I ever did!'

Avril Mair, ELLE associate editor @avrilmair

'I began as an intern at i-D and it quite literally changed my life. I hadn't even been to London before that and it opened up a whole world to me. As part of a tiny team, I was thrown in amongst the most incredible, experimental creativity and allowed to become a part of it. That I ended up as the magazine's editor says everything you need to know about the possibilities of internships.'

Suzanne Scott, ELLE beauty writer @Suzanne_ELLE

'As an intern here, I was assisting on shoots, compiling pages and meeting Prs – and ELLE even asked me to write my first big piece of editorial, a memoir about my mum. I cannot describe the feeling of seeing your own words in print for the first time. If you work hard, you can become a valued member of the team and it's the skills you learn then that support you in your career.

Bonnie Rakhit, ELLE market and merchandising editor @BonnieRakhit

'My first ever internship was at ELLE 10 years ago. I loved it so much I ended up staying for nine months. When I left, I swore I would come back one day as a fashion ed and my dream came true!'


Downloading iPhoto for taking great pictures, PhotoToaster for editing and Flickr for sharing them all onto my iPad 3

Reading copy for the August issue of ELLE

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