Week 8: Goodbye, New York!

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”

As my time in New York comes to a close, I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for this opportunity. The last eight weeks at Good Housekeeping have been the best work experience I’ve ever had, and I’m not ready to turn in my ID badge tomorrow. Spending my time immersed in the magazine world has only solidified that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Leaving Hearst tower, I think there’s something more important than clips I’m taking with me back to East Lansing. I’m taking away the knowledge that a good team – a good family – makes all of the difference.

The people at Good Housekeeping are what made my time here so enjoyable. The art department works like a well-oiled machine, always looking to each other for feedback and opinions on their work. They celebrate together in their triumphs, and help carry the burden of last minute work changes. They work together (and not in competition) to help complete their goal every month. They’re friends first, co-workers second.

But the trail doesn’t end there. Their reach extends to all departments – constantly working, laughing, discussing and brainstorming with the entire office. They’re the social butterflies of the floor, always making the people around them satisfied and welcomed. Just like they did with me.

A special shout out to my boss, Mads, for taking a chance on me and for giving me the best summer of my college career. I will always be thankful for her confidence, support, infectious attitude, optimism, support and ability to make me feel at ease from day one. She is truly a wonderful human, and I am so thankful to have spent my time under her wing.  

I am so thankful to have been welcomed in to this incredible GH family, and I can only hope that I can find a workplace that has made me feel as welcomed as they did to me post-graduation.

Thanks for the memories, New York!

Week 7: Page beginnings and intern goodbyes

This week, we have all hands on deck as we’re catching up from everyone’s absences from the previous week. Everything is zooming through the editing process, and the design desk is doing their best to keep up.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned this week is not to get too invested in to a design. I’ve been working on the Pet Edit page that I started last week, and got some feedback from the design director and EIC. Since it was for the October issue, they wanted some more Halloween themed elements, which was going to cause for a slight redesign of the page. At first I was a little bummed that the page wasn’t accepted right of the bat, but I quickly learned that most pages aren’t. I think it’s a good experience to learn first hand how not to take your design edits personally.

Another reason I think you shouldn’t spend too much time invested in to a single assignment is that, quite frankly, things change. The page shrunk from a full page to 2/3 page when an ad was purchased, which shifted everything on the page. Elements were deleted, new elements were introduced, and it was completely different from the original page we had started with. In the world of publication design, ads are bought, stories change, pictures are updated and no element is safe from change until it is being printed.

Despite being a bit bummed from my Pets page, I am happy to report my successful execution of the At My Home page. The At My Home page is featured each month in the back of the book, and has hand written answers from a celebrity about things like their worst habits, favorite meal to cook, saying to live by, etc. Originally this month’s celebrity was going to be Drey Barrymore, but we’re still waiting on pictures from her PR team, so we shifted gears and are featuring Molly Ringwald.

The page starts when the editorial department reaches out to the celebrity’s PR personnel, and then GH sends a Q&A with space for handwritten answers. They then send back four pages worth of answers, and we scan them in. At that point, our executive editor chooses what answers she wants featured, since there isn’t enough space for all four of them. We puzzle those answers together so they fit, slap in a photo and combine all of the elements in to the template. So be sure to check out the At My Home page in the October issue, featuring Molly Ringwald.  

On a very sad note: I had to say goodbye to Morgan, my co-intern, this week. I am so lucky I have gotten to share the past seven weeks with her, and I will miss her very much as she heads abroad to Copenhagen this fall!

Week 6: A break for all

This week started off busy, but the workload quickly dropped off since there are several people (including our editor-in-chief and design editor) out of town.

One thing I’ve really learned since being here is that everyone depends on each other. Sometimes you have to wait a bit (and sometimes days) to have anything to work on because you’re waiting on someone else. Often times, they’re people who don’t even work here – article sources, guest columnists, PR photo requests, etc. But sometimes, you’re waiting on edits from someone who isn’t in the office, so the page just sits idly for days until they’re back in the city. In addition, the way GH editing process goes, there’s a design lull a week or so in to the month cycle, where we’re sort of at a stand still. We’ve already created the initial layout, but we’re waiting on content before we can see what works and what doesn’t work. There’s a lot of waiting and finding other projects to fill your time before anything can be done for the actual magazine. We were so light on work, we were allowed to leave early one day and catch a Jimmy Fallon taping (yay!).

In the mean time, I’ve found it’s important to constantly be on the search for creative swipe, so I spend my free time at work on Pinterest, or other design sites. I’ve even tried my hand at illustration.

But before the lull hit this week, Morgan and I both stayed pretty busy working on a bookazine for an upcoming GH edition. Every few months, we put together a themed bookazine for Walmart’s edition of the magazine. The Christmas themed book is about beauty, so we spent our days looking through old content to recycle that could be reused in the book. We assembled some content, and then they let us try our hand at designing six of the pages for the book. We’re both hoping that they keep our designs for Christmas!

The last assignment of the week is getting a chance to start on the Pet Edit page for October. We’ve got some photos in, so I’ve gotten a chance to play around a bit with the materials. Hopefully, next week I’ll get to do more with it. 

Photo: Once the world load lightened up, we were allowed to take an afternoon off to check out Jimmy Fallon. The joys of living in New York!