Jen Passaretti: Intern At Cosmopolitan Magazine

Jen Passaretti Cosmopolitan
Jen Passaretti

Age: 20

City: New York

University: Iona College

Major: Public Relations

Company: Cosmopolitan Magazine at Hearst Corporation

How did you find this internship?

I found out about Cosmopolitan’s internship program through networking with individuals I met within the industry.  I was advised to e-mail my resume to a certain person from Cosmo, and soon enough I was called in for an interview!  My best friend was also given the opportunity to intern at Cosmopolitan this semester, which has been such a fun experience for the both of us!  Working at Cosmopolitan magazine has been my dream job since I was fifteen years old, and I am so happy to have been able to achieve such an enormous goal of mine. I am a firm believer that no matter what the circumstances are, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Is this your first internship? If not, where have you interned before?

This is not my first internship experience. Prior to Cosmopolitan, I interned at Rubenstein Public Relations throughout the summer. RPR was such an incredible experience for me and I would highly recommend their program to students who are looking for a valuable internship.  My supervisor was amazing and taught me so much about the public relations industry.  I was given the opportunity to write press releases, pitches, and work at various events throughout the summer.  RPR really prepared me for my future career, and I appreciate everything my supervisor taught me.

What is your day-to-day routine like?

My day begins at 6:30 a.m. when my alarm clock goes off.  I get my outfit together the night before so I am not as rushed in the morning. I catch the 7:36 train that arrives to Grand Central at 8:15, and then I take two subways to get to Columbus Circle.  When I arrive at the office at 9 I sit at my desk and check my e-mail while I wait for an employee to assign my tasks for the day. My friend and I usually take our hour-long lunch break at around 1:00, and then continue our work for the remainder of the day. I take the 5:36 train home and am back at my house at 6:00.

 What’s your favorite part of the internship?

I really love being able to see the various aspects that go into marketing a magazine. Learning how to do edit credits was a very interesting and enjoyable experience.  I was also given the opportunity to help set up for the Dream Ball event held by The American Cancer Society.  This event honored Michael Clinton, President of Marketing and Publishing Director at Hearst Magazines.

My job was to put together the gift bags with cosmetic products that had been donated to the organization as well as folders that were handed out to all of the guests. As a PR major, helping to set up this event was an incredibly valuable experience where I was able to meet knew people and get more involvement in the industry.

How many hours/week do you spend at your internship?

I intern two days a week from 9-5, which amounts to sixteen hours a week spent at my internship.

 What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from your internship so far?

This industry, I’ve come to realize is tremendously competitive, and it is extremely important to put yourself out there and do everything you can to impress your bosses. Your boss will remember the intern who went above and beyond, putting in their best effort – not the intern who sat back and watched. Success will come from being a hard-working, assertive individual.

What has been the hardest part of adjusting to this internship?

The hardest part of adjusting to this internship was definitely figuring out a way to balance interning and schoolwork. It is all about time-management and getting into a routine that will be easiest to follow.

What skills will you be able to bring from this internship into your future career?

Both of my internships really improved my skills at working at a fast-pace as well as interacting with various clients and individuals throughout the industry. I feel that I am much more confident in these aspects and I will be able to apply the skills I have acquired at Rubenstein and Cosmopolitan to my future career.

How do your internship responsibilities affect the entire company?

At Cosmopolitan part of my job is to complete edit-credits for fashion and beauty advertisements.  I look through all of their competing magazines’ latest issues and record what brands were advertised in their magazine that month.  I input this data into an excel spreadsheet and calculate a formula that will show the percentage of how much they are marketed within the magazine.  This job enables the employees to keep a record of how their competition is doing.  I was also given the opportunity to work on a pitch that would be presented to a certain brand in hopes to pick them up as a client. Both of these projects were very interesting for me to work on and see how the marketing department in Cosmopolitan really operates.

How do you manage your schoolwork and your internship?

I’m not going to lie, interning during the school year is a little overwhelming at first. It was difficult for me to adjust to commuting to and from the city, working 9-5, then having to come home and do school work,while maintaining my responsibilities as an executive board member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. With a million different things on my plate, I began to realize that I needed a better way of managing my time. After the first two weeks, I was able to get into a routine and eventually my schedule became much easier to handle.  I take classes Monday through Wednesday and intern on Thursdays and Fridays. My goal is to complete as much schoolwork as I can during the beginning of the week. Any free time I have while interning I study for upcoming exams or complete homework assignments. If you are interning during the school year it is extremely important to make sure you follow your routine and keep up with your schoolwork – and also remember to have fun and enjoy yourself because college flies by!

In order to succeed at this internship, you need to:

Come to work with a positive attitude, eager to learn, and willing to help anyone with any tasks that need to be completed. I know that making copies and running some errands aren’t the most exciting responsibilities, but you must show that you will put 100% effort into every single thing you do at your internship.  Trust me, your supervisor will notice if you begin to slack or are not enthusiastic. There are plenty of times where you will be given the opportunity to work on projects that enable you to have real-life experience in the industry. In the end it will all be worth it!

What is your relationship like with your supervisor?

At Cosmopolitan I am not assigned to a specific supervisor. I help everyone throughout the office with any tasks they need extra help with.  All of the employees are so kind and will take the additional time to help me understand how to complete certain projects, and fully explain what exactly it is that they do in the marketing department.

How do you see your career benefiting from this internship?

I feel that this internship will absolutely help me land a job following graduation. I am getting so much real-life experience in the public relations and marketing industries that I could not necessarily learn inside a classroom.

What is your perfect internship outfit?

When picking out an outfit for your internship it is extremely important to always dress professionally and conservatively.  Which means there are no circumstances where low cut shirts or tight skirts are acceptable.  We want our bosses and co-workers to take us seriously, don’t we?  There are plenty of ways to add your own style to an office-appropriate outfit, making it fun and trendy.  This does not mean that you need to purchase a whole new wardrobe for work – all you need are some simple pieces and that you can easily mix and match while adding accessories.  For the fall season, I love wearing skinny dress pants with a blouse, bold necklace, and heels.

What advice would you give other interns looking to land a job?

Network!  It is so important to develop relationships with individuals throughout the industry.  This means keeping in touch with past supervisors, and making efforts to meet as many people as you can.  You never know where someone could lead you. Networking led me to landing my dream internship, and I could not be happier!


Interviewed by Nicole Botsaris 

Nicole Botsaris

Nicole is a 21-year-old public relations student at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. She currently works part-time at Rubenstein Public Relations in Manhattan as a publicist intern, and does freelance work on the side. She hopes to work full-time for a New York City PR agency, and besides enjoying the life of a busy PR girl, she loves to shop, cook, read and explore all of New York City.