Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

Can an art/photo person transition into other areas?

Dear Ed,

I’m currently a Communication Design major. So far I’ve interned at Spin magazine as a photo intern and Seventeen magazine as an art intern. As I’m approaching graduation I’m finding that design, something I am skilled in but do not love, may not be the best direction for me. I’m really interested in getting into the editorial end of magazines, but I’m not trained in writing, I don’t have any experience as a fact checker, and I’m not really sure where to even begin.

However, I know that I do have the skills that would make me a valuable editor—I’m detail-oriented and organized. Is there any possibility that someone with a BFA and 2 art and photo internships can transition into other areas of the publishing world?

—Aspiring Editor

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Dear Aspiring Editor,

Yes, you can absolutely pursue an editorial spot. In fact, you should play your photo and art background up to show that you will ace packaging editorial content. If you made any editorial contacts while you were at Spin or Seventeen, you should hit them up to see if they can meet you for coffee. If you had a good relationship with your supervisors at those two mags, you can even email them to say that you loved your time there, but now you’re looking to explore the editorial side of magazine publishing, and you’re wondering if they know of any editors who might be able to chat with you. The most important skill you’ll need to demonstrate is top-notch writing. If you haven’t already, you should start a blog about a subject you love. You can also try to pitch freelance pieces to magazines and websites to get some clips. If you’re detail-oriented and organized, as you say, you can also apply to be a fact-checker. That way, you’re guaranteed to meet editors, and with your newfound goal in mind, you’ll be sure to harness those connections. Good luck!

Love,
Ed

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