Every semester, Ed recognizes a deserving up-and-comer who’s willing to do whatever it takes to gain magazine experience. Meet Ed’s latest Trust Fund recipient: Janine Puhak, a spunky junior at Rutgers University majoring in American Studies with a focus on fashion. Janine’s interned at Working Mother, Harper’s Bazaar, and soon will be joining Town & Country as a features intern this spring.
Read on for her advice to fellow whippersnappers trying to make it in the biz and to hear about her awesome experience at Harper’s Bazaar last semester―which she found though Ed2010, of course.
When did you first know you wanted to work in magazines?
Ever since I saw The Devil Wears Prada at the ripe old age of 12, I knew journalism was the industry for me. I’ve been hopelessly dreaming of working in this fast-paced world ever since. That’s why, on my third day of college freshman year, I knocked on the offices of Rutger’s school newspaper, The Daily Targum, and asked how I could help.
How did you learn about Ed2010?
As a sophomore who wasn’t a journalism major, I made a conscious decision to seek out resources that could help me break into the field. That’s when I found Ed and his treasure trove of information―and we’ve been inseparable ever since! He’s helped me snag internships at Working Mother, Harper’s Bazaar, and now Town & Country, where I start in two weeks.
What was your most recent internship experience at Harper’s Bazaar like?
As a features intern, I helped with story research, transcribed interviews, and offered general support to the editorial staff, amongst other things. One of my more memorable experiences was being sent out with another intern to pick up boxes of signed books to bring back to the office to mail out. As I was looking at the names inscribed in each copy―Karl, Patrick―it dawned on me that these books were going to Karl Lagerfeld and Patrick Demarchelier, and I was blown away. Talk about degrees of separation!
What are your must-read mags?
Some of my favorites are Vogue (even the international editions when I can find them), Town & Country, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Smithsonian.
What do you think helped your application stand out?
When I didn’t win Ed’s coveted Trust Fund the first time I applied, I knew I had to do something original to really stand out this time around. I wanted to find a way to keep my application fun, while also showing my spirit and determination. I had just started at Harper’s Bazaar at the time and was transcribing a lot of interviews, so I thought: If I could talk to Ed, what would I say? That inspired me to write my application essay in a Q&A format as if it were a conversation with Ed himself. It was risky and could’ve been a complete flop, but luckily it worked in my favor and helped my application get noticed.
What advice would you give to fellow whippersnappers looking to make it in the biz?
Keep your chin up, and keep a smile on your face. Always put in the extra effort, even when you’re tired or unsure if something will work out. And most importantly, when a door opens, even if you’re not sure where it will lead, take a chance and step through it because you can learn something new and valuable anytime, anywhere―even when you least expect it.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ideally, I’ll move to Manhattan to work as a top-tier magazine editor covering special lifestyle projects, including culture, politics, people, and parties. I also hope to be donating buckets of money to Ed2010 so that the next generation of ambitious young whippersnappers can transform their dreams to reality, just like I have.
Psst! Are you an unpaid intern? Apply to be Ed’s next Trust Fund winner.