By Janine Puhak
Come on, you know you want it. (The job, of course ?) But do you have questions or concerns about what it takes to assist someone at the helm of a mag? Head ?? for all the nitty-gritty you may be too afraid to ask. #livingtheeditorlife #lifeofaneditorialassistant #ed2010 #devilwearspradaisjustamovie
It feels like only yesterday that I was a cheering on Andy Sachs—the junior assistant to the famed and feared editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly—as she battled it out at Runway magazine. I left the theater in full confidence that if Andy could make it in the big leagues, so could I.
Though the magazine world has evolved since 2006, the keys to making it in the industry have not. Ten years later, Andy and Miranda are still teaching me how to be the best assistant, and intern, possible.
Even though Andy’s chic coworkers try to humiliate her into poor professional performance at the start of her Mode career, she’s determined to succeed as a New York City journalist. Andy shrugs off their insolence and focuses on excelling at her job. Graduating from coffee runs and photo shoot errands to directly assisting Miranda, it’s a focus on the bigger picture that shoots Andy up the totem pole. Staying focused, like Andy, has helped me stay motivated in spite of day-to-day distractions like office gossip or challenging projects.
Making obscure demands with vague instruction, Miranda sends Andy and her other assistant hunting for everything from scarves to unpublished Harry Potter manuscripts, yet the girls are never phased. They see these as opportunities to impress Miranda with their energy and enthusiasm. This is something I’ve come to learn from my internships when my supervisors have put multiple assignments on my plate at once and expected me to prioritize, keeping it all on track.
Go With the Flow
Prone to change her mind on a whim, no two days of working for the wildly unpredictable Miranda are the same. When Andy grows frustrated, art director Nigel takes her under his wing and teaches Andy that there is nothing more valuable than a willing attitude and open mindset. The same rings true for me. Whether it’s taking a not-so-glamorous first internship or braving the move to a new city, I’m not afraid to take a crazy chance a future I believe in.