What is your best piece of advice for recent graduates?
If you’re interviewing with a magazine editor, make sure you’ve read her magazine! Have some thoughts and questions about it, and be able to talk about where you think you’d best contribute and where you’d like to fit in down the road. Keep your mind open about job possibilities when you interview with people. …..
If the spot is entry-level, ask where the previous person went to get an idea of whether it’s a position that offers training and/or growth. After an interview, write a thank-you note (email is fine). And don’t underestimate the importance of spelling (including the person’s correct name and title!).
What was your most embarrassing moment at an internship or entry-level job and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had several along the way—and not just at entry-level spots!
For instance, when I was a summer intern at McCall’s magazine, I was given my first business letter to type. I wrote “Dear John,” instead of addressing the letter’s recipient as “Mr. Doe,” and the associate editor in charge of me had to explain proper format. I never made that mistake again. Then there was the time I joined two other editors in laughing about a buffoon boss we had. Unfortunately, we were in the company restroom, and the person in question was in the next stall. Lesson learned: Look before you speak. Embarrassing moments happen. I’ve tried to learn from each one, and not be too hard on myself after each gaffe. We’re all human.
What do you wish you would’ve known when you were first starting out that you know now?
That you can learn valuable lessons from bad bosses and difficult times as well as from good ones and successes, and that even the most successful people don’t know it all—and the smartest people know that.
— Yelena Shuster, Ed Reporter