Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

The Magazine Interns’ Guide to Living on the Cheap

This is one of a series of posts from last summer’s Intern Diaries, a guest blogging project hosted by Ed. Follow our intern from her first day to her last, and learn more about this crazy exciting industry.  Click here to apply to be this year’s blogger. 

Being an intern can feel like a thankless job. Whether you’re paid minimum wage or make zip, it’s pretty safe to say that you’re hardly rolling in the dough while assisting editors. And when you’re living in the Big Apple, that lack of cash sometimes makes you feel like your extracurricular activities are limited to Netflix and cheap bottles of wine.

But, you would be wrong. If you look hard enough, there are plenty of perks and freebies (besides your mag’s epic giveaway table) that you can take advantage of during your internship. From happy hours to Broadway shows, here are the six things you have to take advantage of while you’re interning in NYC.

Student Rush Tickets
Think you have to spend at least $100 to see a Broadway performance? Well, by downloading the TodayTix app, you can get into a bunch of shows for as little as $15—a.k.a the “student rush” price. The best way to take advantage of this deal is to keep an open mind about what shows you want to see and where you want to sit. You should also be sure to buy the tickets a few hours before show time. Sometimes you’ll get a seat in the nosebleed section or you might luck out and snag orchestra seats—but no matter what, they all cost the same.

Ed2010 Events
Shameless plug alert: If anyone knows how to hook up interns with some awesome, affordable events, it’s Ed. From kick-ass happy hours to super helpful editor panels, Ed throws great free events that can help you network and make some new friends with fellow (equally poor) interns. Bonus: The drink deals are budget friendly. (Details for Ed’s next event can be found here!)

Student Discounts
Okay, so you may not love the picture printed on your school ID, but that #TBT-worthy photo can be your key to free stuff in the city. Some stores like J. Crew and Banana Republic offer discounts with a student ID, so you can snag some fresh profesh attire when you run out of clothes halfway through your internship. Some NYC landmarks and museums also offer sweet discounts, like the Film Society at Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and OM Factory Yoga Studio.

Any and All Company Perks
In some company’s internship programs, like the one I’m in, the mag hosts a speaker series where different editors and other big wigs from the company take an hour to talk to the interns about their experiences and share helpful tidbits about the industry. These are great for learning more than you can from you managers and getting the inside scoop into how other departments, like publishing, design, and advertising, work. If your company doesn’t have this program for interns, ask your manager if your company offers seminars for their employees, and ask to tag along!

Press Events
If you get the rare opportunity to cover a media event hosted by another company that’s promoting their products or services, do it. Not only are these events fun and help you sharpen your networking and small talk skills, but they usually have food, drinks, and or giveaway bags. Woo! And just as a friendly reminder, you’ll probably need to ask your editors if they’re cool with you leaving with the free goodies before you do.

The freebie table
How could we leave this treasure chest of free stuff out? Depending on which publication you’re interning at, you might find everything from clothes to vibrators to a month’s supply of beef jerky. And while you don’t want to be known as the greedy little intern, use your best judgment and treat yourself to some free jerky (or whatever is in there).


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