After a busy week of university, I’m standing behind the deli counter at work on a Saturday morning. ‘Laura, here you go.’ I glance up, no doubt thrown from a daydream about my blog or a book, and it’s Rebecca. I’ve known her forever (everyone knows everyone in my village) but she does something I didn’t expect. She hands me three neatly cutout pages of a magazine. ‘It might not be your thing, but I know you’re interested in journalism. Don’t feel like you have to apply…’
Three months, a trial article and a phone call later, and I was sitting in the heart of the Good Housekeeping office. I’d already negotiated the Tube (well, almost, save a barrier incident) grabbed a coffee (like the rush-hour commuter I was) and listened to the slow stirs of sleepy Carnaby Street. Soho buzzed quietly outside the office window as I took my seat next to Helen, the web editor.
My first week was a brilliant blur. I can’t deny that I was nervous, but Helen and her lovely team made me feel so welcome (they even made me tea). As a web intern, I was taught how to manage the CMS system (where all the articles on goodhousekeeping.co.uk are uploaded then edited) and how to select and crop images for galleries. Once I’d mastered that, I was tasked with creating several ‘what’s on’ articles – a triple whammy of autumn events for foodies, culture lovers and gardeners; plus easy date night ideas. I added to this in week two with more pieces on Bank Holiday activities, home accessories and Scottish travel.
As a wannabe writer, my curiosity was quenched with all the behind-the-scenes secrets I discovered during my placement. You’d never believe the volume of food that circulates around the GH office – from mounds of Christmas cake at the Institute (yup, they’re already taste testing for December!) to sugary giveaways from candy couple Hope and Greenwood. I even helped decorate hundreds of boxes of brownies that the hilarious sales team distributed to lucky PR companies.
Did I mention the team spirit is fantastic? During my stay, it was announced that GH was again the most popular lifestyle magazine in the UK. Cheers echoed round the office and champagne corks added to the din. Could there be a more exciting time to intern with GH?
I may have another year left at Glasgow University, but Foot in the Door really has been invaluable. Not only does it give you hands-on training at the UK’s most-loved title, it also tests your passion for magazine journalism. Plus, you get to learn from some of the most knowledgeable, experienced people in the business.
After two weeks with Good Housekeeping, I’m now positive that writing is what I want to do. No more worries about what path I’d like to take. To be honest? I’d like the signs to point straight south from Scotland and swerve along Soho, direction GH headquarters.
This article first appeared on the Good Housekeeping website. View it here. Thanks to my awkwardly shaped memory card, these are Getty photos, not mine… I’ll upload my own ones eventually (Christmas present hint, any takers?)