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How Do I Get Magazine Work Experience?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Magazines and other types of publications employ writers, marketing professionals, sales agents and various other professionals. Many employers prefer to hire employees who have prior magazine work experience. People can gain experience in the industry by taking part in work experience programs, internships or by working on a freelance basis.

In some countries, school authorities partner with local employers to provide work experience opportunities for high school students. During these programs, students spend a short period of time working as unpaid interns at local companies. Some publishing firm employees gain their first magazine work experience during these programs. The students shadow the firm's reporters, copywriters and administrative staff and learn about the publishing process. In some instances, the students may be asked to write short articles or to make sales calls although all of their work is performed under the close supervision of the editor or a permanent member of staff.

Major publishing firms often organize internship programs for university undergraduates and these internships may be paid or unpaid. Generally, publishing firms offer magazine work experience internships to undergraduates who are studying journalism or marketing. Journalism students work alongside reporters and may conduct interviews and conduct research. Marketing students learn about the sales process, listen to sales calls to advertisers and learn about the firm's marketing procedures. In many instances, publishing firms offer permanent jobs to participants involved in internships although job offers are normally contingent upon these individuals successfully completing their degree programs.

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Some freelance writers and people who are employed in other occupations gain magazine work experience by submitting articles to publications. Many publishing firms accept submissions from non-staff writers. The magazine editorial team may ask the writer to make changes to the submitted article and in some instances, writers may be asked to write follow up articles on a particular theme or topic. While these writers are not technically employees of the publishing firm, their work for the publication does provide them with some magazine work experience that may improve their chances of landing a full time job in the industry.

Non-profit groups including charities and educational establishments often publish magazines for donors, organizational members and for the general public. The writers and production team are often unpaid volunteers. Many writers, editors and other administrative employees gain their first magazine work experience while contributing to school magazines or similar publications. These individuals learn technical aspects of the production process and have to contend with publication deadlines and budgetary constraints. This experience may enable them to land paid positions working for commercial publications.

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