Sunday, June 10, 2012

Composure is Key

I'm sitting in my apartment, trying to imagine what it will be like tomorrow. I picture the office, the assignments and the editors around me. But I know in the back of my mind I’m probably only half right about how the day will go.

I’m sitting at my desk in my apartment and going over all of the notes and handouts that I’ve been given over the past three days of orientation. All of the tips, advice and rules from various members of the magazine industry have been handed to me to study, and it’s quite a lot.

Some of the most striking advice came from Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of SELF. Some things I took away from her talk on Wednesday include:

(1)  Play up to your strengths and down to your weaknesses.
(2)  Surround yourself with the nicest, smartest people.
(3)  Don’t be the slacker or the loudest, be the person who brings ideas together.
(4)  “Do you need me?” never gets old.
(5)  Make friends with the assistants.
(6)  Have a good attitude; don’t be a diva.

I have lists like this from all of our lectures and panels, and I’m sure I’ve read over them almost a dozen times.

So while I feel like I’m cramming for a huge final exam tomorrow (in the form of my first day at TV Guide Magazine), I remember something that a friend of mine recently told me after her first day at E! Online. After recounting her day of spilling coffee on herself on the way to work, having a chance encounter with a celebrity and hitting the ground running by writing and posting her first story on the publication's website, she left me with this advice: “If you can’t bring anything else to a first day or new internship, bring this [composure] and you’ll be golden.”

So maybe I won't know it all, but I know the one thing I should do: act composed. It worked for my friend in L.A., and it'll work for me — I hope. Let's see how it goes!

Here’s to hoping I don’t spill coffee on myself in the morning.

Carson Blackwelder

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