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Lena Felton

InStyle, Time Inc.
San Francisco, CA | Harvard University

   I was once a starry-eyed 13-year-old who could only dream of one day working for a major magazine in New York City. Eight weeks ago, I was a starry-eyed 21-year-old who had just moved to New York City and was anticipating doing just that. My summer at InStyle has not been the Devil Wears Prada experience I expected—in the best way possible. Perhaps the only way to adequately describe my internship is by detailing a typical day at the office, so here it goes:

   9 a.m.: Walk through downtown Manhattan to get to the office. The Time Inc. building is right across the street from the Freedom Tower, and I love the sense of scale down here—the buildings are beautiful, and the streets always feel abuzz. I make my way to the ninth floor. My first stop is the kitchen area, where I make myself a tall cup of joe (thank god for free coffee and snacks), and then head to my desk—with an open-floor plan, the offices feel very collaborative, and I sit right next to the rest of the Features team.

   10:30 a.m.: After catching up with emails and reading the news of the day, I start getting assignments from editors. One of the Assistant Editors needs me to transcribe an interview with Chad Michael Murray, which I happily oblige.

   12:00 p.m.: When I’m not helping out editors, I’m able to work on my own posts for InStyle. Every week, I send pitches to Leigh, my supervisor and the Features Director. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to create original content, and to have such autonomy—I pitch my own idea, write my own story, and source my own images. This week, I’m working on “10 Movies with Epic Summer Romances to Binge Watch this Weekend,” amongst a couple of other travel pieces about Chicago, our featured city for the month.

   1:45 p.m.: An email from one of the other InStyle interns pops up: “Lunch at 2???” Four or five of us eat together every day, which is so nice—we generally head out to the Time Inc. roof deck, which boasts views of the Hudson River and endless sunshine.

Lena is a rising senior at Harvard, where she’s studying English. Most of her time is spent producing the weekly magazine for The Harvard Crimson–a stressful but rewarding job! Lena is a proud San Francisco Bay Area native and an avid photographer, traveler and Spotify Discover Weekly listener.

    3:00 p.m.: More work on my online articles until another editor emails me with a new task: Help identify the designers in various outfits for the October issue’s “10 Best Ever” celebrity. This involves lots of online sleuthing skills, and is a nice break from writing and researching. 

    4:45 p.m.: Free Haagen Daazs is being handed out on the floor. I grab a cup of Dulce de Leche. 5:30 p.m.: Finish up my posts and upload them online via InStyle’s CMS. In addition to copy-editing and researching skills, I’ve really appreciated that InStyle is all about getting its employees prepped for changes in the digital landscape. This summer is the first that they’ve implemented a “Digital Bootcamp” for interns and other employees.

    6:00 p.m.: Head home for the day, feeling so lucky about working where I do. The intern horror stories I’ve heard about at other magazines couldn’t be farther from my experience here. Not only am I doing real work—pitching and writing my own content—I’m also learning from some of the smartest and kindest people I’ve met in a work place.