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A Day In The Life: Interning at Real Simple

A little collage I put together including pictures from brand events, shoot days and office mirror selfies (no shame!)

By Claire Burch

One of my first few days in office as the Real Simple intern was like Christmas morning.

I had been tasked with the job of opening a mountain (think Everest) of packages, boxes and bags that the beauty editors had received from various brands. After opening, I was to sort them by category in our section of the Dotdash Meredith beauty and fashion closet.

Colorful garments borrowed for shoots and exclusive beauty products waiting to be written about surrounded me, along with lots, and I mean lots, of alcohol in every shape and size (apparently that’s a common item sent in the numerous packages beauty editors receive on a daily basis - sign me up!)

With a box cutter in hand, I began to work.

From each package came product after product, celebrity makeup lines I’d only read about online and French eye creams I only dreamt about buying. Pinky lip liners from r.e.m. beauty, bright shocks of colorful eyeliners from Haus Labs. Cult favorites like NARS Cosmetics Orgasm Blush and cutesy packaging from Physicians Formula’s new Butter Buddies collection. Face serums, face masks, face massagers and face mists. Body oils, scrubs and polish. I was drowning in a sea of lovely smelling, glittering products, and I didn’t want to be able to swim. I was in heaven, letting the beauty closet sea take me away.

There were more boxes than I could count, confetti in the corners and tissue paper covering the floor like carpet, but there was nowhere else I wanted to be.

My time at Real Simple has felt like that. I’ve corresponded with brands, sat in on production meetings and written punchy descriptions for home gadgets (try this nifty new lamp!) I’ve worked with a team of brilliant people who not only do their job well, but are as friendly as can be and welcomed me with open arms. I’ve gotten to attend brand events, photoshoots and brunches on the magazine’s behalf, all major “pinch me” moments that have made this summer one of the most magical ones yet. There really is nowhere else I’d want to be.

My advice to anyone interning anywhere: don’t be afraid to be earnest. Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re only an intern, admit when you’ve never done something before and understand that this a new place with new people. Be gentle with yourself, but work hard while you’re at it. Schedule coffees or chats with people in higher positions than you (well, as an intern, everyone will be in a higher position than you) and ask as many questions as possible.

Real Simple has been the ideal place to start in the magazine journalism industry and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time I’ve spent here; pinky promise I’m not just saying that because I got to take home some goodies from the beauty closet, though it didn’t hurt.

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