I started reading The Gloss last summer, when my boyfriend introduced me to the site, saying, “You’re going to love this website. They write about the same things you like and have the same sense of humor as you do.” He was right! When I saw a post about Farrah’s baby daddy (of 16 & Pregnant fame), I knew I had stumbled upon kindred spirits. When I saw The Gloss was looking for interns, I jumped at the chance to work there.
I had such a great experience interning here at The Gloss. Many of my college friends had internships where they were there to fetch coffee or do menial tasks for the higher-ups. While I wouldn’t have minded doing that (having never before had an internship and desperate for any work experience as I was), I truly feel I have received priceless, on-the-job experience here, because I was given a lot of responsibility and freedom. I was able to write articles, weigh in on office debates, and attend events.
I’ve learned countless lessons here at The Gloss. But, for the sake of counting, here’s my top 5:
1. Let them haters hate
There will always be people who disagree with your opinion, your style of writing, your sense of humor, etc. And that’s fine. If we all agreed on everything, this would be a very boring world. Sometimes, people will disagree with your article, even if they are not actually disagreeing with what you are saying, but just want a platform to write about something in their lives that is tangentially related to your post. Not everyone has the same forum as I was lucky enough to have, and many use commenting on posts as a way to express their own thoughts and opinions. It doesn’t look like the Internet is going away any time soon (luckily), and therefore, as a writer, I had to get used to negative comments and reactions to my posts, and learn to brush it off. With that being said…
2. Think before you post
Writing online is a major responsibility, because many more people have access to your writing, as opposed to writing in books and magazines, which don’t have the same distribution power. Therefore, I had to really take into account who would be reading my articles and who could possibly be offended by what I was writing. Additionally, I realized that unproductively mean comments on my articles really had the ability to ruin my day and challenge my self-confidence. Now, I think before I post comments on articles and even on Facebook, because I’m aware of the impact of what I say could have on a person. However, many times while I was writing a post, I could already predict the negative way a reader could take my article, but I didn’t let that stop me from stating my opinion. As long as I was comfortable with what I was saying, and kept my tone respectful, I pretty much wrote freely.
3. If you love what you do, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it
Even though I only came into the The Gloss’s office twice a week, I was constantly thinking of article ideas. I would get an idea on the train, after a night out with friends, or watching TV, and e-mail myself as a reminder. Writing for me is a never-ending task. Because I truly enjoy what I do, I don’t mind always thinking of my next potential post; luckily, my habit of laying on the couch watching really trashy reality TV for hours at a time could actually be used as an advantage in my line of work. (I wish I had this excuse when I was in high-school.)
4. Never censor your taste in really trashy pop-culture
I was a little nervous when I started writing for The Gloss, because all my posts seemed to be about Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, and basically everything on Bravo. However, I soon found a partner in reality television watching: Lilit, who gave me the advice to never be embarrassed about your taste in really trashy things. It worked for me; a lot of my Real Housewives posts were pretty popular, and I realized I wasn’t the only one obsessed with mind-numbingly good reality TV (read: stalker). At The Gloss, we are given the freedom to write about pretty much whatever we want, and there was no point in my writing about something I wasn’t interested in, while ignoring my true interests. Everyone has some guilty pleasures, whether it’s Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, Lifetime movies, or in my case, all three (hey, I’ve also been known to watch HBO and read books, too) and they’re just waiting for you to start talking about it, so they can chime in, too.
5. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way
Because I live an hour away from the city, on Long Island, and hold two other jobs there, I wasn’t always able to make it to every event that I was invited to. However, I took advantage of the fact that I was here two days a week, and tried to make it to every event on Tuesdays and Thursdays that I possibly could. Going to events and learing to network with other professionals was a valuable skill that I could only pick up with experience. At the first event that I was sent to, I was nervous about who to talk to, what to do, where to stand. I soon learned that the PR people want you to talk with the host of the event and other people in your field, and they can sometimes bridge the awkward gap of not knowing anyone there to having an interesting discussion with other professionals in your field.
All in all, I’m so grateful for having this opportunity. I have received priceless experience and knowledge here, and have had my work read by who knows how many people! I would like to thank our editors, Lilit, Jennifer, and Ashley, all of whom were extremely patient with me and encouraging about my writing; I really appreciate all the help and advice you all individually gave me. Thank you to all the readers, especially to those of you who gave positive feedback, and even those who didn’t; by having any feedback at all on my articles, my writing improved tremendously. I hope to continue writing occasionally for The Gloss, so this will not be the last you all will see of me. Lastly, I would encourage anyone interested in applying for a spring internship at The Gloss to do so; you will never have so much fun writing about topics you are interested in, in such a supportive and fun environment, than you will here at The Gloss.