It's hard for us to say, because, like magazines, each one is different. When choosing magazines to host interns, we try to find placements that are unique and promise a lot of experience to a hard worker. But we can't really guarantee what you'll be doing day-to-day.
What we CAN tell you is what some of this summer's past interns have reported back to us, and so, we'll just get out of the way, and let Tina Nguyen, this year's First Honorable Mention Award winner tell what her summer was like, interning at Fortune magazine:
As for my experience at Fortune...it was absolutely amazing! It was beyond what I expected and more. Two months was so short and I was really getting used to it there. Grace Martinez, who was the Art Assistant at Fortune (you might've heard, but she's now going to be a designer at Portfolio magazine) was basically my supervisor, she was such a big help and wonderful to work with. Bob Perino was so great as well, making me feel welcome at Fortune, and helping me out in any way possible, he is such a kind and thoughtful individual, and such a great talent, was so great to learn from him. Linda Rubes, was someone I also learned so much from, she was all the more helpful to me, just guiding me along some articles she was working on for the issues, she was so kind and sweet and it was great getting to know her. Everyone else in the art department were wonderful as well, welcoming me with open arms...I also learned a great deal from them.
I had my own cubicle with my name labeled on it...:) The first few weeks, I organized hundreds and hundreds of their magazines in storage, updated illustrator tearsheeets, updated the art wall, (in which I loved, it was interesting to see how the articles all came together) among other administrative type of things, then Grace got me started with the Letters page of the magazine and eventually I worked on the table of contents of their international issues. I had a great time learning how to put together their pages, the formats they follow, the images being chosen, and how everyone just works together as a team. Bob also gave me the opportunity to come up with different designs for the Question Authority and Investing page, because he wants to change the whole style of the magazine, so I felt nervous and excited at the same time to show him my ideas. I also helped the other designers in the art department, looking for images, setting up a PowerPoint presentation, among other things, definitely keeping me busy over there.
Almost every week, someone would bring some treats, ranging from bagels, to cakes, to muffins......hahaha, just feeding everyone like crazy...it was great though, just brought everyone together.
All in all, this experience has taught me a great deal and I feel that I've grown so much during the 2-month period. I've met so many wonderful people there, not just in the art department, but also in the photo and Editorial department. It's been a great pleasure being around them, I couldn't have asked for more.
They all made me feel like I was part of the team. I always looked forward to coming there to work each and every day, it's just been phenomenal and I feel so fortunate that I had the greatest experience ever, and after all this I definitely know where I stand, what I want to be doing in the long run.
I will definitley be keeping in touch with everyone, Bob even told me, if anything, to call him after I finish up with school, and he told me, who knows what will happen then, and that was so great to hear, because there is no doubt in my mind that I would love to come back and work there and to just be surrounded by such wonderful people...I will miss them dearly.
On the last day, they bought me a cake, and some cream puffs for Grace (it was her last day too) and a thank you card, along with a book that showcased Fortune covers from the 1930s to 1950s. I did not expect that at all, it was so sweet of them...I actually started to cry, not in front of them, but once I was alone in my cubicle reading the card and just reminiscing about my experience at Fortune...I just couldn't believe it was already over.
I will never forget this, and I really am sad that it's over, but I know that I will see them again. This experience has meant so much to me, there are not enough words to explain it all, just thank you from the bottom of my heart...it's been beyond wonderful.