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5 former Fashion Journal interns tell us where they landed in their careers

IMAGE VIA @YEMAGZ/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY ISABELLE SACKS

No superlatives here, they’re all the best.

When I applied for an internship at Fashion Journal back in May, a career in media was not something I thought was realistic. We’ve all seen beloved magazines fold and newsrooms gutted across the country. And yet, I’ve somehow come to the end of this year optimistic about Australian media and my future in it.

Curious about where to go from here, I decided to chat to some of FJ’s best and brightest former interns to find out more about what they’ve been up to in their careers, whether they liked interning as much as I did, and what advice they have for young writers. This might have just been a ploy for me to get career guidance, but lucky for you, I decided to type it up.

Eliza Sholly

A quick stalk of Eliza’s LinkedIn would have you thinking that she’s a veteran of Australian media, despite only having been out of uni for five years. Alongside the freelancing that comes with the territory, she’s worked at Nine.com.au and Marie Clare, and has settled in as the deputy digital editor of Australian Traveller

Why would you recommend taking the internship route for aspiring writers?

I think that you learn very quickly that there are internships in the industry where it’s a really fine line between exploitative and actually helpful. But, as long as you’re learning and getting constructive feedback, I think that it can be really great – I probably learnt more in my internship at FJ than I did in my three-year degree. 

What’s something that you learnt early on that you still value?

Definitely being receptive to feedback and not taking it personally. As someone who’s quite private about my sharing my work generally, it doesn’t come naturally to me to be super proud about my writing when I don’t know how it’s going to be received. Realising that editors are only trying to make you better was really important for me early on. That’s something that I remember fondly about FJ, they were really good at giving feedback and being transparent about the reasoning behind it.

Do you have any advice for people wanting a career in media?

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of people who don’t exist in the minority, read three papers a day and have access to education and all the resources. Don’t think that they’re more entitled to a prospering career in the media because of the privilege that they were afforded. The space is only getting more diverse and we will all benefit from hearing from more varied voices.

@elizasholly

Giulia Brugliera

Believe it or not, FJ’s managing editor actually started off as an intern. From there, she basically held every job at the magazine (including editorial assistant, a job which might have been made up just to keep her around) until she became top dog. Giulia’s day-to-day is all about managing all the little moving parts that are needed to drive the big brand forward. In other words, a dizzying mix of editorial and social strategy, building relationships with brands, and managing FJ’s team (not to mention intern wrangling).

Having started off as an intern, what do you think about the program now?

I think the internship program with Fashion Journal is really fantastic. There’s a real focus on practical work, and we’ve worked really hard to make it beneficial to everyone involved. So it’s a really close feedback circuit that works both ways, we develop our interns really quickly and we make sure that interns are getting published from the get-go. We also focusing on teaching interns practical skills, from operating a CMS to navigating a style guide and writing to tone for different formats. We also put a lot of trust in our interns and try to leave them with the ability to continue writing with us and freelancing.

What’s something that you learnt early on that you still value?

Hard work has always been one that I’ve really valued. The crux of it is to really show that you care about what you’re doing. I think if you can go above and beyond, that’s something that will set you up in really good stead in your career.

Maggie Zhou

FJ’s resident fashion sustainability guru has been a bit of a freelance queen since her internship finished up. Between landing brand deals as an Instagram creator, making social media content for small businesses, continuing to write for FJ and other publications, and her podcast Culture Club, saying Maggie’s hands are full would be the definition of an understatement.

What was your experience like as an FJ intern?

Seriously, FJ has been the best internship I’ve done. I’ve done four now, and I’ve found this one to be the most fulfilling, supportive and definitely the one where I’ve had the most growth. If I look at the articles I’ve written from the beginning of the year to now, there’s a massive difference. I was scared before it started – when you think of fashion publication the first word that comes to mind is intimidating ­– but Giulia and Cait (FJ’s digital editor) are genuinely the sweetest and so easy to talk to.

@yemagz

Naomi Hatton

Naomi is an account and content executive at 50 Crates, a marketing agency in Melbourne. Before that, she was a marketing and communications executive for Melbourne Fashion Festival. 

Is there a highlight that stands out from your time at FJ?

My best memory was back in 2016, [when] I begged Giulia to let me represent FJ at New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Going to NYFW was just always on my bucket list. I was able to use the magazine to gain a media pass, and then two weeks later I flew out to New York for the month to cover some shows and ended up getting a few pieces published. I would have literally never had that opportunity if I hadn’t worked for FJ, because it’s impossible to get a media pass. That’s sort of my advice to young writers – if you want to write on something, go and ask for it. Don’t wait for people to give you topics if you’re really interested in something, you’re going to write better on something that you’re passionate about. They would have never offered for me to go to NYFW, but I really wanted it, so I just kind of made it happen with the resources I had.

@naomihatton_

Olivia Hart 

Olivia managed to nab a gig in media in the middle of a pandemic, which I’d say is an achievement in itself. She’s learning to love all things plants, home renovations and recipes as a content producer at Are Media (formerly Bauer Media), where she writes for Better Homes and Gardens and New Idea Food.

What’s something that you learnt early on that you still value?

Letting go of your ego and attachment to ideas. You’re pitching stories everyday, and not all of them are going to fit. Pitching can be a really vulnerable process, but you have to kind of learn that if they reject your idea, they’re not rejecting you. Giulia and Cait were really hands on and lovely, so they made it a really safe environment to learn that. 

@olivia-hart

Fashion Journal is on the lookout for a new cohort of interns. Click here to apply or to learn more about the program.

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