Interning at Cosmo: Avocados and California King size sheets

Sometimes your  life really feels like a movie. I am Anne Hathaway in the “Devil Wears Prada”, it is July, it is 95 degrees and I am running down 59th street in a dress and heels trying to catch the crosstown bus to get to Bloomingdales. Oh why may you ask? I was an intern at Cosmopolitan Magazine.

The story of how I got this internship is a funny one.

I was babysitting the 11 year old twin girls I watched when I was studying Photography and Imaging at NYU. We were at basketball practice in Greenwich village and I was doodling magazine mocks in my lap in the bleachers. Suddenly a tiny, but fierce looking woman appeared next to me and said out of nowhere, “Are you a designer?” To which I replied, that I was taking a class on Magazine design at NYU and really loved it. Then she said, I’m the Design Director at Cosmo, here’s my card call me if you want to intern with us this summer.

I called her, I interviewed and then was offered an internship in the Photo department.Um, can we say dreams are coming true? 

So let’s talk about my actual job at Cosmo. I was the photo intern — this was a multifaceted, super glamourous job of course. This mostly involved me running around the office with stacks of back issues, searching for a particular shot from the March 2004 fashion section, or calling agencies to send over photographer’s portfolios, or visiting every single grocery store in manhattan looking for the perfect “magazine rack at checkout location”. It was legitimately something completely different every time I went in.

One of the more memorable errands I was sent on by Cosmo was the day they asked me to “go pickup a few things for a shoot”. The list was short —

  • avocados with varying degrees of ripeness
  • whole wheat toast
  • peanut butter in a glass jar (get a few kinds)
  • off-white, cream and pure white California King Size sheets


My boss, who I now realize was probably the age I am currently said, “Here’s the Gold Card, save all your receipts, but please don’t take cabs, I hate having to expense those.”  It’s July in New York , its 95 degrees in the shade and I am in heels. I am an idiot. Now I have an hour to go find the weirdest list of items and am only armed with a Metrocard. My best friend was also interning for another Hearst magazine that summer and so I texted her to please take her lunch break with me while I attempt to find these things without melting. #moralsupport

Hearst is on 8th avenue, Bloomingdales is on Lexington.  For you non-New  Yorkers thats 7 long blocks, {see map above}. Too far to walk in heels, for sure. Plus we might actually turn into human puddles by the time we hit 5th ave. The M57 crosstown bus rolls up like a life saving, air-conditioned chariot. $2.50 feels like the best bargain in the world right about now.

Full disclosure, usually, I am not but today, in my heels, I am a gold card toting magazine-slave and I am here on a mission. I learned that the best thing to do right away is immediately ask for the manager and say you are there for Cosmopolitan Magazine. That’s when the VIP treatment kicks in and all of a sudden there are 4 lovely ladies in tailored pantsuits running around the linen department trying to locate the 3 varying shades of white California King sized sheets on my list. I feel like Julia RobertsPOST makeover in Pretty Woman, but also I am sweating through my dress and now I’m frozen in this way over air conditioned palace of Egyptian cotton.

 I buy 4 sets since there were honestly 2 shades of eggshell that were both contenders and I didn’t want to have to come back. The total was $1700 and change. Swipe the gold card.

Then I had the task of carrying 40 pounds of cotton down Lexington Ave and oh by the way this was all before smartphones and GPS so just picture me shuffling through hopstop and google map printouts to figure out where the nearest grocery store that might have peanut butter in glass jars.  NOT the easiest request. I ended up finding all the groceries only going to 3 different stores in 2 neighborhoods and was back at the office only 3.5 hours after I left.

You never know what life will bring you, or what jobs might fall into your lap, but one thing I know is that this internship sure gave me a lot of New York experience and savvy and for that I will always be grateful. :)

Photos in post: Refinery 29 and Cosmopolitan and Hearst

Photos in collage: Gabrielle Revere / Getty Images, 

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