Posted tagged ‘Internship’

Downtime at Rolling Stone

May 8, 2008


The Capri Lounge was done away with decades ago so with out that imfamous Rolling Stone hangout where, let’s face it, interns probably weren’t allowed anyways, we have to come up with other ways to stay busy during our down time.


Every once in a while something truly amazing occurs in intern land. In between research projects, transcriptions, and random errands, there are rare magical moments when the e-mail inbox is empty and for just a moment, a confused but grateful feeling of relief washes over the library.


Too cracked out from the free coffee and .75 cent Cokes to just relax and read Gawker like normal people, we use these precious moments for more creative time-killing strategies. And because most of us are overly anxious about college graduation in May, we find a way to write all of it off as “skill building.”


We practice our research skills by Googling after work bars in search of the best happy hours. Our incomes only afford us the drinks we can get people to buy us after we tell them we work at Rolling Stone, and that usually amounts to zero when they find out we are just interns, so finding the deals are essential.


Being an expert at Excel spreadsheets is also a resume builder and I have one circulating the office which details 37 different bars in the city and their specials every night. For convenience, the bars are alphabetized and each day of the week has its own color-coded tab.


Storytelling is another essential trait for a journalist and we practice that by rehashing the details of our nights together. “Tragic” is the most common adjective used after we share the “I can’t believe I did that/woke up there” moments. After attempting to recreate a certain incident involving Hunter S. Thompson and Rolling Stone’s Editor in Chief, it has been declared that one intern is no longer allowed near fire extinguishers (ahem, Cody).


You have to be ready to compete in this rat race they call the real world and when there are 10 interns and seven computers, our free time quickly turns into a game of survival of the fittest. The Lord of the Flies manages to finagle their way into the shiny new Mac near the editors while the Piggy of the day gets the slow PC in the corner. So far there are no heads on stakes.


Being YouTube savvy goes along with staying in the know which is another vital attribute in the industry. If you haven’t seen Michael Cera’s Impossible is the Opposite of Possible, the Korean baby singing Hey Jude (don’t miss the remix), or Ghetto Gumby, how can you possibly feel ready to walk into an interview and tell the editor you are “in the know?”


Every intern comes away with the basic knowledge of working with editors and juggling assignments, but I hope that our extra-curriculars are giving us a little more than that. And if being a master at Excel spreadsheets isn’t going to give me the upper hand that lands a job, then at least I have some good embarrassing stories about  whoever among us does manage to make it.      



Life as a Rolling Stone Intern

May 8, 2008

Rolling Stone Cover

It is my final week as an editorial intern at Rolling Stone and after spending a semester fighting with the copy machine and listening to wacky interviews on everything from Willie Nelson’s campaign against eating horses to Adam Levine’s list of the best songs to hook up to, I find myself getting a little sentimental. If you want a little taste of Rolling Stone life you will probably need to wander in the middle of a mosh pit full of sweaty stoners, but if that’s not your style, just read on…


A Day in the Life of a Rolling Stone Intern

“Here is a nine minute interview with Sporty Spice. It could be the most groundbreaking work of my entire career. Mick Jagger gave me an hour. Sporty gave me less than a tenth of that.”


This e-mail is just one example of the type of love letter that greets us as we arrive to start our day in the lowliest position that exists at a magazine: an intern. Few will be shocked to learn that what you saw on MTV’s portrayal of intern life at Rolling Stone was about as realistic as the girls from The Hills, but even though we don’t get invited to lingerie parties or DMX’s tour bus, we at least get to brag about the celebrities that pass through the offices every week…oh and also that we get to work at Rolling Stone.


Most of our time is spent transcribing interviews for the editors, researching for stories, and when the ADD kicks in, YouTubing videos of babies who crack up at the sound of paper tearing. Someone with a cruel sense of humor decided to station the intern desk directly outside of Jann Wenner’s office so that every mistake or mishap becomes even scarier when you realize the Editor-in-Chief might have just seen you dump your salad on your lap as you scrambled to take down a message.


Last week someone arrived with so many bodyguards we were sure it was Obama in there amidst the sea of muscle. But when I heard the Us Weekly people getting excited about the mystery celebrity, I knew something was wrong. Turns out it was P Diddy amidst the entourage.


Celebrity sightings are a weekly occurrence but after a few appearances (Sheryl Crow, Santana, Counting Crows) we realized that the leftover food is the real reason to get excited. The magazine hosts luncheons for the celebs and there are always untouched platters of gourmet sandwiches and other treats left over. Yes, we are unpaid and have very little pride.