Freelancing / Interviews

INTERVIEW: Sarah Kwong talks Cosmo, careers and advice.

By Annette Stevens.

Sarah Kwong is a magazine journalist, and was a features intern at Cosmopolitan. She talks us through her internship, her work and her advice.
030812-01-sk-tattoo-de
“It seems ridiculous now, but I knew I wanted to ‘write for magazines’ from the age of around 10. Although, back then, I had no idea that it would involve anything other than stapling handwritten pages together and sipping Ribena at my makeshift desk!”

Being the features intern at Cosmopolitan…

“I was the features intern at Cosmo for a year. Luckily, I got to do bits of everything, from writing features to doing inpromptu round table interviews with celebs! It was a real all-round experience. With the web team, I also started up the Intern Blog which seemed to be quite popular. It was a very exciting responsibility to have.

“When applying for the internship, I made sure it was tidy, for starters, and everything was easy to read and the page wasn’t difficult to look at. It’s always good to highlight the achievements you’re most proud of, the ones that you believe will benefit you in the job you’re applying for, too. I’m definitely a Cosmo Girl, I think you’d really struggle to work at such a solid brand without that zest and belief in everything they’re about.

“I wrote regular features for the magazine every month, and I was also lucky enough to write a few longer features having pitched successful ideas. The team is absolutely wonderful and they work very hard to make the mag the best it can be.”

Current employment…

“I currently work a women’s weekly publication at the moment, and also blog for the Huffington Post. I do other bits and bobs in the online world, too. Once I finished my internship at Cosmo, I freelanced for eight months around various publications.

“My handbag essentials for a day at the office include a pen (always!), a little notepad because you never know when you’ll have to pop out and do an interview (and some office notebooks are a bit too big for handbags!), a dictaphone, and the other usual handbag suspects.”

Advice…

“Be persistent, but don’t pester. It sounds so simple, but in actual fact, there’s a very thin line between the two. Getting the right balance is sometimes the key to getting a job, or making a contact. Also, know what you’re talking about. Do research into the publication, get to know every part of it.

“It might seem a little old fashioned now, with the internet being the main source of info for most careers, but The Writer’s Handbook is really useful (and published every year). Also, if you’re looking for jobs, keep an eye on publishing house websites (most of them have careers sections).

“Be determined and understanding. Both are very useful when times get stressful or rough. Sometimes people might respond in a way that irks you, or maybe not even respond at all, but be understanding and stay determined. People rarely get where they want to be by being bitter and difficult.”

If you want to read more…

“My blog: sarahkwong.blogspot.com and my Huffington Post blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sarah-kwong/.”

One thought on “INTERVIEW: Sarah Kwong talks Cosmo, careers and advice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s