The offices of the New York magazine match the city; sleek, organized, and with sharp corners. Posters of the latest issues line the walls, showing the familiar faces of celebrities who are currently on the world’s radar. Today, we see James Franco and Donald Trump.
Among the Mac computers and highlighters on the desks, sheets of new issue mockups line the floor as we walk down the aisles, taking in the scenery. These are older photographs, grainy and faded, of people smiling cheekily into the camera. Some are young people holding cigarettes, others are older, wearing fancy clothing. The years the photographs were taken are written in pencil on the bottom: 1973, 1960, 1955. It’s for an upcoming anniversary issue.
We are taken to a cramped room labeled “Library,” where all of the New York magazine’s issues are laid to rest. There seem to be hundreds of copies, all packed together tightly in their respective slots. But then, before any of us can get a better look, the lights are shut off, and we dutifully file out. We’re going to the conference room.
Lauren Starke, one of two p.r. staffers for the owner of the magazine, New York Media, talked about its history. The first issue came out in 1968 after it separated as a Sunday newspaper supplement from the New York Herald-Tribune. The company moved from Midtown to SoHo in 2007 and the magazine changed from weekly to biweekly two years ago. Over the years, the font of the logo has changed slightly and some sections in the magazine have been reimagined.
Starke graduated from Boston University with an English degree and Italian minor. She joined the magazine in 2006 as a Communications Manager and became the director of Public Relations in 2008.
Other employees shared their experiences working for New York magazine with us. Aude White, the other p.r. staffer, encouraged us to take as many internships as possible. It is a good way to learn and explore our real interest, she said.
Roxanne Behr, who started working as an internship at New York, is currently the Senior Photo Editor. Senior writer Melissa Dahl worked for NBC news as a Health editor before she found herself enjoying writing about behavior and psychology. Lindsay Peoples, into fashion, started working here a year ago. Before that, she interned at Teen Vogue. Dee Lockett studied journalism in Syracuse University. Lockett worked for Complex Media and Slate Magazine before she came here as an associate editor.
As for internship tips, the women’s advice was simple.
“Work hard and ask questions,” one said. “When you see someone that you feel like they can take responsibility, and you don’t have to hold their hand to make them do anything, you can actually picture them working there.”
Others stressed the importance of being polite and professional, following up with prompt emails, and staying busy.
New York is the model of all city magazines, but it is national in its coverage. Prof. Cumming noted how appropriate this is. “I was thinking about how much New York overlaps nationally, with fashion and media.” As the meeting ended, he added with a laugh, “Especially with our presidential candidates.”
–Nuoya Zhou ‘18 and Virginia Kettles ‘19