La vie de stagiaire: my internship at MyFrenchLife™ –  Lily Mac Mahon

Coming back to London after nearly six years in Paris, I thought that I would use this as an opportunity to start a new career. I had always wanted to work in the literary world and, after a lot of research and contemplating, I knew that a career in publishing would be perfect for me.

As I began to look for a full-time job, I noticed that I not only had a lot of spare time on my hands but that I was also lacking publishing experience. One night, I was going through Twitter and came across My French Life™. They were sharing so many interesting articles on French culture. As a Francophile, I went straight to the website and saw that there was an opportunity to do an internship.

Everything about it was perfect:

  • I could develop editorial skills,
  • stay connected to French culture and
  • do the work for the internship in my own hours, and
  • then be able to add these worthwhile skills and experience to my CV.

I remember having my first interview with Judy and could immediately tell that she was somebody who treated people as individuals and wanted to help and guide her interns.

My internship and the learning process

The learning process was incredibly intense!

I had expected a part-time internship to be a laid-back affair, rather as a hobby.

Looking back I’m so happy that it was so demanding.

The internship showed me what I was capable of and it pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

Although it was sometimes difficult to run home after a day at the office, it was also very exciting and rewarding! Judy tailors the internship to make sure that you are constantly learning. As soon as you have mastered one aspect, there is another to learn. It’s never boring!

Important life lessons

The hardest part of the internship was definitely writing an article and receiving it back covered in red marks with comments all over it.

Of course, it was a bit of a blow to the ego, but it also made me feel like a real writer working with an editor.

Since doing the internship, I have learned not to take criticism personally. Looking back, this learning curve also put me in good stead for the rejections from publishing jobs I would later receive!

Importantly, the internship taught me to be methodical. It is as important to pay attention to the small details as it is the whole project. I think that this is an important approach to have for any budding editor or writer.

Most internships are of a twelve-month duration, but I didn’t have that much time available. I completed a less extensive, yet still intense, three-month version.

I can remember starting and being so worried that I wouldn’t learn everything quickly enough. However, by the third month, I felt I had really come to grips with a lot of the important tasks required of me.

Internships: How skills, experience & confidence changed my life

Upon reflection, I can see that the internship definitely improved my confidence.

I now had something concrete to talk about publishing interviews.

And the whole team were so supportive of both my internship and job interview journeys.

I’m delighted to say that I have recently been accepted for the role of Editorial Assistant (Classics and Archaeology list) at Bloomsbury Publishing.

Without a doubt, the My French Life™ internship helped me secure a role in publishing.

If you’re considering an internship, then have a look at this one, as it was much more valuable than just a stepping stone on the way to me landing my dream job; I also got to work with dedicated and inspirational people.

If you are looking for a career in publishing or editorial work; at My French Life™ you’ll be guided as an individual and feel supported by an amazing team. Judy is a wonderful mentor and as you become more familiar with My French Life™, you too will realise that you are part of a community of people who love to share and encourage other Francophiles around the world.

Are you our next potential intern? – we are currently looking for another Lily – is that you? Click here to kickstart your dream career and learn more about working with us. Or read about the experiences of other former editorial interns here. And email Judy MacMahon here now:

Image Credits
All images  © Lily MacMahon

About the Contributor

Lily Mac Mahon

I read Classics at university and moved to Paris after graduation, where I ended up living for nearly six years. I have recently returned to London to start a career in publishing, and am an intern at MyFrenchLife™. Being a Francophile, I absolutely love the French language, literature and, of course, the food. Follow me on Twitter!

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