Generation Yes

Issue 4 of Intern magazine has dropped and it's jammed with the work and voices of talented students, graduates and interns, along with some seasoned industry wisdom. We caught up with editor Alec Dudson to get the inside scoop... 

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Intern magazine issue 4

What can readers expect from the new issue of Intern?
This time round we’re taking a look at career paths. There are a lot of options out there career-wise and we believe that should be an empowering situation rather than a daunting one. It’s a completely legitimate concern that some students feel like they’re graduating into an over-saturated industry, but what we explore in the issue is the broad ways in which their skills and qualifications can be applied. That sees us talking to Carrie Thompson, studio manager for Alec Soth; Liv Siddall, editor at Rough Trade; and getting stuck into a piece from PHD student Kajsa Asplund on the risk the creative industries are taking by not nurturing ‘talent’ properly.

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Intern magazine issue 4

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Intern magazine issue 4

Now you're on issue four do you feel Intern has hit it's stride?
I’m very happy with where we are editorially speaking, but the nature of the publication is that each issue we work with an entirely new set of young contributors from around the world. As such, the tone, look and feel of the mag can vary quite a lot. That can be challenging at times, but I believe that it makes for a valuable experience for our readers. The design, by our art directors She Was Only holds things together while allowing our contributors—who are intentionally centre stage—to dictate the mood and themes each time. I feel that in order for Intern to be a useful resource for the students and recent graduates that it chiefly targets, it needs to be for and by them, so that they can relate to it. Another aim is to ensure that issue-by-issue, we faithfully reflect the debates occurring around creative industry work. So as we move forward, more people want to get involved and that helps to ensure that there’s variety and diversity in those discussions.

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Intern magazine issue 4

Which feature or element from this issue posed the biggest challenge?
For the first time this issue we had a feature that had to be dropped. The business we profiled was a brilliant start-up by an inspiring young entrepreneur and then seemingly out of the blue, their site shut down and they declared that they were no longer trading. It was a bit of a hiccup, but nothing major. We loved the work that our two would-be contributors did, so are going to work with them on the next issue too. Aside from that, the biggest challenge was advertising sales. Our sponsorship packages will be going through some major changes over the next few months as we look to build out our offerings. Understandably, these days, print advertising is a tough sell, with marketing teams everywhere measuring performance with online analytics. It’s meant a delay to the release of the issue, which has been tough, but it’s also meant that I now spend more time considering our strategy. Every issue is a learning curve, this one has just been a little steeper.

And which was the most fun to do?
So much of our content is created remotely, so I don’t really have much direct involvement in the making. That said, I think one of the most fun to see come together online was Kelia Anne MacCluskey’s photo feature ‘We Could Be Heroes’. In it, she photographs a range of interns who were given odd and unenviable tasks to do and frames them as heroic for getting their heads down and getting on with it. It’s a tongue-in-cheek commentary on a really common element of internships, but is beautifully shot and styled. The little detail that really takes it up a level is the prop design. Lexy Pazul made each story’s ‘object’ out of paper. When I saw the computer with keyboard, I was thinking to myself “the detail is so cool”, by the time I saw the cello my jaw was on the floor. The nerves always jangle when a commission is coming together and you’re seeing the first shots via email, I was sporting a wide grin when these hit my inbox.

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Intern magazine issue 4

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Intern magazine issue 4

We're fans of the neat format of Intern - what informed the decisions about the magazine's size and shape?
My initial conversations with the She Was Only team resulted in us aiming for a smaller format. It’s a real pain when you buy a mag (they’re not cheap after all) and by the time you get it home, it’s bent out of shape. If we were aiming at students, something backpack friendly made sense. The final format of 24x17cm came from conversations with our printers who said it was a size that would allow for the minimum wastage from the large sheets used to print on. We’ve since changed printers, to the excellent Park Communications and the format has stuck. We tend to keep it around the 144-page mark, that allows us room for twenty features per issue, sponsors and of course, our contributor index.

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Intern magazine issue 4