4) What are the best bits about your job? And the worst? Without sounding too cheesy, I love almost everything about my job. The best bits are the people I work with, who are all amazing, the wide variety of articles I get to write, interviewing reallife case studies, writing my column, and the lovely perks of the job, like getting to see films before they’re released to review them, and going on free holidays to write the travel pages! The worst bits tend to be the smaller things - like when you have lots of little jobs to do which get in the way of writing, and getting behind on emails. I couldn’t say this about every job I’ve had, though!
Words: Lauren Anderson Pictures: Taken by Rosie Mullender
How I got my dream job...
The Magazine Industry is one of the toughest trades to get into, so we speak to Features Editor Rosie Mullender to see just how she managed it, and how she secured a job at one of the best women’s magazine around. 1) When did you first know you wanted a career in magazines? I was doing a post-graduate course at The London Institute in Printing and Publishing, and we had a lecture from the editor of a monthly magazine. She listed the skills you’d need for a job in magazines, and the highs and lows, and it fitted exactly what I was looking for in a job. 2) What jobs did you do before Cosmopolitan? I started out as a feature writer at South West News Service, a news agency in Bristol, then moved onto That’s Life as a feature writer. I was then contacted by the editor of a magazine which hadn’t launched
yet to be a senior writer, which turned out to be love it! Magazine. I was then approached by another prelaunch, and got the job as deputy features editor, which turned out to be Look magazine. 3) How did you secure a job at Cosmo? I’d applied for a job at Cosmo as commissioning editor before getting my job at Look, but didn’t hear anything. Then when the position of senior writer became available they contacted me and asked if I’d like to apply. Two interviews secured me the role although it was a step down job title-wise, it was my dream job and I accepted it in a nano-second. It was the best decision I ever made!
5) Can you say that you are finally in your dream job? Absolutely, and it totally lives up to my expectations.
want to be remembered for the wrong reasons), and thinking hard about the magazine and its market for each task you’re given will really make you stand out, and word spreads quickly because the industry is a small one. 10) Is the Industry really as tough as everyone makes it out to be? I spent three years working in a petrol station after graduation, working for weeks on end without a day off, and doing endless work experience before getting my first break, so I’d say it is very tough but totally worth it. And once you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s a lot easier. If you’re bright, keen and talented, you’ve got a good chance of making it. But not everyone does, and it’s important to bear that in mind. 11) What traits are important to have when trying to make it as a Journalist? Talent, determination, confidence, diligence, enthusiasm, positivity, and a genuine passion for magazines - not for the benefits you think working for one might get you.
“Make sure magazine journalism is something you really want to do before you embark on it.”
6) Do you still get excited when you see your name in print? As I’ve been at Cosmo over three years now I’m quite used to it, now I get the biggest thrill seeing my picture in the mag alongside my column, and when my name appears on film posters - that gives me a huge buzz. Just seeing the Cosmo sign when I come into the office each morning gives me a thrill, too.
7) What’s been the most challenging, and rewarding thing you’ve had to do at Cosmopolitan? They’re one and the same - a huge piece I did a couple of years ago to work out what ‘fat’ means to women across Britain. It involved a massive amount of work and research, and reading through scientific papers, but the final article was incredibly well received, which I was really proud of. Getting naked for my column was also very challenging...
12) And lastly, do you have any excellent tips for aspiring Magazine Journalists? Read, read, read magazines - all the magazines you can get your hands on. Absorb them, love them, notice what they do. Practice writing through a blog or a diary. Get all the experience you can, and utilise it to its fullest - even if it’s for a magazine you don’t particularly want to work for, work your absolute hardest and it’ll get you far. Make sure magazine journalism is something you really want to do before you embark on it, as it’s a difficult journey. And if you’re 100% sure it’s for you, never give up!
8) Do you read Cosmopolitan yourself? I used to, and still would if I didn’t work here, but if you’ve worked on a feature it doesn’t have the same impact - in the same way as I expect people who work on Harry Potter aren’t as taken in by the special effects onscreen as the public! There are a few features each issue, though, which I haven’t known much about until the issue comes out, and I still love reading those. 9) How important is it to gain contacts in the Magazine Industry? I’d say it’s crucial - but not as hard as you’d think to achieve. Working very hard on work experience placements, being enthusiastic, helpful and friendly while respecting that people are busy (you don’t