Networking advice from our New York hack

Alice Vincent – the Wannabe Hacks guest poster from Harlem – gives some excellent advice on network etiquette and how to act when you meet that Special One: the big-time editor.

‘Networking’ is one of those nasty verb/noun hybrids that is banded around as the key to success by those who have made it. Whether you fear it, crave it or are still unsure of what is really is networking is essential in the world of journalism.


Image courtesy of CERTs

And now more than ever, so get used to it.

For those in the latter category, networking is a means of making professional contacts through illusory informal means. Essentially, it’s talking shop. If you fear it, start putting on a brave face. If you crave it, well that’s half the trick.

I’m a pretty shameless networker: I figure this probably stems from a burning desire to write professionally, overt curiosity and – as a friend once said – “mad convo skills.” Essentially, I’m nosy, chatty and desperate to be a journo and if I have to talk my way up to the top I will.

Technically speaking, there’s no standard way in which these ‘networking’ conversations start. It might be something as natural as discussing how late the show is going to start with a writer from British Vogue from an ill-gotten seat at NYFW’s front row. It could be something as blatantly forced as asking what somebody does at a press conference. Whatever the means, the basic rules always apply.

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An English-woman in New York

This week WannabeHacks are proud to present a regular guest poster: a Hacker from Harlem.

Alice Vincent is a 21 year-old writer interested in magazine journalism as well as fashion, music and the arts. After completing an English Literature degree at Newcastle University this summer she has recently moved to New York to intern with Nylon magazine.

Alice Vincent

As those who have experienced it will know, the first day of any new internship is fairly nerve-wracking.  The combination of a new public transport system, entering part of a city bustling with confident commuters and feeling like you’ve got a luminous sign above your head saying ‘UNPAID NEWBIE’ isn’t a great one.

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