Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Journalism Isn't for Me ... but I Still Love Magazines; Do You Dream of Working for a Magazine or Newspaper? You May Be Surprised to Find That Selling Advertising Space Can Be as Glamorous as Journalism - and Often Better Paid, Says Bonnie Estridge LONDONJOBS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Journalism Isn't for Me ... but I Still Love Magazines; Do You Dream of Working for a Magazine or Newspaper? You May Be Surprised to Find That Selling Advertising Space Can Be as Glamorous as Journalism - and Often Better Paid, Says Bonnie Estridge LONDONJOBS

Article excerpt

Byline: BONNIE ESTRIDGE

CAROLINE Jouning has always been mad about clothes. Even at the age of nine she was saving pocket money to buy Vogue.

Cutting out pictures to make collages for her bedroom wall, she imagined herself working one day for the fashion bible.

Yet when she went to Cambridge University, her studies took an unexpected turn - she chose a theology degree.

"I've no idea why," laughs Caroline, 31. " Probably because I knew I was good at arguing and writing essays. I knew it hardly married up with my love of fashion, but when you get offered a place at Cambridge, you go.

"It's true that I was quite academic - I studied Greek as part of my course - but that didn't stop me banging on doors to get myself two weeks' work experience at Marie Claire during my second year.

"I also managed to persuade Vogue to take me for three weeks at the beginning of my third year at university."

After taking her degree, Caroline contacted a girl she had worked with on Vogue, who had moved to the beauty department at Cosmopolitan.

"By now, I'd decided that I wanted to be a beauty writer, so when I was offered a couple of months temping as an editorial assistant for a very low wage, I jumped at the chance.

"I took some more shortterm, minimally-paid jobs for Tatler, Vogue and even GMTV.

But then I came to the conclusion that writing just wasn't happening for me.

"Popular writing is so different from academic writing that I just didn't seem to be getting anywhere and was honest enough with myself to realise that I wasn't actually a good journalist.

"In 1995, I had another six-month stint at Vogue. I went to the personnel office and asked again if there were any permanent jobs in the company.

They suggested I try for a position as an advertising assistant for GQ magazine.

"I had no idea what the advertising side involved and I wasn't keen to work on a men's magazine but I got the job and ended up loving it.

Some friends found it hard to understand how I could enjoy being in an environment that was not exactly creative, like editorial, but I felt it was an important way in. What's more, the money was better."

At first she did only admin, answering the phones and photocopying - "a real Girl Friday job," she says. "But I really learned the ropes, and managed to get a reputation for being good at my job and, importantly, doing everything with lots of enthusiasm.

"Crossing over from editorial to advertising is not a natural way to go, but I was glad because I knew this was where I wanted to be."

Her hard work and zest paid off when Steven Quinn, publishing director of Conde Nast, walked into the office one day and asked who she was and what she was doing.

They talked about her prospects and when a job as account manager at Vogue came up, Caroline went for it After seven months, she had worked her way up to senior account manager. Within six years, she had moved through the ranks of advertising manager to advertising director.

"These jobs are all similar in as much as the goal is to sell advertising space in the magazine, liaising with ad agencies and their clients - it's the level of responsibility within each job that is different.

"Everyone is trying to pull in advertising, but when you are an account manager, you are handling small accounts. …

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