Working for Conde Nast: just a few tips

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Conde Nast is an empire I have always dreamed of working for. The home of GQ, Vanity Fair, my new favourite obsession Architectural Digest and, of course, the one and only, Vogue. The vision of walking through their powerful New York City Headquarters with a glossy magazine in hand is dreamy. My idea of heaven, as I’m sure it is of many others. This is what I aim for as I struggle during Covid-university and remote working life, trying to achieve my dream job. Working for iconic individuals such as Anna Wintour or Amy Astley is an experience I would love the opportunity to have. After years, of Vogue subscriptions and binge-watching ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ (which I promise I’m not), the idea of working my way to the top of their knock-off version ‘Dante West’ screams ‘powerful woman’ to me. Although I could not possibly choose at which magazine would be my dream career, I wondered whether life at Conde Nast was really as dreamy as movies such as ‘Devil wears Prada’ and ‘Confessions as a Shopaholic’ really make it out to be and also how you can actually achieve that dream job here. I question “What does it really take to be the next Editor-in-Chief of Vogue?”. 

From Vogue, Tatler, and Glamour magazine to Conde Nast Traveller as well as The New Yorker these iconic brands are amongst the world’s leading magazines, selling millions of copies around the globe every year. Each individual magazine (26 magazines) under this ‘empire’ have their own powerful name and brand let alone being a part of Conde Nast with headquarters in multiple countries. I have always been told that it is a farfetched dream or impossible to get a career for Conde Nast, but why? It may be difficult and a hard, competitive industry to aspire to get into but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unattainable. What I love most about this brand is that many individuals may naturally assume that Conde Nast is predominantly related to the fashion industry or all about Vogue, but this is not true. I recently discovered my new passion for Interior Design and have been binge-watching all celebrity home videos by Architectural Digest, I highly recommend! A career at Conde Nast or one of their many magazines is vast and, in this article, I wish to help others secure a job in this competitive industry by exposing and sharing some tips and tricks that will hopefully realise many dreams.  Although I may not work for this empire just, I aim to. 

Tip number 1 is to read the success stories of others in the industry, not to copy but to be inspired. Personally, I often find reading about powerful CEOs in Forbes motivates me further whether it’s a realistic goal or not. Researching for this article I came across stories from current Vogue Editor-in-Chiefs ‘#IAmCondeNast’ on how they successfully got their jobs as well as what their typical day looks like. You may be sad to know that you won’t be living out your Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep days, as Sofia Lucas stated a big misconception is that Vogue is similar to the ‘Devil wears Prada’ – I’m disappointed too! 

Tip number 2 links to my first point: that a career at Conde Nast takes drive, ambition, motivation, and any other synonym you can think of. You have to WANT it and therefore you will reach success! Of course, it takes passion, creativity and dedication – but what else do people like me need to know? One of my favourite points to take away from the interviews was that it isn’t about what you wear but about you and your personality/work experiences. I feel like this was so important, as nowadays I still feel as though there is a stigma around high-fashion and luxurious brands like Vogue, in this context, is expected to dress in designer clothes or the latest haute couture. It’s a barrier that needs to be broken down. You may need to present yourself appropriately, but it is not a requirement to dress head-to-toe in the latest Gucci or Yves Saint Laurent. Therefore, leading to tip number 3 is your experience – it goes without saying, really!

Applying to work at Conde Nast is so simple! I once easily applied for a position through their website – granted, I was not experienced enough but I wanted to get a feel for the process. Tip number 4, therefore, is to get yourself on the careers section of the website! They have a vast range of jobs and opportunities, even colleges which I would love to attend a summer programme at post-Covid. If I was to critique, I would say that the Conde Nast School of Fashion and Design is very expensive, with short course fees starting from around £900 – £3936. Without knowing how valuable it would be to have or the guarantee of a job at Conde Nast itself, I question this. However, due to Covid-19, the website offers a multitude of industry talks and articles to aid aspiring individuals like me. Additionally, get on LinkedIn if you haven’t already! Connect with those in the industry, to learn and ask for advice. It may take a 5-minute conversation that will help you strive for the success you desire. 

Finally, my last tip gives an overview of my tips and tricks which is just to go for it and apply yourself! Although generalised, I strongly believe that these simple ideas are necessary for any job, not just one at Conde Nast. There is nothing preventing you from getting a job at an ‘Empire’ just because you deem it impossible. The stigma around high-fashion and negativity around working for powerful companies needs to be removed. As long as you do something you love and are passionate about there is no reason you cannot succeed, my dream of a life at Conde Nast may be farfetched but it’s the life I want, so I will get it.

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