Former Refinery29 Interns: Where Are They Now?

You’ve seen them here before — they’ve posed for street-style pics, worked their butts off to bring us the best fashion news, designed wicked-cool graphics, and have even been brave enough to appear in our very special rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
Our interns are such troopers, it’s no wonder that they continue kick ass and forge their own stellar career paths. We caught up with a few of our past interns to get the lowdown on what they're doing now, hear about their favorite R29 memories, and pick up some of their best advice for finding your footing, post-internship. Get a pen ready — you’ll want to take notes from these interns-turned-editors, designers, photographers, entrepreneurs, and more.
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Kristen Pisaturo — Editorial Intern, January 2010-August 2010

What have you been up to since R29?
"I interned at Pamela Love, worked for Madewell in their marketing department (thanks to Christene’s help!), and started a small online vintage clothing shop called Razzmatazz Vintage. I currently work at Grand St. Bakery vintage store, which I love."

Favorite R29 project:
"Definitely “The 10 Craziest NYC Craigslist Posts” article. For almost three days straight, I read every single insane post on Craigslist. As soon as I thought I had found the most bizarre one, I'd stumble upon something that totally topped it! But the “10 Of Our Favorite ‘Fashionable’ Infomercials” post is a close second. It was hard to pick just ten!"

What did you take away from your intern days? 
"My current job would have never happened if it weren't for a past internship. You never know who you will be in touch with and who you'll work with in the future. That's something that really stuck with me ."

Photo: Courtesy of Kristen Pisaturo
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Daniela Jacobs — Editorial Intern, January 2009-June 2010

What have you been up to since your internship?
"I'm working on my Integrated Design degree at Parsons and I've interned for Vena Cava and Steven Alan. I also have a line called Allora, which, lately, has gone in more of a jewelry direction, but I still make clothes for friends or anyone who stumbles onto my site."

What was the most important thing you learned at R29? 
"One thing I learned was that small details can transform the end result of your work. Whenever I went out to shoot street style, Piera always reminded me that the background in the shot should be as visually cohesive as the person you're photographing — it makes the overall image so much stronger. She was totally right, and I've never forgotten that!
"

What’s one word that sums up your intern experience?
"Rad. I started incorporating this word into my vocabulary after my first day at Refinery. It's now a staple!"

Photo: Courtesy of Daniela Jacobs
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Laura Yacoe — Editorial Intern, October 2009-March 2010 


What have you been up to since your R29 days?
"I was a contributor to R29 L.A. and did some copywriting for J Brand, AG Jeans, and Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics. I'm currently a copywriter at BeachMint."

Silliest R29 memory:
"Thoroughly analyzing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video by watching it like five times a row in the office. Admit it, you did that too."

What was the most important thing you learned at R29? 
"The art of headlines — seriously, an invaluable skill (thank you, Christene and Connie!). The team really relied on interns to do an amazing job and there were never any 'Can I really do this?' moments. It was always, 'Okay, let’s DO this.'"


What did you take away from your intern days? 
"Besides a strong writing background? A love for alliteration, all things Rachel Comey, and bright lipstick."

Photo: Courtesy of Laura Yacoe
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Kat George — Editorial Intern, October 2010-December 2010

What have you been up to since your internship?
"After Refiney29, I decided I wanted to live in New York forever and ever so I went home to Australia to extend my Visa. Then, I worked as a contributing editor at Thought Catalog before moving to VH1 to help launch and write their Tuner blog. I'm now the Managing Editor at Portable.tv. I've also contributed to Jezebel, The L Magazine, and New York Press, and was a research assistant on a book about Private Bradley Manning."

What was the most important thing you learned at R29?
"Connie once told me that everything else in your life falls into place when you find the job you love, and that you shouldn't stop until you do. Best. Advice. Ever."

Can you sum up your intern experience in three words?
"Awesome fun. Beyoncé."

Photo: Courtesy of Kat George
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Sara Idacavage — Editorial Intern, March 2010-June 2010

What have you been up to since your internship?
"I’m currently an integrated sales planner at New York Magazine. I never imagined myself working in ad sales, but it’s helped me understand what makes a site successful. I’ve even gotten to write a bit for NYMag.com’s directories, which has been a great way to stretch my writing muscles and to explore new places around the city."

What was your overall R29 experience like?
"From day one, you’re a part of the whole edit process — from brainstorming to seeing your name published on the site. You get to work with some really talented people, and that’s the part that I miss the most."


What was the most important thing you learned at R29? 
"Besides learning how to be a better writer, I think the most important thing that I learned is that it's possible to have a job you like with people that you enjoy being around."

Photo: Courtesy of Sara Idacavage
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Ashley Jahncke — Photo Intern, September 2009-April 2010

What have you been up to since your internship?
"Shooting! I've been Fashionista.com’s street-style photog for over two years now, and have a few photo projects in the works. Basically, I’m never without my camera! I’ve also contributed to Vogue Paris and Vogue UK."

What’s your favorite R29 internship memory?
"One of my favorite moments, which almost turned into a disaster, was shooting backstage at the spring ’10 Cushnie Et Ochs show. It was full of crystal-encrusted gloves, rubber caps, dramatic makeup — a photographer’s dream! Of course, my flash decided to stop working right as I started shooting. I wanted to cry, but I rolled with it instead and ended up taking some of my favorite (flash-free) shots, ever."

What was the most important thing you learned at R29?
"Piera and Christene taught me about maintaining a high standard of work, not only for those you work for, but for yourself, as well. They demand perfection from their team and their selves.
And hellooo Connie!? She is amazing at what she does, and somehow manages to do it all while making funny faces and cracking jokes the whole time!"

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Jahncke
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Sherry Wang — Design Intern, January2011-May 2011

What have you been up to since your internship?
"I've been working on freelance projects. I designed beauty packaging for a bit, and then actually freelanced at R29 for four months. I'm now at Conde Nast Traveler, designing layouts for the digital editions for iPad and 7" devices. I also do some visual identity and advertising work on the side."

Favorite R29 project:
"The Damn Fine Tea collaboration we did this past holiday season. It was nice to have an opportunity to create an actual product. The unique challenge of representing R29's style, content, and social media integration on a printed label was fun to tackle, and I was very happy with the way the design turned out."

What did you take away from your intern days?
"People can be tricky, but staying calm and diplomatic can go a very, very long way. And, being a little daring with your look and expressing yourself through the way you dress doesn't hurt. Something as simple as an awesome pair of shoes can serve as a conversation starter, which is perfect if you're shy like me and sometimes hesitate to initiate conversation."

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh
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Jessica Minkoff — Editorial Intern, June 2010-August 2010

What have you been up to since your R29 days?
"During my last year at NYU, I interned at Vogue.com and HarpersBazaar.com. I got a job three weeks after graduation as the editorial coordinator of Style.com. I do a little of everything there — I review shows during fashion week, attend market appointments, handle the Shop the Looks column, research photos for our party coverage, and more."

What was your intern experience like?
"I was lucky that Kristian, who was the New York editor at the time, took me under his wing. I basically worked with him on 90% of the stories that he was doing. I loved it because he was really hard on me at times, but that only made me do a better job and improved my writing skills. And Connie encouraged me to have fun with my writing."

Three pieces of advice every current intern should follow:
"Do as many internships as possible, keep in touch with every editor that you work for, and try to bring something special to each internship!"

Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Minkoff
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Beverly Fong — Editorial Intern, August 2009-February 2010


Where are you now?
"I work for Pearson Education and I'm an assistant editor, so I help edit political science college textbooks and their associated products."


Craziest R29 memory:
"
This story involves Ryan Gosling, as all good stories should. Before Fashion Week, I found out that his band, Dead Man's Bones, was supposed to play at the LNA after party, and I prayed that I would somehow find my way in. A few weeks later, Christene asked me to cover the LNA show and afterparty, and I nearly fainted. Tragically, Ryan's band never showed up, but Patti Smith did, which was still pretty fabulous."


What did you take away from your intern days?
"Although I don't work in fashion anymore, I still do editorial work, and that requires having a very clear vision and the ability to execute that vision. I also took away a love of Pop Chips and Mast Brothers chocolate, and an unhealthy obsession with everything Madewell."

Photo: Courtesy of Beverly Fong
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Michelle Christina Larsen — Editorial Intern, September 2009-January 2010

Where are you now?
"I'm currently the editorial director of Denim Therapy and a freelance stylist. I’m also in the process of starting up my own site, HeyMishka.com, which coaches urban women on adding more style to the daily grind."

Best R29 moment:
"I was starstruck when I attended Fashion Week for the first time as a reporter, but I got to interview Waris Ahluwalia, who is one of my industry idols. It's refreshing and inspiring when you meet someone you look up to artistically, and find out they're humble and have a sense of humor."

What are the most important things you learned at R29? 
"Connie taught me the art of writing quickly, effortlessly, and with just the right dose of pop-culture reference and wit thrown in. Christene, who is like a ferociously stylish mom to the interns, taught me to be ballsy, work hard, and stop making excuses for not doing my best."

Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Christina Larson
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Desiree Pais — Editorial Intern, October 2009-December 2009

What have you been up to since your internship?
"I'm currently the executive assistant at an awesome menswear brand called Isaora. I'm also a yoga teacher and just finished my second training with the Kelly Morris, who is the founder of Conquering Lion Yoga. Her technique combines Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophies into one mind-blowing practice."

What was the most important thing you learned at R29? 
"Christene taught me that when someone gives you a deadline, you should do everything you can to make that deadline. Christene is amazing, beautiful and sweet, but she can be tough — and I loved that about her."


What did you take away from your intern days?
"Once you accept a project, finish it. All of your focus should go into getting it done correctly and on time."

Photo: Courtesy of Desiree Pais
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Max Berlinger — Editorial Intern, October 2008-December 2009

What have you been up to since your internship?
"I interned in the GQ fashion closet (great!) and worked for a disastrous web start-up (not so great). I also interned at Out Magazine where I later scored a full-time job as assistant editor. I’ve also contributed to British Vogue's web site, SHOWstudio.com, Manhattan Magazine, and The New York Times' The Moment blog."

  
Craziest R29 moment:
"I got to cover a fashion show, which was possibly the most intimidating thing I had done at that point in my life. I asked Anna Wintour if I could get a quote from her, and said that I worked for Refinery29, to which she replied, "I've never heard of it. I can't talk now." I slunk away with my tail between my legs. [Ed note: Bet she’s heard of us now!]"

What was the most important thing you learned at R29?
"I learned to be aggressive and to stay true to my opinion. It's okay not to love everything, but if you're going to critique something, you'd better be able to articulate why."

Photo: Courtesy of Max Berlinger
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