So, You Want My Job?
Let boohoo introduce you to Maxine Eggenberger, Fashion News Editor for Look Magazine.
Read on to to find out about how she got there, what she likes about the role and the advice she has to offer budding new talents who may aspire to break into the industry...
Look is a hugely popular magazine to work for, it must be a great feeling being part of such a successful publication?
It really is. I was a die-hard reader before I landed my dream job as Fashion Assistant on the team, so it really was a dream come true to work here – and it still is.
Your degree was fashion based, is it always an area you've been passionate about?
I've always been fashion obsessive and always wanted to work at a magazine (I blame the movie 13 Going On 30) but, instead of journalism or promotion, I actually did my degree in fashion design. I'd always been super creative and I wanted to really understand the craftsmanship that goes into the clothes we wear.
If it wasn't fashion and writing, are there any other careers you wanted to pursue?
A control freak to the core, if I wasn't in fashion I'd probably be in the events industry. That said, it would be pretty dreamy to be a florist, too.
It's a very competitive industry you're in, what traits do you think someone needs to survive so to speak?
Always try to be a step ahead of everyone else. When I was interning, I used to have pins stuck in my lapel to hand to a stylist at a moment's notice. Do things before they're asked for, like sorting out the credits for a shoot or getting the prices of still life imagery you know is going to be used. That, and show interest in everything – although fashion is my forte, I'm always on the look out for home, beauty, fitness and lifestyle trends to pitch too. It's all about making yourself completely indispensable on every level.
And what's the best way to get into it? There's always the argument of experience vs a degree…
Looking back, I could have started out without a degree, but I think you definitely need life experience behind you before you begin a career in fashion. I got my first job (no, not a paper round) when I was 14 and that really contributed to my work ethic. I hate to say it, but I probably took away more from the work environment than I did the university environment, but that might just be me...
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I like to get the day off to a positive start, so I usually get in the office early to sort through my emails and get ready to pitch the day's ideas. Between 10am and 11am daily, I meet with the rest of the magazine's department heads to plan what we're going to do in that issue, and future issues too. After this, my team and I usually work on creating our pages – scouting the hottest trends, tracking down must-have products and writing the copy to go with. Once all the work is done, you'll find me attending press days or meeting PRs for lunch or dinner.
Best parts of your job that you just can't get enough of?
I feed off uncovering new trends before anyone else catches on. I'm constantly looking for new brands, products and people to profile in our pages too.
The best advice you've ever been given?
You don't get anything for free; you have to work your ass off for what you want. That's something my grandpa taught me very early on in my life, and I thank him every day for it.
What motivates you daily?
The fact I love my job is motivation enough – how many people can say that after all? It helps me that I have a more than supportive husband who puts up with my late nights, early mornings and many, many outfit dilemmas. I'm also on a perpetual quest to make my little brother Norrie (who's nine) proud of his big sis. However, the one thing that really makes me want to get up in the morning? My miniature dachshund, Kaiser.
You've had a great journalistic career, any particular highlights for you so far?
Meeting Victoria Beckham has to be up there. I was a mess. I'm pretty sure she thought I was in the wrong place. However, meeting the people I have met and working with the talented people I have, and continue, to work with on a daily basis is the ultimate highlight.
Any challenges you face in your role?
Every day is a challenge – trying to convince our customers they need this shoe or that dress comes with its own set of stresses here. It's definitely not as easy as it looks. Everyone at LOOK is so passionate about what we put out there, it's always going to take a toll, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Inspired? What's your dream career?