Intern Insider: Student Lives the ‘Hollywood Life’

It’s not that she isn’t used to navigating big cities. She grew up in South Barrington, Ill., a suburb of busy Chicago. It’s not that she can’t be away from home. She and her parents are separated by almost 850 miles when she’s taking classes at Elon.

Sophomore journalism major Taylor Madaffari works for both the editorial and marketing sides of Hollywood Life magazine.
Still, sophomore journalism major Taylor Madaffari is a confessed homebody, who relies on her family for support. So heading out to Los Angeles for a two-month internship experience as part of the initial Elon in Los Angeles program this summer was daunting.

But, Madaffari says, the trek west has helped her become more self-supporting.

“This even moreso than my first year of college made me super independent,” Madaffari says. “I’ve been going out on my own. It’s been a real growing experience. I’ve had some wonderful opportunities, and I look forward to having some more.”

One of those “wonderful opportunities” has been her internship with Hollywood Life magazine, a quarterly publication that covers the happenings in Hollywood and sponsors three different awards shows—the Young Hollywood Awards, the Style Awards and the Breakthrough Awards.

As an intern, Madaffari works for both the marketing and editorial departments. She does substantial research and in-person promotion, but she also received the opportunity to write a brief feature about local artist Daniel Maltzman that will run in the fall edition of the magazine.

“I loved him, and I loved his studio,” Madafarri says. “I didn’t want to leave. It was really interesting, but it was so exciting.”

Madaffari says she found her internship with Hollywood Life before she left for Los Angeles, but she didn’t interview for the job until she had landed in L.A. In fact, the process of applying for and being accepted to Hollywood Life proved fairly simple.

“My interview was not really an interview,” Madaffari says. “It was, you already have (the internship). We’re going to tell you what you’re going to do. When do you want to start?

“So I knew at my interview, so it wasn’t like I got exciting news, but I was excited when they told me.”

Her supervisor has been so pleased with her work thus far—and with the feature she wrote—that Madaffari will be given another story assignment, and she’ll get to attend a photo shoot for a young starlet feature in the magazine. She credits her fast start to the lessons she learned in her Media Writing class.

“Media Writing really taught me a lot,” she says, “because I’ve always been wordy in my writing. Media Writing helped tone it down.”

Madaffari says her ultimate career goals are to freelance for National Geographic (“That’s a dream. That would be exciting.”) or to write a regular column for a magazine, so she says she hopes the internship will provide her with invaluable writing experience and useful information on how a magazine operates.

But she’s also interested in acting, so living in Los Angeles, while an intimidating prospect a month ago, has been a lively and exciting—if not distant—enterprise for Madaffari.

“I feel like everyone I meet is important, looks important or wants to be important,” she says. “And I feel like everyone I know is pseudo-famous or close to being famous or knows someone who is famous. I feel like I’m so close.

“I really love acting, and I would love to do that, too, because I love writing and acting. I wouldn’t mind being an actress, so either way I’ll be starving.”

Intern Insider will run one to two times a week during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of the interns from the School of Communications.

Madaffari is now enjoying her time away from home.