09/05/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT
THERE ARE SOME SITUATIONS THEY don't prepare you for in school, as photo intern Ting-Li Wang found out one evening this summer while working on PEOPLE'S weekly Star Tracks department. After sifting through dozens of pictures and helping to select the handful that would appear in the issue, Wang was ready to close up shop. Then at the last minute, an irresistible snapshot landed on her desk—Fergie at a London charity benefit with rocker Eric Clapton (who attended in a Batman costume). Aaarrrgghhh! Back to the layout table. "Closing days can seem like 26 hours rather than 24," says the 25-year-old graduate of Columbia's master's program in journalism. "So much is done in such a short period of time."
Wang is one of 12 interns selected by PEOPLE, as well as culled from programs administered by Time Inc. and the American Society of Magazine Editors, who gained hands-on experience in both editorial and publishing departments at our New York City offices this summer. Joining her: Lisa Anderson, 26, a Stanford MBA candidate; Kelly Bunch, 16, a senior at St. Pius V High School in The Bronx; Fiona Conway, 18, a University of Pennsylvania freshman; Jamie Goodson, 19, a Harvard sophomore; Elaine Kim, 19, a Brown University junior; Marcene Primus, 23, a 1994 Bennett College (N.C.) graduate; Dionne Vernon, 27, a Clark Atlanta University MBA candidate; Andrea Williams, 18, a Yale freshman; Amy Wu, 18, a New York University junior; Trade Wyman, 25, a graduate of Morgan State University (Md.); and Mark Young, 20, a Columbia Union College (Md.) senior. (Another three interns worked in various PEOPLE bureaus.)
Assignments were eclectic: Mark Young reported on the casting of an upcoming HBO movie bio of Mike Tyson, while Amy Wu was sent into the field—literally—for a muddy, firsthand view of Woodstock '94. Fiona Conway, posted to the business and syndication departments, says she "learned every single spreadsheet program that's around. Everyone here knows what they're doing and has it down to a science."
Alas, at least one expectation was not met. "What surprised me most was that there weren't celebrities hanging around," Wu says. But these interns had precious little time for stargazing anyway. "God," Wu sighed as Labor Day approached, "they kept me busy."