Advertising Age, Crain Communications
Danbury, CT | University of Virginia
I had never heard of Advertising Age before this summer. In fact, I knew very little about what any aspect of my experience as an ASME intern would be like — I’d never worked a full-time gig and never lived in New York City. I certainly wasn’t an expert in the advertising industry. I submitted Ad Age as my preferred publication based solely on the job description; for me, all that mattered was that I’d be doing my own reporting, raking in the bylines and growing as a journalist and a young professional. I feel lucky to be able to say that my experience was as fulfilling, challenging and rewarding as I hoped it’d be.
Maybe working at a trade magazine catering to marketing execs and industry creatives isn’t quite as sexy a prospect as joining the staff at a more mainstream brand. But I wouldn’t trade feeling like an important part of the team and having the opportunity to apply skills like interviewing, writing, copy editing and putting together content for social media. Like at any other internship, some of my days in the office were slower than others. For the most part, though, I was busy working on stories I wrote myself or co-wrote with a reporter — I certainly never grabbed coffee for anyone.
Since I’m not into advertising itself, I was forced to learn quite a bit as I went. Feigning competence proves to be a really valuable skill when you’re having phone conversations with chief marketing officers and the ad agencies behind all your favorite TV commercials. On the day a reporter assigned me a assigned a story about Fruity Pebbles’ recent foray into virtual reality marketing, I scheduled four interviews with representatives from the Post brand, creatives who produced the VR content and people who developed the distribution platforms on which virtual reality runs. I went from having a vague idea of what VR even is, to writing an in-depth story on a real-life VR campaign, in the span of a day and a half.
When I wasn’t doing hard-hitting reporting on my cereal beat (seriously, I wrote several stories on cereal marketing), I was growing Ad Age’s social media presence.
Victoria is a rising fourth-year media studies major at the University of Virginia. She is a campus editor-at-large for the Huffington Post and previously wrote for UVA’s student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily.
I’m an avid social media user, so when our publisher, Josh Golden, mentioned he wanted to bolster the magazine’s use of Instagram and Snapchat, I was all over it. As the office’s resident millennial, I covered a Pokemon Go bar crawl of lower Manhattan on Snapchat and flew out to Miami to help run social media coverage of Ad Age’s annual Small Agency Awards. I was lucky to join a close-knit, supportive editorial team at Ad Age. I’ve met pretty much everyone on editorial, including Golden and Editor Ken Wheaton, and have worked closely with many of them. My direct supervisor, Web/Newsletter Editor Catherine Gin, is a wonderfully supportive and approachable boss. Overall, my summer with ASME has been invaluable because of how it has demystified working in the magazine publishing biz post-grad. Without the resources and connections the program has given me, I really wouldn’t know how to begin to break into the magazine world. Now, though, I look forward to becoming one of the professionals who I’m itching to get coffee with today.