I quit a lot of things when I was a kid – piano, tennis, soccer, etc. – but the one hobby I never gave up was storytelling. When I was allowed to use my mom’s computer, I would write these bad and embarrassing stories of people I wished I was and things that randomly came to mind. Then, in high school I took a creative writing class where I also wrote one crappy piece and only reinforced my lack of fiction writing skills. So I turned to journalism and found that I was pretty good at it. More importantly, though, I realized everything the industry stands for and strives to do is also what I believe in and want to do.
My first summer internship was at a small newspaper in Aspen, Colorado, where I covered the Aspen Institute for six weeks. It gave me a lot of experience working for a daily paper and learning how to make two-hour deadlines, but that fast-paced, demanding environment was not for me. The next summer, I studied abroad in London and interned at a luxury life magazine called Epicurean Life. Since I had already tried newspapers, I wanted to test out magazines. It was a completely different world, but one that I took to immediately.
Even though my internship this summer is halfway done, I’ve already learned so much: the way a large-scale and recognized magazine functions, how to handle both a digital and print component, how far ahead magazines operate, and how they form relationships with other magazines, brands/vendors, and freelancers. One of my first assignments was to literally print out pictures to pin on a board for a pitch meeting. After that, though, I got to sit in on that meeting and then assist at the photoshoot for the story. Originally, it seemed like a small assignment, but I was able to see it through. My responsibilities have grown since then; I assist on photoshoots and now get to attend press events on behalf of my bosses and the magazine. One of the biggest ones was helping with their annual holiday gift guide for the December issue. I’m the vendors’ main contact and organize all the entries and choose which ones will be shown to the editors. Being able to work at a big and recognized magazine was not something I would have been able to do without ASME, and it’s been a rewarding and exciting experience.