“We have the book sale this week,” Taylor, the Assistant Books Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine, said as we unpacked books that had been sent to us today.
“Right,” I said. It was my third week at O. I hadn’t been involved in any major office projects yet. We had the book sale. “What does that mean?”
Taylor laughed. He explained that the book sale is a Hearst (O’s parent company)-wide event where we sell all the finished books that had been sent to our books editor in the last months. “All the finished books” roughly translates to stacks upon stacks upon stacks of books, and we had to set up a veritable book store in our conference room. And we had to do it all in two days.
But getting to partner with Taylor during my third week on the job is the perfect representation of my time at O. It’s internship where I’m not just an intern, but a member of the team, someone editors depend on to make sure the behind-the-scenes work is done well. I felt their confidence in me from the first day on the job, when one of my bosses, Joseph, handed me three transcriptions. Since I love transcribing – this might just be me, but I love getting to listen to and trace a subject’s story, love the feeling of knowing who they are by the end of the recording – two transcripts were finished by the next day. From that moment on, Joseph has relied on me.
The other editors I work closely with also trust me with their transcripts, research and long-term projects.
One of my favorite parts of interning at O is the office atmosphere. Everyone works so well together and is so happy to be there – and that shapes my work as an intern and my attitude toward my job. I couldn’t ask for a more collaborative, intelligent and fun environment to memorize the insides of a large magazine. I couldn’t ask for better editors to get to know, learn from, get lunch with and ask all my burning questions about the future.
Being an ASME intern has also indelibly shaped my summer. Our three-day orientation led me to make connections with writers and editors I admire, and our weekly lunches at different publications have been inspiring and reaffirming: I want to be a journalist, and thanks to ASME I can build the tools necessary to become the journalist I want to be.
“We couldn’t have put this on without you,” Taylor says to me 72 hours after he mentioned the book sale. The thousands of books had been labeled and sorted into six different genres, organized so our top picks were on display, and grabbed by editors from every level of Hearst Tower. I was crazy proud of the work we had done. In those two days of hauling books and lending my ideas to the organization of the room – and learning about Taylor’s background, where he wants to go in the industry – I saw my whole time at O unfold. It would be a summer of learning, growing, changing, listening and being heard. It would be one of those summers I’d never forget. It would be the start of a career that I could make the most out of, and I know I’ll carry what I learned here forward.