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Robyn Smith

Shuffling down 3rd Ave. and beginning to chafe, I began to doubt that walking the two miles to work was a good idea. Sweat clung to me in the city’s humidity, making me resemble a dripping Big Gulp cup. Somehow, I still made it to the Meredith’s office intact. The 20 minute-makeover I gave myself that morning was running like a melted crayon, but I got to the office early, and therefore could dry myself off in my half-cubicle with relative privacy.


For some dumb reason, the stickiness didn’t sway me. I kept walking, even in the rain. It became routine during my second week at Rachael Ray Every Day, partially because I liked the exercise, partially to stave off snack guilt, and mostly to avoid spending $130 on an unlimited Subway pass.


Lucky for me, there was only one intern spot at Rachael Ray Every Day. The magazine hadn’t participated in the ASME internship program since 2015, and I was selected not because both editor-in-chief Lauren Purcell and I were both Delta Gammas like I stupidly thought, but because I leaned wholeheartedly into Ray’s good-natured, down-to-earth, EVOO-loving brand. My clips and references also helped.


In the first six weeks of my internship (when this was written), I’d done research for over 10 stories, attended nine PR events, written two listicles, eaten lunch with editors from seven other titles, gotten the mail about 60 times, baked one box of biscuits and made 32 cups of coffee (all of which I drank).


ASME provided a plethora of both networking and friendship-making opportunities. I learned how to handwrite and mail thank-you notes, gleaned tips about pitching, crafting and writing stories for modern magazines and how to navigate the subway. I got coffee with writers and editors whose careers I desperately wanted to emulate, and even wrote a book review or two in my spare time.


My mentor, Jess Testa, was a national reporter at Buzzfeed who covered gender. She introduced me to crullers pastries and taught me a lot about how to market myself and tailor my skills to each job I apply for.


Living and working in the city made me realize that, wow, I could spend two decades here. I saw Paul Rudd-- that meant we could become best friends one day. And I crossed the street at the same time as Chloe Grace Moretz, and we made eye contact! I was convinced she would never forget me.


More importantly, my fellow interns made my experience so special. I was doubtful that I’d move back to the East Village right after I graduate in May, but it was comforting to know that no matter what neighborhood I move to, I’ll have friends to live with who would, at the very least, tolerate me.


The brand new running shoes I bought right before my internship started never got much use. As full-blown tourist, I went to the East River, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the High Line, Chelsea Market, Ground Zero, Central Park and the Disney store in Times Square. I tried Momofuku Milk Bar and didn’t like it (the ice cream tasted like salty cereal milk, which was weird). I saw “Phantom of the Opera.” I spent too much money on brunch.


This summer, the summer of “Wonder Woman,” was the best summer of my life. Out of the 21 summers I’d experienced at the time, it was No. 1. That was pretty damn good.


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