Read Her Work!
My mother’s an incredible cook. Pot de crème, killer kale salad, scalloped potatoes, the best turkey burgers in all the land … But for that reason, I am not much of a cook myself. So, when I was placed at Rachael Ray Every Day, I was excited, of course, but also a bit jittery. After scanning the website and seeing an article titled, “Persimmon Buying Guide,” I immediately had to Google search, “What’s a persimmon?”
However, those worries dissipated as soon as I started. Rachael Ray is all about inclusivity, accessibility, and a whole lot of fun. Rach’s mentality trickles right down to her magazine’s office, and it was noticeable from the first day. Despite my lack of culinary expertise, I was able to jump right in, and everyone was welcoming, hardworking, and loved their jobs. I worked almost solely on digital — writing and creating social content — which was exactly where I wanted to be. I got to experience the wondrous process of print journalism everywhere around me, and even got to write a sidebar for our November issue, but I knew I wanted to get to know the fast pace and style of writing digital demands. And that I did!
I learned there is never time to be idle in the magazine world. There is always something you can do — especially when it comes to digital. If I had a free moment, I usually was researching food news and trends. And sometimes, if the right story came up, it became an article (re: #FoodJenga). Or, one Friday afternoon, I emailed out to the whole editorial team asking if anyone needed some help, and next thing I knew, I was in our test kitchen making Thanksgiving desserts with our food assistant. The fun surprises are endless.
A huge takeaway from my internship has been to say yes to everything that comes my way. I dove headfirst into the environment, even though I didn’t necessarily expect to end up there. Anyone who applies to the ASME program knows the uncertainty attached to the internship, but that’s also what’s fun about it. Everyone was placed where they were for a reason, and we all got to learn from each other’s experiences every week at lunch. Aside from connecting with our fellow interns, I found that ASME lunches were invaluable. It was fascinating to see the different paths former and present magazine journalists took in the ever-changing industry, and helped shape my aspirations for the future.