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Read Her Work!

Marissa Vonesh

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I am captivated by the human experience — I think about it all the time. Whether I am at a coffee shop or riding shotgun in a car, I look at the people around me, at their tables or in their cars, and try to guess where they are going, where they just came from or what their heartaches and celebrations are. I sort of (definitely) live with a romantic lens on life and this has made me innately curious.


I hail from the mountains of northern Arizona, but I've always considered myself a person with an insatiable desire to travel, so I moved to Miami for college. From pine trees to palm trees, I found myself engrossed in a city with cultures so strong I find myself casually speaking Spanglish and attempting to cook Haitian food. My desire to find stories was met by my friends, who were immigrants and exchange students from all over the world. Soon enough, I had tacked on a history major and dove deep into the inner workings of our student magazine — two avenues that have helped me learn how to craft a story that meant more than "this is happening."


Quickly, the student magazine (late nights, crazy photo shoots, stress and all) became my life. My future seemed clear, I'd work at a publication that let me document stories, in both words and art. For me, ASME had always been on my radar. It was my dream. I'd be in New York. I'd meet all my favorite writers and art directors. I'd get to live my own Gossip Girl, Friends, (insert iconic TV show here) experience. So, when I did get the internship — a blessing in itself — and I got placed in D.C., my path seemed different, unexpected. It wasn't my ultimate "plan."


My time at Smithsonian magazine, nonetheless, has been more than I could ever have asked for. The skills I've fostered in college (in journalism, design, and history) have been fine-tuned. My critical thinking, story creation, and overall thought process was put to the test as I tried to craft timely stories about things that happened in the past. I got to hang out in the art department, research everything from hell to military programs, interview authors, and pitch my own story ideas, all the while exploring a historical, important city, and getting to learn about a bustling journalism hub I never pictured myself in.


I am extremely thankful for my opportunity to be an ASME intern. This summer has helped shape the type of journalist I want to be and helped form me as a professional woman. Plus, because D.C. is so easy to navigate, I found endless opportunities (and people watching locations) to develop story ideas through the prism of a human interest angle.


When I am not drooling over independent magazines or packing my bags for my next adventure, I love a mean cup of Earl Grey, a good indie concert, and any type of hike that leads to water.

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