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Explore Her Work!

Victoria Merlino

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Getting into journalism was a huge accident. The deciding factor in my higher education selection process was a stellar Yelp review, and I came into Baruch College dragging my feet and questioning my decision to attend a business school as an English major. I joined Baruch’s weekly undergraduate newspaper, The Ticker, on the first day of school, hoping to maybe meet a couple people who cared about words as much as I did. From there, it was a slow but steady descent into obsession. First, I read up on AP Style. Next, I took a couple journalism classes to become a better editor. Fast forward again, and I’ve changed my major and found myself in the ASME program.

Coming from a hard news background, I found it challenging at first to adjust to the pace and feel of a monthly magazine. While newspapers are, for the most part, quick and brutal — you should have gotten that information out five minutes ago and in 50 words less — magazines can be delicate orchids. They’re conceived and planted months in advance, and cultivated through sweat, rewrites, and do-overs. Each word is carefully chosen for maximum impact, and each image pairs perfectly. The idea is that when you set the final version free, it will be something for readers to cherish.

Interning at Family Circle has taught me a lot about what makes for a good, interesting magazine. Every editor and staffer I’ve worked with has taught me something new, whether that’s how to talk to PR professionals, pitching an idea to top editors, making videos for social media, efficient fact checking, or writing snappy heds and deks. I had the chance to attend events, have my photos featured on the FC Instagram account, and have a couple bylines in the magazine. This summer, Family Circle also moved offices, so I got to help out with organizing everything and making the transition to an entirely new building with the rest of the magazine. The editors were extremely supportive of me along the way, and they made me feel like I was just another editorial person on staff.

Like many things in my life, I stumbled into ASME almost entirely by chance. I can say that the program has been nothing short of a life-changing experience, and I’m incredibly thankful I had the chance to participate.