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Read His Work:

Ethan Craft

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There were a lot of defining elements that made my 10-week stint at Ad Age the grade-A experience that it was: my editor’s daily “Pro Tips,” mass befuddlement with a new office-wide CMS, and of course the elusive “snack cabinet.” But perhaps the most critical theme of all (yes, clichéd, I know) was trust. 

I came to Ad Age barely knowing a brand from a corporation—and still referring to it as “Advertising Age”—but my editors confidently put their faith in me. By the end of day one, I had my first byline; by the end of day two, I’d been entrusted with an Ad Age coffee mug. As my week wrapped up, I’d gone from wide-eyed Canadian university student in his first-ever internship to interviewing a PR executive roundly known as the most powerful person in his industry.

As a Third Year, I had applied to 59 internships ranging from a biweekly paper in small-town Alaska to the New York Times; positions that ran the gamut of newsroom work from editing, reporting, fact-checking… I even threw my hat in the ring for a few photojournalism internships. I was initially hesitant to apply to ASME, which was the only one of the bunch to charged an application fee. Sure, it was a coveted one, but was I any more likely to be placed at a New York City magazine than at one of the 58 free-to-apply-to publications? I thought not, but after consulting with my parents, I figured it was too rare of an opportunity to pass up, so I drafted a cover letter, fished up my transcripts and applied. And then I waited. And waited some more.

When I finally got an acceptance email, I couldn’t believe it. Had it been sent to me in error? Was I repeated skipping over the words “we regret to inform you” somewhere? No, it was true. I’d been chosen! While responding to it, I was flooded with emotions from elation that my hard work at my university’s magazine had paid off to fear that New York would eat me alive (happy to report that it hasn’t… yet). 

Ad Age has given me more than I could’ve ever asked for: dozens of bylines, invaluable one-on-ones with editors, a cushy desk, and even the primary cover story of one of their print issues! While I went into the newsroom afraid of cubicles and made uneasy by long-time media folks, I now leave it enlightened and empowered, if not a little sad to be leaving my colleagued behind as I head back to the Great White North. But who knows, maybe I’ll find my way back to NYC one day soon.

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