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Read Her Work:

Isabelle Tavares

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A midwestern deer in the big city certainly made for an interesting summer. I’m from Kalamazoo, Michigan — majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Journalism at Northern Michigan University. There, I worked as the Features Editor for The North Wind, my schools independent student newspaper, and will return as Editor-in-chief. I am also a student board operator at Public Radio 90, my cities NPR affiliate station. 


So, how did I get from towering pines to towering buildings? Thankfully, my persistent professor encouraged me to apply to ASME’s internship program. A few months and some change later I was happily accepted and was placed at Reader’s Digest. What attracted me to ASME the most was reading the reflections of previous interns. Everyone wrote about how their internship was absolutely pivotal for them. Seven months later, it’s humbling being on the receiving end of writing about how this has easily been the most transformative summer of my life. 


A typical week:


- Monday: my assignment list came where I would write 3-4 original articles, syndicate 2-3 articles for our partner sites (Taste of Home or Family Handyman) and update 4-5 old RD articles. 

- Tuesday: pitches due! Being required to pitch 5-7 researched stories a week required me to constantly be on my toes and thus, pitching comes almost naturally to me now. 

- Wednesday: by this point I have reached out to my sources and begun interviewing, compiling research and photos from Shutterstock. The RD office is in White Plains, where a few fellow employees and I would take lunch at the quaint farmers market. 

- Thursday: writing, writing, writing. 

- Friday: ditto to Thursday. 


What strikes me about RD in particular is the people that produce this long-standing magazine. Yes, I could have learned about SEO at any magazine - but RD showed the beauty of what comes from diligent work, passion and communication. I was fortunate to have an incredible supervisor who taught me the value of the “staff-first mindset” in which I’ll take with me as EIC this year. 


I will continue to write for as a freelancer during senior year. After graduation, I have a keen eye on a few environmental journalism fellowships/internships.

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