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Read Her Work:

Kynala Phillips

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The most important thing I learned this summer was “to be stubborn about the goal but flexible about the process.”


During a company outing this summer, a woman who works for ESSENCE said this to us interns and it has been etched into my mind ever since. 


I never expected to have such a fulfilling work experience so early in my career but I can concretely say that I had the time of my life. 


I spend everyday in the most vibrant office in all of New York. There were people from every background you could think of. I watched women laugh unapologetically while working feverishly. I interviewed my favorite rapper and saw the glitz and glam of beauty and fashion closets. 


I was assigned to the News Desk at ESSENCE. I was responsible for news briefs and a Twitter chat titled @EssenceDebates. When I was lucky I got to attend exciting events, pitch stories and meet some phenomenal editors. I also developed a series titled #InstaViral, where I got to interview creatives who are thriving on social media.  


However, I am most impacted by the lessons I learned from all the people I worked with this summer because when you work with an office full of Black and brown women you are destined to leave the office 10 times wiser. 


The nuts and bolts of what my internship in Industry City, Brooklyn taught me:


It is never too late or early to start your journey as a media professional. I worked with an amazing class of ESSENCE interns ranging from 18 to 27 years old. 


With that said: “Delay is not denial.” Just because something did not work out today doesn’t mean that it’s not meant for you. 


Don’t just network for the sake of networking. Make real connections. Although, I spent plenty of time connecting with writers and editors that I look up to, I also met people in different areas of the field. I got advice from producers, marketing mavens, videographers and photo editors. Each of them shared stories that have helped me navigate being an early career journalist. 


Being broke builds character. I went to so many free events with friends, ESSENCE interns and other interns around the city. Every weekend was an adventure filled with concerts, soft serve and soca music. 


And last but not least, the smells in New York City can be debilitating (and that’s an understatement) but the amazing people will always be there to help you get back up. 

I will be forever thankful to The American Society of Magazine Editors and everyone at  ESSENCE Magazine for making this opportunity possible for me.  

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