Read Her Work:
In middle school I read Teen Vogue religiously. As a teenager the magazine encouraged me to develop my own sense of style and step out in confidence. The world of fashion was captivating to me and for a while I even dreamt of becoming a fashion designer. Somewhere in the pages of an issue of Teen Vogue I found an advertisement for a new book from the brand, "The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Careers in Fashion."
Once I got my hands on the book, I read every page. However, there was one section that truly spoke to me. The editors section that began with the question: "I love fashion magazines! How can I get my foot in the door?" I had always loved writing, and as I flipped through interviews with top editors I realized that as an editor I could combine this skill with my passions for fashion and other topics. I eventually sought out Iowa State University because of its opportunities in journalism and apparel merchandising or design.
Although I've dreamt of being a published journalist since reading that book, part of me believed it would never happen. It's a difficult industry to break into and it can be hard to block out the cries of "journalism is dying." My first glimpse of hope came when I landed a coveted apprenticeship with Better Homes & Gardens (through Iowa State University's Meredith Apprenticeship Program). I will never forget seeing my name in a published issue of BH&G for the first time (ok, it was in the gutter, but still). I couldn't stop staring at it that day and I definitely took tons of magazines home to show my friends and family.
The second moment that stands out is when I finally got an acceptance email from the ASME Magazine Internship Program. My beloved advisor had suggested I apply to the program and my dad had told me I'd be crazy not to try. After months of anxiously awaiting a reply, I mindlessly refreshed my email one morning in class only to find a new email from the program. After reading only the first line I ran out of the classroom to call my parents. As cheesy as it sounds, my dream was transforming into reality.
I have spent the summer with The Knot's digital team, working on content for both theknot.com and theknotnews.com. As someone with prior experience exclusively in print, learning that I would spend my summer on the digital side of The Knot was slightly nerve-wracking. However, thanks to the investment and patience of my coworkers I have gotten a deep dive into the world of the CMS and SEO. This knowledge and experience has made me a much more well-rounded journalist. I have transcribed interviews, cataloged bachelorette party content, spent far too much money at The Knot's annual beauty sale, attended a photo shoot, become confident in writing about weddings despite being far from that stage of life and sat down for a conversation with every coworker I could. Every single moment has been valuable.
I am so thankful for the morning commutes with my roommates, midday subway rides to meet editors from various publications and companies, weekly meetings with my amazing supervisor (hi Esther!) and late nights with fellow interns-turned friends. I walk away from this summer with a renewed passion for journalism, a growing list of professional contacts, notebooks full of advice from The Knot and our ASME lunches and a better understanding of what I see myself doing in the future. I know this is just the beginning.