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© 2019, all rights reserved. For more information, visit the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Read Her Work:

Megan Wahn

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My journalism career began with a crumpled and torn piece of paper at the bottom of my backpack. It was an application for my high school’s student newspaper that I had carelessly shoved into my bag and then promptly forgot about. I decided on a whim towards the end of freshman year to fill it out and turn it in. I knew I liked writing and had yet to find that one thing I was truly passionate about, so why not? I was accepted and joined the staff the following year. By the time I finished my first article, I had been bitten by the bug and I’ve never looked back.

 

Throughout my years on staff in high school and in my subsequent time at the University of Georgia, my love for journalism grew with each new position I held. Whether I was a staff writer or a section editor, I lived for the thrill of the newsroom and thrived under the stress of deadlines. I soon discovered my love for magazines and longform storytelling, and quickly set my sights on working for one in the future. 

 

My ASME internship experience began with a Twitter DM. My journalism professor had sent a tweet from the ASME page calling for summer intern applications to me and a few other students. So, as was the case with my high school student newspaper, I thought why not? Months after submitting my application, I got an e-mail in the middle of class: “Dear Megan, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected…” My mom screamed when I called. I cried from happiness on the bus ride back to my apartment. It was all quite dramatic. On April 26, I became the editorial intern for HGTV Magazine.

 

Before you ask, no, I haven’t met Chip or Jo and no, I haven’t gotten to host an episode of “House Hunters,” but nevertheless this summer has been unforgettable.

 

Being an HGTV Magazine intern means a few things - loving fun patterns and bright colors, possessing an extensive knowledge of light fixtures and always having a thesaurus handy to look up new and quippy ways to describe a couch. Above all, being an HGTV Magazine intern means being ready, willing and able to do what it takes to help produce that beautiful book of houses, and everything else that comes along with it. 

 

During my time at HGTV Magazine I was able to help curate the social media feeds of the magazine, write and pitch ideas for the subscriber newsletter, research for magazine stories, write pieces for the HGTV website, work with editors on a special edition issue of the magazine, and even assist on a photo shoot. Now, I not only understand the process of what goes into making a magazine happen, I’ve been a part of that process.

 

Being an ASME intern also involves a few things on its own. If you talk to industry professionals, they’ll say being an ASME intern means success and excellence. It indicates a self-starting and intelligent leader, someone whose name is going to be on a masthead next to the words “editor-in-chief” some day or whose bylines you might always read in the Times. 

 

If you talk an actual ASME intern, they might say that too, along with a few others inside bits. To us, it means opportunity. Getting to grab coffee with the managing editor at Harper’s Bazaar or running into David Reminick at the New Yorker (I can’t believe I just wrote those words). It means 100-email-long e-mail chains between friends who don’t want to have their phones out during work (“have you guys heard the new Peppa Pig album?”). It means a bond between 22 individuals, all distinct in our backgrounds but brought together by a love for words. 

 

It’s going to be hard to top my time at HGTV and with the ASME program. But as I head back down to Athens, Georgia to finish up my final year at the University of Georgia, I’m more excited than nervous to see how the rest of my journalistic career shapes out. Onwards and upwards, my friends.