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A Day in the Life: Interning at Smart + Strong Publishing

by Jilleen Barrett

Image credit: Smart + Strong Publishing

When I was assigned to Smart + Strong Publishing for my ASME internship, I was a little confused. An internship where I have to write about science? I never thought I'd be good at it.

But I’ve grown to love writing articles for the company, which owns several magazines, all relating to health. I have had the pleasure of getting bylines in POZ, RealHealth and Tu Salud. POZ focuses on HIV and AIDS related news, RealHealth has articles on general health and Tu Salud focuses on health that relates back to the Latino community.

Something I have learned while being a part of the ASME internship program is that you do not have to have a lot of knowledge on a given topic in order to write about it — a willingness to learn goes a long way in the journalism field. So does having editors who are willing to guide you through the writing and editing process and help you improve.

Smart + Strong is functioning entirely remotely, so I have had to readjust to working without anyone else around me. I found that rotating locations helps me keep myself focused throughout the day; I start out in the living room of my apartment, which is near my college campus, and I eat breakfast while I write. Then I move to the campus library, which has air conditioning and a calming vibe. Finally, I usually end up in the student commons, which has big windows and makes me feel like I’m not stuck inside.

One great thing about ASME is that even though my internship is remote, I am still close enough to the city that I can attend the luncheons in person. I was also able to meet up with my mentor at an in-person public relations event for the interior design brand Havenly. My mentor has been incredibly influential in my growth this summer, and I can’t thank her enough.

My biggest piece of advice for anyone who wants to apply to the ASME internship program is to be up for anything. While I had no idea what I was doing when I first started this job, and my only face-to-face contact with my editors was over Zoom, I managed to write articles about things I’d never heard of before and because of that, I was offered opportunities that I think will have a significant impact on my career.

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