Saturday, June 30, 2012

Babies "R" (Not) Us


The majority of the ASME interns I've spoken with have gushed about how overly ecstatic they were when they initially received their magazine assignment. They skipped around their rooms, told (facebooked) all of their closest friends, and screamed gaieties from the rooftops. ...More or less.

I, however, was terrified. When I saw that I would be interning at Parents, my heart did weird flippy things that were most likely medically alarming. It wasn't that I didn't want to be at Parents, it was that I didn't want Parents to regret choosing me.

You see, I'm not, as some people would consider, a baby connoisseur. My ovaries don't explode when I see little children frolicking on the street, my biological clock has been set to snooze until 2020 or beyond, and I'm simply not an avid fan of poop. So why pick Parents? Because I knew from the beginning of the ASME process that it would be an amazing internship. Not only is Chandra Turner the Executive Editor of Parents and the founder of Ed2010, she's also the icon of my magazine industry idolatry (in a non stalker-ish way, of course). (Kinda.) I knew any experience that put me within 50 feet of her would be absolutely amazing, but I worried that working in a magazine so far removed from my demographic would dropkick me out of my comfort zone of silly witticisms and Seventeen-esque cliches. And I like my comfort zone. It's warm and smells nice.

I began to realize, however, that I was never going to grow as a writer if I continued to hide inside my niche for the rest of my life. Plus, I wanted to see what all this offspring-hype was about. So Parents became my prospective growin' grounds, and I awaited the chance to stretch my little wings and fly. Then reality hit when I was actually assigned to Parents, and my heart palpitations reminded me that I still didn't know the first thing about kids except they need to be fed and watered. Like bitey plants. How was I going to write in the voice of a rockstar mom? Where was I going to find inspiration for pitches? What if Parents hated me so much that I became known as "oh, that ASME intern" and Chandra blacklisted me from the magazine world?

These rampant, irrational fears ran through my mind until several sweet people (thank you, Zach, Sam, Allison, Vanessa, half of Iowa City, Grandma...) nicely told me to stop being an anxious idiot and to simply do my thing until everything worked out. So I ignored them. And then, what do you know? It began working out. (Cue photo montage of my struggle to triumph). Slowly, I got the voice of the magazine. I began finding inspiration and story ideas. I wrote blurbs, got sent to press events -- I even talked to a child. I still feel out of my comfort zone, but my fears have faded. And those same sweet people who yelled at me? They now tell me to stop gushing so frequently about my love of Parents. So, of course, I ignore them.

 -Chloe Metzger, University of Iowa, Parents

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Summer Love Story


Four years ago, standing in the kitchen of my childhood home, I leaned against the countertop toward my mother and anxiously explained why I wanted to be a features writer. I wanted to write about culture, science, human rights issues, history, international health, archaeological discoveries, global climate. "Things that matter," I said, brows furrowed as I spoke through a mouthful of Oreos. Mom and I always could polish off a sleeve of cookies when we got to chatting.

Back then, landing a job at a magazine seemed so very, very far away. A castle in the air.

Yet here I am. Three weeks into my internship for Smithsonian magazine and living my life (loving my life) in the heart of Washington, D.C., just a few blocks from the White House. To be fair, I think "City of Interns," or perhaps "City of Sweaty Interns," would be a more accurate name during these summer months. Today's heat index is supposed to reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Within the last week, I’ve attended two press previews for museum exhibit openings, pulling out the most interesting angles of the exhibitions and authoring blog posts for Smithsonian.com. One of these posts covered the opening of an Amelia Earhart exhibit, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of her disappearance. This is something I’m proud of. (“This matters!” said my inner monologue.)

I also conducted a tongue-in-cheek interview with a curator from the Smithsonian Museum of American History, asking how past U.S. presidents might have hypothetically battled zombies, vampires and Sasquatch. It was an incredibly fun way to write about historical figures and I’m spoiled to be so young yet in a position where I can write such a story.

In addition, I’ve been doing fact checking and research, coordinating communications with our writers’ agents and publicists, writing captions for the print magazine and the iPad edition, writing profiles on Olympic athletes and authoring a 200-word piece for a special issue of the print magazine. It never fails to amaze me how much more difficult it is to write a short piece than a long piece. Adjectives become pawns that I eagerly sacrifice to satisfy the allotted word count, and each “the” and “that” is scrutinized while my finger twitches over the DELETE key.
           
Evenings and weekends I spend weaving myself into the cloth of this city. Living in D.C. is surprisingly becoming what feels like a perfect fit, an exciting development for a girl who has always felt slightly out of place in Manhattan and placidly content in Boston.

My first weekend here, I attended a rooftop dinner party in Chinatown.  I was momentarily confused as to why the dinner table was covered in brown packing paper, but then the party hosts overturned massive bins of bright red, baked Maryland crabs. With lemony juices running down to my elbows, I cracked and slurped my way through my first Maryland crab, washing back the salty taste of sea water and Old Bay Seasoning with a cold beer. In the background, the city skyline was book-ended by the Washington Monument and the Capitol building, illuminated bright white and austere at each end of the National Mall.

A few weeks have passed and already I am feeling very much at home here. It’s a young city, filled with motivated 20-somethings who are easy to strike up conversation with. There is a tangible buzz in the air, strengthened by the influx of eager interns and the political backdrop set by the upcoming election. I relish the independence that comes from being able to get anywhere I want to go with my own two feet and a metro card. I tend to leave the tourist destinations to the tourists – my explorations and adventures seek out the local hot spots, where I try to keep the giddy, love-struck smile off my face just long enough to perhaps look like a Washingtonian.

— Kat J. McAlpine, Editorial Intern, Smithsonian magazine

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Intern Profile on Mabel Martinez


Growing up with a strong interest in fashion and entertainment, Mabel Martinez gravitated toward reading magazines that catered to those subjects. She grew up spending her free time flipping through the pages of People, TeenPeople and People en Espanol embracing all of the fashion, beauty and celebrity inspired content.

Now, the rising senior at Long Island University is walking through the halls of one of her favorite magazines every day.

“When I got ASME and saw that People was on the list, I thought ‘great, that’s where I want to be.,’” Martinez said. “A lot of the magazines were ones that I would like to work for in the future.”

While initially finding out she was assigned to People magazine was a total thrill for Martinez, three weeks into her internship she got news that was even more electrifying. She had been spending countless hours conducting interviews and research for an upcoming story to help out one of the editors, when she discovered that her hard work had paid off.

“After doing all the research, one of the news editors told me that I did a really good job and that I got a byline in the magazine; I think it comes out on Friday,” she said. “Getting my first byline in People magazine is definitely the most exciting thing to happen this summer so far.”

While the buzz of having her name and work printed in People will be hard to top, Martinez is dedicated to continuing her success in the magazine industry. The Spanish speaker would love to find a job that lets her combine her Spanish skills with her love of fashion and beauty. But ultimately, she is focused on keeping her feet in the door of the magazine world.

“I do want to work in magazines,” she said. “Getting this experience at People and seeing how they work to put this magazine together has been great—seeing how they put the story together from scratch and seeing it get in the magazine.”

--Bridget Mallon, ASME Intern, Family Circle

Time For a Beauty Makeover



When I first told my mom that I was working in the beauty department at Real Simple for the summer, she started laughing.

Thanks mom!

Then when I told my grandparents, they asked if I would get a makeover. 

I was really feeling the support. 

While their reactions weren’t exactly what I was hoping for, I can’t say they were unfounded. I typically go without makeup, especially when I’m rushing to class after 5 am rowing practice, and I only started wearing nail polish a year ago. But what they don’t realize is that I am interested in the wide realm of beauty products; I’m just way too cheap to actually purchase anything. I read fashion blogs, subscribe to Sephora emails and I introduced my mom to Birchbox last year. So while I’m still trying to master the foundation to bronzer ratio and can’t get my curls to stay frizz-free in the New York City humidity, I’m definitely learning.

After three weeks at Real Simple, I’ve discovered that my main task is also the best place for me to learn. The beauty closet is a just a small room, but it’s filled to the brim with every eye shadow, moisturizer and perfume you can imagine. During my first week, I put at least 30 bags worth of products on their proper shelves, reading the labels and figuring out the differences between face serums, toners and oils. Each day, PR companies send over the latest and greatest products from their beauty clients, hoping to entice the editors into featuring them in the next issue, and everything eventually goes in the beauty closet. 

Last week, I sat in on the beauty department’s selection meeting, where they share their favorite new products with each other before a pitch meeting with the editor-in-chief. While it made me feel a bit farther behind in my beauty product education, it was interesting to learn what they consider when pitching a product, especially in relation to their readership. The next day, I came to their pitch meeting with the editor-in-chief, and learned more about each product with her considerations. And while my product suggestions weren’t exactly brand new, one of my ideas inspired a beauty tip for the October issue. I’m considering that a small win in my continuing education. 

-         Julie Mazziotta, Bryn Mawr College, Real Simple

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Intern Profile on Chloe Metzger


Very few people can say that they started writing for an online magazine at age 14, but Chloe Metzger, an editorial intern at Parents, is one of the few. After a “life-changing” teacher led Metzger away from her dream of becoming a lawyer, she shifted her focus to magazines, and truly started immediately.
“I’ve always been crazy – or driven, as my dad says,” Metzger explained. “So I thought, ‘I need to figure out what I’m going to major in: at age 14!’"

So she applied to Driven Far Off, a music webzine looking for writers. After sending in clips and taking an edit test, Metzger was hired while finishing up her sophomore year of high school. “They just thought I was a college student and I didn’t tell them otherwise,” she said. “And they eventually found out after two years, but by that point I was one of the main writers. So I kind of snuck my way on that.”

Metzger later joined JAYE, an online fashion magazine, eventually becoming the Executive Articles Editor until it folded in January 2012. Last summer, she interned for Cosmopolitan, and Metzger is currently a Buzz Reporter for Seventeen

A self-described, “modern day nomad,” Metzger can claim seven states as home, although during the school year she finds herself at the literary capital of North America: Iowa City, Iowa. While she didn’t initially want to end up in Iowa, being in the literary capital worked out well for Metzger, an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. 

At Parents, Metzger is enjoying the familial atmosphere, and taking all the assignments she can. “They give you so much to do, so much opportunity to learn,” she said. “And that’s how all internships should be, but they aren’t always like that. [At Parents] I could go into a layout and literally delete the entire page. And I would be blacklisted from the magazine world, but that’s really cool. The coolest thing is seeing that they trust me and I’m part of a team. Being an intern, you hear horror stories but it’s like, “They like me, they really, really like me!”   

By Julie Mazziotta, ASME Intern, Real Simple

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Intern Profile on Kastalia Medrano


It was the summer before her freshman year at the University of Southern California when Kastalia Medrano found herself backpacking through Greece with a friend. Taking a moment to rest among the runes, they talked about travel, writing and archaeology. That was when her friend mentioned Kastalia would fit perfectly at National Geographic.

“When he said that, it occurred to me that was something I could really do with my life, and I got excited,” Medrano said. “But I’m usually one of those people who gets really excited about something and then it fades.”

After that summer abroad, Kastalia was back in the States, making the most of a journalism education and working for the Daily Trojan, her campus newspaper. There, she has held positions as a columnist, online editor, editorial director and associate managing editor during her various semesters. She interned for Pasadena magazine, and even spent another summer abroad, working as a copy editor in Dublin.

While those experiences continued to develop her skill sets, National Geographic stuck in the back of her head—her interests always seeming to revolve around scuba diving, archaeology, environmentalism and photography.

“But my writing and projects were always very organic,” Medrano said. “I never specifically tried to tailor my resume to fit what I thought National Geographic would want.”

Three years later, though, that’s exactly where she is. Medrano is the latest ASME intern working at National Geographic magazine. And while, three years ago, she had wondered if that excitement her friend stirred up within her might gradually fade,  she knows differently now.

“I had never been so sure of what I wanted to do than I was that day,” she said. “Three years later, I’m still that same excited.”

By Emily Inverso, ASME Intern, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

My Time at People Magazine

Being a native New Yorker, the Big Apple isn’t a new experience for me. However, interning at People magazine definitely is. From the moment I walked into the Time & Life building on my first day I felt a whirlwind of emotions inside me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was definitely excited to be there.

The first two weeks at People magazine have been hectic, but I’m not complaining. Each day I am learning something new and meeting new people. I’ve attended meetings with editors and reporters while also receiving a firsthand look at how stories are developed from start to finish. This experience has been helping me to understand the type of stories that are suitable for pitching. And even if a story pitch doesn't work, I've learned that it's important not to get discouraged, but to keep pitching.

I have been doing research, fact-checking, interviews and working with other interns at the magazine. Everyone is very welcoming and after a few days I felt like I was part of a team. At People magazine, they treat you like a real reporter and it’s a great feeling.

Some highlights of my time at People magazine have been, meeting the cast of the new TNT drama “Dallas.” Josh Henderson, Jordana Brewster, Jesse Metcalfe and Julie Gonzalo stopped by the office and I got to see what kind of questions a reporter asked them. The questions were thought provoking and different.

I also got to meet Rachel Crow of “The X Factor.” She was approachable and smart. Crow came to the office with her younger sister and mother. She looked fashionable and she is set to take the world by storm with her EP, which hit stores and websites today. I was amazed at how confident she is and mature at just 14-years-old. She truly is an inspiration for girls her age and it’s nice to see that she is making her dreams come true.

On another note, it's true what they say, “the magazine industry is small.” Everyone knows each other. Just the other day, I met a People magazine staffer who also graduated from my school, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. She also once held my current post as the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, Seawanhaka. What a coincidence! We bonded while sharing stories about our common experiences.

After attending a meeting for the “Heroes Among Us” section, I started thinking about potential heroes to pitch for the upcoming issue. The first question that came to mind was, ‘What does it mean to be a hero?’ A few thoughts popped into my head. Someone who has faced challenges in life but has managed to overcome them qualifies as a hero. The same is true for someone who is making a difference and displays courage. So after I figured that out, I started brainstorming – but then, I received an email. It was from an editor at People who had extra tickets for a benefit for Matthew Badger, a Connecticut man who lost his three daughters, Lily, Sarah and Grace in a Christmas Day house fire. Since then, Badger has started a nonprofit called the Lily Sarah Grace Fund which brings arts into public schools. The Lily Sarah Grace Fund has already funded some 400 arts projects. Now if he isn’t a hero, I don’t know who is.

The one-and-only Whoopi Goldberg hosted the affair, which also included a performance from an 11-year-old violinist and students from Ballet Tech. Other attendees included the actress Julianne Moore, author Sir Ken Robinson, and director Philip Seymour Hoffman. Each of them had a presentation with photos and spoke about Lily, Sarah and Grace and how each of the girls were different and special in their own way. At times it was emotional, but that night I definitely realized what it takes to be a hero. You can view the article at: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20603764,00.html.

That’s a short wrap up of my first few weeks at People magazine. I'm looking forward to what’s in store for me for the rest of the summer. 

-Mabel Martinez, People Intern

Monday, June 25, 2012

No Sleep Till Brooklyn...Well...Manhattan

Coming from a school that operates on quarters instead of semesters made my transition to NYC slightly hectic. I went to my last day of classes on Friday June 1st then immediately took a few early finals that same day, all the while knowing I would be on a plane to New York just two days later. I started orientation while my friends and classmates were still in our small college town, Athens, OH, struggling through finals week. There was no down time for me. I went straight from school to work, while most of the other ASME interns had been out of school for weeks.

But I’ve since discovered the breakneck speed at which I went from college classes to interning at Family Circle was the best possible preparation I could have had for this perfectly busy summer. There has been no time wasted at my internship, and I received my first writing assignment on the first day—something I never expected to happen so quickly—and two days later I found out that one of the blurbs I pitched would be published in the October issue. Although I couldn’t let out the screams of excitement that were begging to be let out, I took the confidence that assignment gave me and have put it to work in every assignment I’ve been given.

Working at a publication that gives me, as an intern, opportunities to feel involved and appreciated is more than I could have dreamed of. From attending editorial meetings to checking out press events in place of editors, I have relished in every opportunity and assignment so far.

I am also doing my best to translate that mindset to my life outside of work. I don’t want to waste any opportunity in this cultural Mecca. There are so many opportunities for fun and adventure in this city and I want to savor every second here. My to-do list for the summer seems to grow constantly, even after I cross off a weekend’s worth of activities, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

This is my second summer interning in New York too, so I still had some leftover entries from last year’s list to complete: free concert in Central Park? check. Heading to Rockaway Beach for a day at the ocean? check.  Going to Governor’s Island for a picnic? hopefully soon.

After transitioning straight from my Spring Quarter of classes to my summer ASME internship, going straight from work to see Newsies on Broadway or out to dinner with fellow OU Bobcats in the city is no problem. I thrive on the chaos, but don’t worry mom, I’m not burning the candle at both ends, I’m making time to get just enough rest…most nights.


—Bridget Mallon, Ohio University, Family Circle

Intern Profile on Edwin Rios

After the very first day of his internship at Vanity Fair, Edwin Rios had already been invited to join the magazine’s softball team, the Veefers. 
“I have a jersey and everything,” says Edwin. (But please, call him Eddie; Edwin is for the byline.) “It’s my number from high school, so I knew it was going to be a good time from there on.”
Eddie, a Coney Island resident and rising senior at Northwestern, always knew he wanted to be a writer, but he also knew he didn’t want to be a struggling writer — just one reason he decided to transition his focus from poetry and fiction-writing to journalism.
“I decided to pursue magazine journalism because it allows me to combine creative feature-writing with telling true stories. The enticing part of storytelling is not the hard news; it’s bringing a story to life and teaching the reader something about life.”
At his college newspaper, North by Northwestern, Eddie has held a number of positions, including interactive producer, managing editor and associate editor. He also snagged an internship with the New York Daily news last summer, and he spent this past spring semester reporting on national security in Washington, D.C. through Medill on the Hill. Eddie has two SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards under his belt, including one National Winner.
Outside of journalistic activities, however, Eddie insists that he’s just an average Joe; he enjoys playing and watching sports and hanging out with friends and family.
“Anything that’s happened to me over the past year, I attribute to luck,” Eddie says, reciting a mantra he learned from a JV basketball coach: “The harder you work, the more luck you’ll have.”
He plans to stick to this idea, combining hard work with genuine passion for his craft in order to pursue a career in feature writing and editing. “Hopefully, the harder I work, the more luck will come my way.”


By Taysha Murtaugh, ASME Intern, InStyle

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reflections from this side of the pond


          A month ago, I was finishing my final exams in Edinburgh, Scotland, amidst cloudy skies and less than spring-like weather. I had been studying abroad for four-and-a-half months, and by the end of my time there, I was used to my usual routine and long, relaxing days filled with free time and tea time across the pond.
            Fast forward a few weeks, and everything quickly changed. After returning home to Bethesda, Maryland, for a week, I moved some things around in my suitcase and set off for scorching New York City to begin my internship at Parade Magazine. With the jetlag still wearing off, I was excited—but also somewhat confused and nervous—as I began to adjust to life in a fast-paced environment, all while trying to integrate myself into a new program with people who probably thought I was crazy when I’d accidentally call my apartment a “flat.” And don’t even get me started on my initial struggles with the subway. Even though I grew up using this type of transportation fairly frequently, that didn’t stop me from taking the route to my office building two separate times before I started, just to make sure that nothing would go wrong on my first day.
            However, despite all the changes I faced at the beginning, I’ve managed to take part in a lot of new adventures in the city and at my internship. I’ve certainly been busy as Parade’s first ASME intern, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and help out with a variety of assignments for both print and online. Last week, I even got to go to an early screening of the Katy Perry movie, “Part of Me.” Sure, the audience mainly consisted of tween girls and their mothers, but how could I say no? Plus, the free cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and Katy-themed gift bags didn’t hurt.
            That doesn’t mean that every moment of the past few weeks has been filled with glitter and excitement, but instead, I’m trying to consider every moment of my internship and my new life in the city a learning experience. That doesn’t mean that I’m always cool and collected in the moment (just ask my roommates!), but I’ve learned that being spontaneous every once and awhile and taking on new projects and responsibilities can be a good thing. I know it sounds strange coming from the girl who obsessively mapped out her subway route, but it turns out being open and trying new things both inside and outside the office can indeed be fun. 

-Sarah Lyon, Parade Magazine
            
Katy Perry movie fun: 

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happenstance, and more from Brooklyn's little Russia


Sutlu Nuriye is Baklava's tasty first cousin. 
I would qualify most of what I’ve done in New York as stumbling. Not sure why I’m married to that idea, but there it is. Stumbling in heels on the train on my way to my internship, coffee in hand. Coffee on cardigan. Stumbling across new books that I need to get my hands on — certainly a perk of being surrounded by folks who are also marked by their stereotypical obsessions with Gay Talese and E.B. White.

I’ve stumbled across more great little caf├ęs than my budget can accommodate. Outstanding Moroccan food. Hole-in-the-wall bars with cheap beers and really gimmicky names like “Reservoir.” Comedy clubs. Well, we didn’t stumble into the comedy club as much as we were solicited by the comedy club.

“Hey ladies … wanna go to a comedy show? It’s such a great venue. C’mon, I like you girls. I’ll give you a deal. 5 dollars. Please… I know it’s a Tuesday night, but these guys are really funny.”

They weren’t very funny. But the novelty of being there was humorous enough to make the $5 worthwhile.

This morning my roommates and I set out with a plan, though. We grabbed our beach gear and hopped on a train heading for Coney Island. Of course, we never made it there. Instead we followed the mass exodus of swimsuits and straw hats that got off at the Brighton Beach stop. An excellent decision.

Brighton Beach is my kind of place. It’s the kind of place that dresses window mannequins in fur coats in the middle of summer. It’s the sort of place that sells copies of 1984 in Russian. You can spread out your towel on a pleasantly spacious beach, and then retreat to the boardwalk for some Pilsner and pickled herring (if that’s something that seems appetizing to you). We’d stumbled across the Soviet Union’s seaside reincarnate.

These are the sorts of moments that are created when you take up residence in an unfamiliar place; when you have the pleasure of emerging from the subway without knowing where you’re going to surface or who you might encounter. Or when you walk into your internship with no clue what projects are going to surface on your desk. At Food & Wine the editor could be knocking on my cubicle to give me a research assignment, or to pass off extra bottles of wine.

Of course, I’m happy to have either. 


Taylor Long, Ithaca College, Intern at Food & Wine 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Expecting the Unexpected


It’s easy to fall into a routine. Every morning, I wake up at 6, leave at 7, get on the bus at 7:30 and walk into the office at 9. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But that’s not the way it is at Reader’s Digest. Once I step off the elevator and onto the fourth floor, there’s no telling what I’ll be doing that day.


The "ASME Pod," as Sheri and I like to call it.
Take Wednesday, for example. As I worked on fact-checking a story from an international edition of Reader’s Digest on a children’s fund in Cambodia, our research manager stopped by to ask if one of us interns had the time to do a quick interview. It turned out the next issue would feature a reprint of a classic story from the RD archives by Alex Haley (author of Roots) about his brother George, the second African-American to receive a law degree at the University of Arkansas. And I had to call George to verify the facts.

Suddenly, the butterflies started fluttering in my stomach. George Haley had worked under former Presidents Nixon, Bush Sr. and Clinton, was a delegate of UNESCO and traveled abroad to Africa and Europe to do speeches on behalf of the State Department. And I was just expected to call him at home and ask if he’s who this sidebar says he is?

But I did, and the interview went better than I expected. Haley may be in his late 80s, but his mind is sharp and naturally, as a lawyer, he was more than willing to take the time to go through every fact.

As I thanked Haley, I was still thrilled I had the chance to speak to him. Here’s someone who may not be a household name, but made a huge impact on the state of civil rights and course of American history. Still, before I hung up the phone, I got an email from another editor.

“Would you mind pitching me a list of funny gags from Louis CK and Dave Chapelle,” it said.

I chuckled; I couldn’t help it. I just spoke to one of the most celebrated lawyers, and now I get a chance to watch Louie do his thing and comb his material for jokes? Talk about a 180.

Of course, Reader’s Digest is a general interest magazine, and I can go from working on the Culture section to the Humor section in an instant, and that’s precisely what I love about working here. The atmosphere is energetic, not frantic, and incredibly positive.

So, I’m two weeks in, and though I may grumble and gripe about the three hours I spend every day commuting to and from Jersey, I can’t believe the range of work I’m getting to do. One minute I’ll be researching or putting together a slideshow, and the next, I’m pitching ideas for special projects or gathering jokes. I’m also in awe of the staff I work with, who can bounce ideas off each other and know exactly what Reader’s Digest needs to succeed. Sure, there’s an editorial calendar, but with the variety of tasks we do, there’s never a routine, just a flow of creative energy, from one editor to the next.


And that’s exactly what I love about working for a magazine.


- Shirley Li | Northwestern University | Intern at Reader's Digest