Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Failure NOT an Option

The very first issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine already included notes, questions and concerns from its readers. Of them, what could be the most notable reads:

“There is not one sound reason for another magazine of any description and it is safe to say yours will be a failure.”     J. A. Wark, M.D., Barre, Vermont

Well, 65 years later, Kiplinger’s is the nation’s first and oldest personal finance magazine, and I could not be more thrilled—though mildly intimidated—to join its team. That’s right, all. While I have a few bank accounts and did not completely tone out my parents’ references to stocks or mutual funds, I am not the financial guru I wish I could be. But thrown into the playground of some of the best money experts around, I’m starting to learn. And I’m learning about more than just savvy investing.

I’ve also picked up that Washington, D.C., offers a completely different vibe than most of my fellow ASME interns get to experience in New York City. In D.C., the architecture is more traditional. I haven’t yet seen a rat in the metro. The White House is on my walk home from work. Oh, and everyone seems to think the trains are crowded, but they're really not that bad. (See: The NYC metro on days the Yankees play.) But this entirely new environment is what led me from Ohio, to D.C. and into the Kiplinger offices a week and a half ago. That was when I met the other interns, was thrown into two planning meetings, got my first story assignment and began working right away.

Kip has been great ever since. My days have been filled with conducting research, scheduling interviews, attending editorial meetings, updating the company Tumblr and all the other daily tasks that have only gotten me more excited to be here.

I have been able to meet most of the full-time staff, many of whom are surprisingly from Ohio, like me. So between phone calls and emails, they are all kind enough to also sit down and really get to know me. Kiplinger is a tight staff, and even with only a week and a half to my name, I feel comfortable walking up to the managing editor with questions. That’s the type of environment I was never expecting but am so glad to have found.

So while I continue to wade through corporate bonds, bank dividends and everything else I am bound to learn about, I am also taking the time to integrate myself among the staff family, learning just what it is that has kept us in print for so long. Maybe it’s the weekly live chats when our experts take hours off to answer all the readers’ questions. Maybe it’s the fact that no matter how busy we get, someone stops every day and makes roses out of orange peels to make the break room a little bit prettier. Maybe it’s how the editor in chief, Knight Kiplinger, is around the office regularly and takes the time to get to know everyone—even the interns.

It’s probably the combination of a happy staff and the continual production of a quality product, but maybe there is no real way to know. What I do know, though, is when J. A. Wark preached the imminent failure of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, well, he was wrong.

That's all for now,
Emily Inverso
Kiplinger's Personal Finance intern

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