Friday, June 15, 2012

Old People Can Be Pretty Cool


It seemed to be the running joke of my summer.

Friends and family would ask me where I was interning for the next few months, and when I told them AARP The Magazine, the following slew of responses was pretty popular.

“Oh, for old people?”
“You had a choice where you’d be working, right?”
“For old people?”
“Oh…. (sympathetic look)”

And my favorite was from my father.

“You should tell them that I could be on the cover. It’s 50 and up, right? I’m 52!”

Even before I started my internship, I felt an obligation to defend myself. Usually my reply that AARP The Magazine is the largest circulating publication in the world with 35 million subscribers would shut everyone up.

Underneath the defensiveness, though, I had no shortage of reservations. After spending a week in Manhattan, seeing all of the amazing, glamorous magazines and the people that run them, I started to doubt my decision to stay in D.C.

Now, as I close the first week at AARP The Magazine, I (cue cliché) can’t imagine working anywhere else.

Because I started when the editors were closing the next issue, there was no time to discuss assignments, so I was left with reading and learning the magazine.

I have probably read, extensively, 12 issues and every single one is brilliant. Despite my feeble attempts to research the publication before, there is something that clicks when you can look at issue after issue and let it all soak in.

I learned that AARP The Magazine is truly about living life, which should have nothing to do with how old you are. The story about how children rarely ask Dads for advice practically moved me to tears, so much so that I tore it out and mailed it to my father. On almost every page there is something that I have to jot on a post-it note to try later.

I’m sure everyone feels this way about their internship, but because this is a magazine I didn’t read before, it’s like discovering a new friend and immediately growing close with them.

Yes, the people here are great, and I am staring down a lineup up of terrifically challenging assignments, but honestly, if they had me read the magazine from now until August, I would be a happy camper.


--Christina Downs, AARP The Magazine, Howard University


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