Thursday, August 9, 2012

The metaphorical cupcake

One of the perks of working at InStyle is the occasional box of chocolates or cupcakes that will float through our department. As an intern, I am always overly excited by the delicious treats we receive from various companies, but my more seasoned supervisors are less affected by the appearance of sugary snacks. Lucky for me, they gladly share with the interns, and I shamelessly gobble them up.

I can only assume that my pre-existing confection obsession, coupled with the knowledge that free sweets would only be at my disposal for three short months, resulted in a you-only-live-once kind of attitude. Recently, however, I’ve begun to wonder if there will ever come a day when I, too, will turn down a cupcake. Is my childlike glee over sweets merely a sign of my inexperience? Just how many cupcakes per week is it acceptable for a serious magazine editor to eat? (If anyone has a number, please let me know, but I’ll add two for good measure.)

“There will be another cupcake tomorrow,” one editor remarked, musingly. ‘Wiser words were never spoken,’ I thought, but maybe this advice can be applied to more than just baked goods.

As interns, we show up hungry – overly eager, even – and sometimes end up biting off more than we can chew. When I first started, I wanted to do more and get more opportunities, when really I should have just been satisfied with a nibble. This summer, I’ve learned that the magazine industry is full of wonderful people and exciting opportunities. Although it’s easy to rush into breaking into an enticing world like this, I know that it’s a marathon – not a race. I’ll get there, in time, and if not, there will be another cupcake tomorrow.*

*Those are my thoughts on the metaphorical cupcake. The edible cupcake, I’ll still devour, every time.

Taysha Murtaugh
ASME Intern at InStyle
Iowa State University

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