Thursday, October 25, 2012

Intern Profile on Jillian D'Onfro

Jillian D’Onfro, a senior at Syracuse University this year, sat down with me and gave an introspective on her somewhat quirky life. Look out Zooey Deschanel – this girl is gunning for your crown!

What made you want to pursue journalism as a career?
I’ve always loved stories. I want to spend my whole life learning, and I think that being a journalist is a great way to make sure that your eyes never stop widening with curiosity.

What journalistic (or even non-journalistic) activities are you involved with during the school year at Syracuse?
This past year at Syracuse I was first the opinions editor then the features editor for a student publication called Jerk. I also wrote a weekly restaurant review column for The Daily Orange, our school newspaper. I’m also a radio DJ and the student life editor of the yearbook. Next semester I’ll be abroad in Istanbul, but I’ll be writing a travel column about it for the school newspaper once a week.

What's the one story or project you have worked on in your journalistic career (so far) that you are most proud of?
Since freshman year I’ve also been involved with a volunteer group called International Young Scholars, where once a week I tutor a Somali-Bantu refugee. Freshman year and sophomore year I worked with this wonderful young woman named Zeytun, but the summer after sophomore year, an arranged marriage led her to move across the country to Arizona. Later that year, my conversations with her and my experience going to her wedding led me to write a feature for Jerk about arranged marriages for Somali teens, and how traditional customs translate to America.

What was your first day like at Inc. Magazine?
Oh man, I remember being completely overwhelmed and excited. I got to write my first web piece that day. Everyone was so friendly. I fell in love right away.

What's one thing that has stuck out to you the most about your internship?
How a magazine relies on so many little pieces coming together from all these different people.

Any funny/interesting story from your internship this summer or just in general about your summer in NY?
Every night that I spend with my wonderful, hilarious roommates breeds at least one funny story.

What's been your favorite thing about NY this summer?
I’ve always been a night owl, and I love living in a city that doesn’t close up shop at 2 a.m. Late night dinners, late night dancing, late night wanders on streets that feel just as alive at 3 a.m. as they do at 3 p.m.

What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?
I have listened to almost every episode of “This American Life” (and the show got started in 1995 — that’s a lot of Ira Glass). I love to make collages, drink coffee, and dance like a spastic second grader. I like to spend my time reading short stories and making failed attempts to complete crossword puzzles.

What is your dream magazine job?
I’m really into Bust or Esquire. I can also see myself at Wired, Mental Floss, or Paper (if I somehow increased my hip-ness level about ten thousand percent first of course).

What is one interesting thing about you that you think people should know?
I will put peanut butter on anything. And at home I gave up my bed to now sleep on a giant beanbag chair called “The LuvSac.” (Awful decision, high school Jill).

-by Carson Blackwelder, ASME Intern, TV Guide

Intern Profile on Laura Cofsky

Despite her pint-sized build, regular giggle bursts, and honest-to-goodness kindness, thinking big and dreaming bigger comes easy for NYC local Laura Cofsky.
“I want to be the editor-in-chief of a women’s magazine,” she says.
As a Fitness intern, the 20-year-old has a head start. “Maybe EIC of Fitness,” she continues. An assured smile spreads across her face. “Or Glamour. Glamour is every girl’s dream.”
But it’d be a mistake to assume Laura is like every other girl— for starters, she swing dances every Thursday and will spend the fall in London. Laura, an English major at the University of Pennsylvania, is an opinion columnist for the school newspaper. Her piece on “drunkorexia,” a disorder that combines alcoholism and anorexia, gained attention from Philadelphia Magazine. A blogger argued that “drunkorexia” is just a part of college life. “The point of good journalism is to start a dialogue,” Laura says.
Now, Laura has taken her skills from school to the world’s magazine hub. At Fitness, she blogs, researches, and attends press events. Fittingly so, Laura is a fitness enthusiast. She’s recently taken up jogging, adding onto her yoga regimen.
Born in Queens and raised in Manhattan, Laura describes herself as a creature of habit. This summer, that’s changing.
“When people talk about restaurants in the city, I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’” she says. “Playing tourist is fun because you get to realize New York is not just the pizza place five blocks down.”
And with more local discoveries, Laura finds more reasons to <3 NY.
“I consider myself a bit of a New York elitist,” she says. “Whenever people talk to me, I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s better in New York.”
But Laura says she knows there’s more to the world than the city, hoping to explore Philadelphia or San Diego eventually.
“New York is very cosmopolitan, but in some ways, it’s very not,” she says. “It’s like a good imitation of everything. Sure, a good imitation of a Fendi bag is great, but I want to have the real Fendi bag.”
And for this big-city girl with big aspirations, the real deal is just within reach.
-Sheri Alzeerah,  ASME Intern, University of Texas at Austin

Intern Profile on Page Grossman

As someone with previously little exposure to print publications, Page Grossman was thrilled to see her name in print in an issue of Popular Science, where she’s interning this summer. “Seeing your work published online is great, but there’s just nothing like knowing that magazine went out to so many people,” she says. Page eagerly awaited the arrival of the September issue, and as soon she got her hands on a few copies she mailed them out to friends and family.
Originally from Coleyville, Texas, this University of Oklahoma senior studies both Online Journalism and Art History. On campus, she serves on the Integrity Council reviewing cases of plagiarism and cheating, and also manages the website for the school’s art museum.
Page’s background in the arts has not held her back at Popular Science, where she appreciates the opportunity to “learn about science-y things that I don’t understand and make it easier for everyone else to understand.” She has also been very impressed by the magazine’s staff, noting that, “They really know their field.” Many of the people she works with have graduate degrees in the sciences, and are experts in their areas of interest.
When she’s not in the Popular Science offices, Page enjoys exploring different neighborhoods in New York City. “I love how you can walk five blocks and you’re in a different area where the people are totally different,” she says. She’s also loved the culture of food in New York City, where she sees people often eat not just to consume food, but rather to really appreciate it.
As much as she has enjoyed her time in New York City, Page is not sure where she’ll be a year from now. “I’ll go wherever the world or fate takes me,” she says. She plans to spend the summer after graduation traveling around the world before settling down anywhere.
Wherever she may end up, New York has certainly left an impression on her. “I feel more at home here than I ever have in Oklahoma,” she says.
-Madeleine Frank, ASME Intern, Harvard University

Intern Profile on Julie Mazziotta

Julie Mazziotta is no stranger to traversing unfamiliar territory.
While most of us eagerly awaited our magazine placements by refreshing our email inboxes at home, Mazziotta was sitting in the Plaka, a square teeming with tourists in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens, depending on the pocket of WiFi there to do the same. She was on the fourth leg of her trip around Europe after studying in London for four months, and flight after flight, she traveled to a new city every few days, switching languages and rhythms.
These adaptive skills have served her well at Real Simple’s beauty department.
“I wasn’t expecting beauty at all,” Mazziotta says, explaining how she rarely liked to put on makeup; even her mother began laughing when she heard the news.
A rising senior at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, Mazziotta is a political science major who became interested in journalism at a young age through her mother, a reporter at the Associated Press. In high school, Mazziotta even had the opportunity to flex her political journalism muscles, helping the AP cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where President Obama accepted the nomination.
Even though she now works at a magazine that deals with topics nowhere near politics, Mazziotta has comfortably slipped into her internship. She had always read Real Simple, and so far this summer, she has attended events, met with PR representatives and learned the brands the magazine often works with for their pages.
“I didn’t think of beauty as this technical,” she says, noting how familiar she’s become with the brands.
But it’s easy to see why Mazziotta can handle it all. A co-captain of the Bryn Mawr crew team, she wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. to row and practice before classes begin during the season. Despite being short for a rower at 5’ 3”, Mazziotta is a determined leader.
And Real Simple’s been the right fit for the hardworking Mazziotta. At a small department, she gets the chance to attend every meeting, including two in the office of the editor-in-chief. Outside the office, New York City’s not such a far cry from the bustle of London, so the reverse culture shock expected of study abroad returnees has not fully sunk in for her; instead, she says the moves from city to city in the past few months have made her adjustments easy.
After ASME, Mazziotta will take on the task of News Editor at the Bi-College News, continue to lead the crew team, and will likely attend the Republican National Convention. Though each role requires different sets of skills, Mazziotta will have no trouble adapting to her tasks.
-Shirley Li, ASME Intern,  Northwestern University

Intern Profile on Taylor Long

Taylor Long loves everything. Well, everything but being interviewed, that is.

“I’m not used to being the interviewee,” says Long, who is sitting at her kitchen table, nervously stabbing a grapefruit with a butter knife. “It feels weird; I’m normally asking the questions.”

The Food & Wine intern, who hails from Indiana, Pennsylvania, has had a summer of firsts. “I have tried so many new foods at Food & Wine. You learn to trust that whatever they offer you is going to taste great, no matter what it is,” she explains.

Although food reporting is a new beast for Long, this internship is far from her first stint in magazines. As a journalism major at Ithaca College, Taylor has had her hand in writing for the better part of her adult life, transitioning from newspaper “shenanigans” in high school to news editor of her college paper, The Ithacan. She even spent last summer in Chicago, interning at the award-winning In These Times magazine, where she encountered Jesse Jackson at a protest she was sent to cover. “I thought I was so cool,” recounts Long, who kept one of Jackson’s protest banners as a wall-adorning souvenir. “I do feel bad sometimes for using their woes as decorative pieces, though.”

While she hasn’t met any Baptist ministers at Food & Wine, Taylor says her summer has been exciting and unexpected. “It’s so rewarding when the editors pick one of your ideas. You feel like you’re actually changing things—like you have a larger influence over the magazine’s content,” Long explains, smiling.

When asked where she sees herself in five years, Taylor admits she doesn’t quite know. She loves to travel, but she has no specific place in mind. She adores city magazines (“I want to intimately know them”), but she isn’t sure which one. “Whatever I do, I tend to enjoy it,” she says, setting down the butter knife. “I don’t want to commit to anything until I really know if I like it. So for now, I’m just enjoying the ride.”

-Chloe Metzger, ASME intern, Parents

Intern Profile on Taysha Murtaugh

Taysha Murtaugh is 21-years-old and pursuing a journalism, political science and psychology degree at Iowa State University. She is currently the online editor of her campus magazine, Sir. Prior to Sir magazine Murtaugh has written for the following publications at her university: Iowa State Daily, Ethos magazine, and Catalyst magazine. This past school year, Murtaugh finished up her internship at Better Homes and Gardens, where she was the online editorial apprentice.  With plenty of experience under her belt, Murtaugh has proven that she has what it takes to succeed at the popular fashion magazine, InStyle as the editorial intern.
Murtaugh didn’t know what to expect when she began to work at InStyle, but she is definitely enjoying the experience. “I’m learning so much about what it takes to plan a magazine,” said Murtaugh. “All of the details about the products we feature really matter, and that’s the kind of thing I’m in charge of, researching and gathering.”
As an editorial intern, Murtaugh compiles a lot of research for editors of the magazine. One task was to research a competing magazine and present an analysis to a team of editors. That was the best experience she has had so far. “It was completely nerve-racking, but it was also awesome,” she said.  
As for living in the Big Apple, Murtaugh has been having the time of her life. From starting a dance-party in a “stuffy” bar to dancing in the rain with friends in lower Manhattan, she has been making the most of her time in the city. The most exciting moment had to be seeing Hollywood actress, Cameron Diaz. “Seeing a person I’ve watched countless times on movie screens was like seeing a ghost,” wrote Murtaugh on her ASME blog post. “To be honest, it scared me a little. It also made my week.”
Murtaugh’s internship is slowly coming to a close but she plans on enjoying every minute of it and living in New York City. Before it ends she hopes to attend a Yankees game, go to a few museums and visit Ellis Island. Most importantly, she plans to have some fun with the other ASME interns before it’s time to head home. “I want to spend more time just having fun with the other interns, because we won’t be living in the same building or even the same city pretty soon,” said Murtaugh.
After the internship is over, she will be entering her senior year at Iowa State University this fall and can’t wait to enjoy it with her best friends. During her senior year, Murtaugh will continue to search for an internship or a job post-graduation.  However, the first thing she plans to do once she gets to Iowa is meet her new baby niece, Kinsley, who was born right after she got to New York.
Murtaugh is anxious about her future, the fact is that it even scares her. “It’s frightening that in ten months, I will be a college graduate thrust into the real world. Eventually, I hope to have a job at a publication where there is opportunity to contribute and grow,” she said. “Something that’s really important to me is that, I feel that I am making a difference in people’s lives. I also really want to have a family. Basically, I want it all.” 
-Mabel Martinez, ASME Intern, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus

Intern Profile on Bridget Mallon

During our first few days in New York, my roommates and I were completely dependent on Bridget Mallon to help us navigate the city. While the rest of us tried to keep up with her fast-paced strides, confused looks splayed across our faces as we entered the subway, Bridget remained confident—interning at Time Out New York last summer had not only allowed prepared her well for her ASME internship at Family Circle, but the experience clearly provided her with extremely useful knowledge about the Big Apple.
             “I love the energy of the city,” she said. “I feel like there’s just this indescribable desire to always be doing something here.” 
            During her time at Ohio University, Bridget has held many responsibilities both on and off campus. Currently, she serves as the editor-in-chief of Thread Magazine, an online publication at OU dedicated to fashion. Bridget also writes and edits for The Glitter Guide, a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty website, and she works on her honors college’s alumni magazine, for which she was previously the editor-in-chief. If that wasn’t enough, Bridget also formerly wrote for her university’s daily paper. The Associated Press Society of Ohio even awarded her third place for best feature writer for a story she wrote on students abusing Adderall.
            Bridget plans to pursue magazine journalism after graduation, and for now she is enjoying her time at Family Circle, which she describes as “absolutely amazing.” She added, “I just feel welcome there. I feel like I’m part of the staff and I feel like I’m valued.” 
-Sarah Lyon, ASME Intern, Colby College