Okay, so today is day nine in New York, day three of my internship at Scientific American magazine. This is the dream and the golden opportunity. Everything I've ever learned about journalism - about life - matters in these two months. One lesson has been the most important:
Now, the story.
NYC is amazing. It's loud, cramped, dirty and stinky, but it's alive. Beautiful music, art and people are everywhere. Every conversation I overhear is about progress. Somebody's writing a screenplay, shooting for that big promotion, landing a record deal…
Then of course, there's always the occasional homeless person screaming in gibberish. There's no place like NYC, right?
Now those editors are in front of me, teaching me to be like them and inviting me to join their community. It's serendipity.
I love my internship at Scientific American. I didn't know what my intern responsibilities would entail, but I expected the standard stuff: getting coffee, filing paperwork, making lunch runs. Rites of passage, as some people call them.
In reality, I hit the ground running as a part of the team. On day one I got a story assignment and I'm already helping with some blog projects. I've been invited to join several editorial meetings where we'll discuss social media, magazine layout and upcoming stories. I help mitigate workloads on the editors, a chance I never thought I'd get.
Everyone in this office is really passionate about science. There have been moments where I’ve gotten really excited about science stuff with the editors - "nerd out" moments are beautiful things.
I can already tell these next two months are going to be the best of my life.
The ASME orientation program advised us to think long term. One editor shared her four-step plan for getting a magazine job:
1. Move to New York.
2. Get a job that isn't at a magazine (to pay the bills).
3. Find a place to live.
4. Apply to work at any and all magazines.
I don't know how I'm going to do all four steps, let alone the first one. Yesterday I got an email from a former professor who is helping me make sense of it all.
"If you are to be a creative entity in life, you will always need buckets of bravery," she wrote. “The dream, particularly the impossible dream, is the most worthy one."
By Bryan Bumgardner, West Virginia University, Scientific American.
Edited by Adam Pincus, University of Florida, Field & Stream.
All photos are from Instagram: bryanbumgardner