Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Updated Tale of a First-Day Survivor

I sit in my room eating a vegan chicken wrap, reflecting upon life’s graceful, serendipitous way of turning out for the best.

It’s been six weeks since my last blog post. I was assigned to blog on my first day of work – a task that seemed arduous at the time, but now makes retrospection so much sweeter. I began my internship with low expectations (a practice past experience had taught me wise). But since that fateful first day, my internship at Parade magazine has effectively blown all of my expectations out of the water.

Me and Rosario Dawson after an interview about her role in AllState's Purple Purse Campaign. 
I’ve interviewed celebrities — on the phone, in the office, and in hotel penthouses. I wrote an article about the Simpsons’ family dynamics that was picked up and posted by the official Simpsons’ Facebook page, subsequently receiving over 170,000 web-hits (a highlight of my summer: when my editor-in-chief congratulated me personally in the editorial meeting the next morning). I went to product shows. I went to food photoshoots. I rocked it out to Darius Rucker at the magazine’s new-logo launch party. I tweeted, pinned, and posted. I stayed late, woke up late, cursed my alarm clock and sprinted up Third Avenue, entering the daily editorial meeting only slightly disheveled. I took home a pair of new shoes from the back-to-school issue, a purple purse (from Allstate’s domestic violence awareness campaign), and far more random cookbooks than I will ever use or need.

But this internship has given me far more than a neat pocket full of clips and bragging rights for the next good while. This internship did for me what an ideal internship is meant to do: it affirmed my passion and informed my future life plans.

In short, I want to tell-stories. I want to ask questions of people leading wildly different lives than me. I want to play with sentences and make content come alive on the page. I want to learn how to tell stories with pictures, video, and social media. I want a job that changes form as quickly as you can refresh the browser on your webpage.

Maybe it will be at a glossy-paged magazine. Or perhaps at a newspaper, writing a fast-paced and all-consuming news beat. Wherever and if-ever I’m lucky enough to turn my curiosity into a career, I've realized this summer that I'd grab the opportunity and not let go. 

Vegan wrap is finished. My keyboard keys now show the unfortunate signs of eating while writing. This is going to require some paper towels. 

Returning to my rosy images of editorial meetings on that not-so-far-off day, I imagine myself sitting in one of the swivel chairs at the glossy, oak table. I'm joking with colleagues about the weekend news and assuring the wide-eyed new intern that all will be well. Really, it will. All turns out for the best, in the end. 

Written by: Hannah Dreyfus, Yeshiva University, Parade
Edited by: Arielle Pardes, University of Pennsylvania, Martha Stewart Living

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