Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Real Possibility

I’m having a capital time here in Washington D.C. learning from the experienced staff at AARP The Magazine. Documenting this incredible summer journey could pack pages, but in honor of that infamous D.C. summer humidity, I’ll provide a watered down version of my experience thus far.

In the magazine business, it’s important to get your foot in the door. This suggests risking, not perhaps life, but certainly the proverbial limb to get oneself into the industry. Fortunately, AARP seems to maintain an open door policy (The only time I’ve had to use the monopod maneuver was when Senior Associate Editor Meghan Bogardus and I were almost locked out of the building after enjoying lunch on the roof.)

I feel very welcome at the magazine. I’ve already met most of the staff, and have been presented with the opportunity to shadow others in different departments. Also, besides my lunch with Meghan, I’ve had the pleasure of eating with the design and art team. I even went on a coffee run with Executive Editor Bill Horne.

I’ve been given more than food to chew on during the first weeks of my internship, and already time is flying by. My current duties consist of composing tweets, helping with research, and working on a small project for the October/November issue. Editor-in-Chief Bob Love has welcomed my input at various editorial meetings, and I have attended hotsheet (not to be confused with hotseat) huddles, which are staff gatherings meant to ensure everyone is on the same page.

A great benefit of the ASME internship is the opportunity to learn from other professionals outside of my publication. I was able to see evidence of hard work paying off when I dined at Proof with my mentor, New Republic’s managing editor, Amanda Silverman. Also, at Wednesday's lunch with Kiplinger's Personal Finance I witnessed how a financial magazine stresses good writing and creativity. 

Outside of the office there have been other adventures, beginning with move-in day. My roomates and I found our “furnished” apartment to be utterly devoid of seating, and we were informed that our fourth roommate would be coming "eventually." I’ll couch my complaints though because living in D.C. is great. On our first night out, we headed to a journalism-themed joint called The Front Page. Since then, I’ve perused the Smithsonian Picture Gallery, strolled through the Sculpture Garden, and admired the National Mall at midnight.

This summer in D.C. just might be monumental.

I think there’s a real possibility.

--Sarah Barchus, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, AARP The Magazine
Edited by Rose Minutaglio, Trinity University, Sports Illustrated

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