Every time they walked into a room all I could do is stare. I tried my hardest to look calm, cool and collected, but on the inside I clammed up in awe, each time one was near me. I, a mass communication major, could never find a single word to say and frozen there I stood.
This was how I used to react whenever I saw or met a magazine editor. Blame the "Devil Wears Prada", "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and those other magazine T.V. shows and movies. I’ll admit it — I was intimidated. But after being accepted into the ASME program and being surrounding by editors from magazines near and far, I now know editors are people, too; they’re just like us.
Okay, well maybe not exactly like us. Professionally they are what we as interns aspire to be, but they’re also just regular human beings. They consume gallons and gallons of Starbucks coffee. They watch "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix. They’re just as into reality TV shows as we are, and yet they still manage to run a magazine.
Day-by-day I learn more about the editorial side of magazines, but through ASME I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet and form a real connection with editors, an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
I’ve been amazed at how candidly editors share stories about their journey to their respective job titles, their family and their interests outside of magazines. Learning more about the individual editor not only relaxes my nerves a little, but it also makes me want to read the magazines they lead. I strive to uncover how the editor manages to merge their personality with the brand.
If you had told me this would be happening to me six months ago, I would’ve said you were crazy. Never in a million years would I have dreamed of meeting the editors of some of my favorite titles, let alone getting to hear details about their lives that Google couldn’t tell me.
This is why ASME is so amazing. The program provides a whole new perspective on this career field. It’s not just about the paycheck or the résumé line, or even the clips; it’s about networking. Networking and relationship building are key stepping-stones in this industry. It’s all about who you know and the more I learn about the individuals the more connected I feel to everything.
So now when the editor of Essence walks into the room, my heart might skip a beat, but then I remember she’s just like me, sipping on Starbucks and trying to save the world with one feature story at a time.
Written by Alexis Reliford, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Essence
Edited by Jessica Fecteau, Central Michigan University, People