Monday, July 7, 2014

Five things I've learned since the beginning

We've reached the midway point—the point where you should know what the heck you're doing—and about to hit the home stretch.

Working at People magazine has definitely been a ride of a lifetime. I repeatedly tell my editors that I am happily overwhelmed with how much I have been given the opportunity to do. From meeting countless celebrities to reporting on heroes in different communities around the country, I am incredibly grateful for a thorough and rewarding internship.

Not only is the work I am receiving both a challenge and reward, working with the top editors in the journalism industry is something I can't replace. Being in the ASME program is something I also think about every day, and not just because I walk through the doors of Time Inc. Monday through Friday. If you asked me five months ago what I would be doing this summer, I would say I had no idea. Now I am contacting top editors in NYC on the regular, getting coffee with them and learning from fellow interns in the program.

Being at the midway point with only a few weeks left in both ASME and at People magazine, these are the top five things I've learned since starting:

1. Network, network, netwok
It seems like everywhere I go, everyone wants to know everyone. And that's something I picked up quickly in the magazine industry. I learned to ALWAYS have a business card on me. You never know whom you'll meet on the streets of New York.

2. Offer to do more than you expect
By offering myself up for projects and assignments, I started to get my own bylines. The excitement of seeing my name online was worth any and all extra hours I put in.

3.  Take advantage of your roommates/peers
Being surrounded by three other interns in my dorm is a blessing. I get to bounce ideas off them and they give honest feedback about resumes, cover letters, and pitches for the magazine. To future ASME interns — live with other interns! You won't regret it.

4. Take time to explore
Life can get really hectic working at a magazine, attending ASME programs, and networking. But, I learned to stay creative and on top of my game, I need to take "me-time" and explore New York. It is crucial for both sanity and happiness.

5. Make friends outside of the internship
I know I've been talking about networking a lot within the industry, but I also find it important to meet people who aren't in journalism. The city is filled with millions of people who are up to creative things. Branching out and learning their stories is what will help make your own career blossom, too.

By Jessica Fecteau, Central Michigan University, People 
Edited by Dora Grote, University of Iowa, Washingtonian

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