Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fulfill My Dream Internship? Check.

Working at a publication like FITNESS magazine definitely has its perks. From the "do's and don'ts of dieting," to the latest workouts worth pursuing, and, of course, having access to top-notch advice from health professionals, the constant reminder to stay fit and healthy is just one of the many reasons why I love working at FITNESS. In addition to living a more conscientious and active lifestyle, I’ve also improved as a journalist and a professional. Not to mention, my overall outlook on graduating in just 9 months seems much less daunting.

It's been just 7 short weeks since I started my editorial internship, but from the get-go FITNESS has presented me with amazing opportunities. And, when I say amazing, I mean opportunities many interns could only dream of.  

First and foremost, I’ve been presented with the opportunity to showcase my writing, which, as you can imagine, is every editorial interns dream come true. Within my first 4 days on the job, I was assigned 3 FITNESS blog posts. Since then, I’ve written 8 more and even got to write a few print items for the magazine. The beauty – I’ve discovered – in writing for a lifestyle publication lies in how accessible the content is to everyone. A reader could be the the CEO of a corporation, a stay-at-home mom, a childhood best friend, or even my own sister, but the opportunity to inspire, inform and help women from around the world through my writing stays constant. 

The other fun part about working and writing for FITNESS has been getting to interview a slew of great sources. As a journalist, my role is to seek out experts on a topic and put together all the necessary pieces of a story in order to inform and interest readers in a well-rounded way. I absolutely love the prospect of getting down to the nitty-gritty, picking the brains of unique individuals. From interviewing NYC dog trainers and sleep experts to chatting it up with TV celebs and finding out about the best pre-marathon breakfasts, fitness journalists have an awesome job. Nosiness is encouraged, and no question is too small when gaining knowledge is the goal.

Oh, and also all of the awesome events I attended during my internship.. Pardon my bragging, but would YOU be able to contain your excitement when your “job” rarely feels like work? When each and every day is fun and unexpected? I attended an Oakley press event (where I was able to interview the Tone It Up Girls), tried my hand at paddle boarding on the Hudson River and even celebrated the summer solstice by doing yoga in the middle of Times Square. This internship in NYC has been action-packed and memorable, to say the least.

This truly great experience was made that much more memorable because of the awesome FITNESS editorial staff and how much they positively influenced and enhanced my summer as an ASME intern. None of my experiences would have been made possible without their willingness to involve me in the magazine’s happenings. Because of them, I’ve managed to develop new skill sets while acquiring a fresh outlook on the magazine industry. 
In less than a year, I’ll be graduating from the University of Illinois, with plans of moving back to the Big Apple and pursuing a career in journalism. The FITNESS team has provided the perfect example of the type of publication I hope to work for: one where creativity is encouraged, good character is recognized, the reader comes before a brand’s agenda, talent trumps status and co-workers double as friends.

Written by Anna Hecht, FITNESS Magazine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edited by Rose Minutaglio, Sports Illustrated, Trinity University  

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