I used to love creating newspapers out of paper and markers for the kids in my neighborhood and newsletters out of a Word document (complete with clip art) for my friends. I never knew, though, that one day, I would actually have internships doing a similar type of thing–minus the markers and clip art. Whether or not this is something you are hoping to pursue, here are a few takeaways from my roughly 8 months combined of editorial internships.
- Fact-checking can make you want to rip your hair out. Especially when that one person is just impossible to reach or you just cannot find anyone to verify that one last fact.
- But fact-checking also has its perks. For one thing, you get to learn a lot. I now know plenty of history about Lake Minnetonka, the benefits of halotherapy, and how to pronounce the word shiitake (which I definitely had to Google before I said out loud). Also, sometimes you get to reach out to celebrities (or get fairly close). That’s pretty fun.
- Calling strangers up on the phone really isn’t that scary. But it’s still not my most favorite thing in the world.
- It’s okay to stray from your notes in interviews. I always have a list of questions to ask before I interview anyone for stories, but it’s also important to let the conversation happen naturally and let the story shape itself sometimes.
- You become an expert on your city. I now know of numerous restaurants, bridal shops, and greenhouses I would’ve never discovered. Also, I basically know every event that’s happening downtown this summer.
- Editors appreciate when you can go the extra mile. Even if it’s just fixing some grammar errors or writing down some additional info you find. It really shows that you’re invested in your work.
- When all is said and done, it’s a rewarding experience. Yes, it’s also heavily deadline driven and exhausting. But in the end, you get to hold the finished product in your hand, possibly with a few bylines.
While I’m excited about a new copywriting job I just started (along with the fact that my intern days are over), the sadness has sunk in a bit. I’m hoping to keep pursuing magazine writing whenever I get the opportunity.