Always an Intern, Never an Employee

Maggie and the 2007 USATODAY News Interns

Interns in the lobby at USA TODAY

I’m pretty careful who I take career advice from. Too many people offer clichés or personal anecdotes that just don’t translate to my lifestyle or goals, so I stand there smiling and nodding out of respect, willing my eyes not to roll into the back of my head. Don’t get me wrong. I love advice, and when requested there’s nothing better than a mentor-to-protégé lecture. My editor here is really good about offering those on a regular basis. And as much as she’s afraid she’s boring me, she’s really not.

There is one piece of advice I’ve heard about a million times – a complete cliché, practically a greeting card – that I have taken to heart over the years. It goes something like this: Find what you’re good at and stick with it.

I think that’s what originally drew me into the world of writing (not that I’m claiming to be good at it, just that I was in the third grade . . . so I stuck with it). And I’m damn sure it’s the reason I’ve stuck with interning.

Interning: Perhaps it should be my number one interest on my facebook page. After all, I’ve been doing it since I was 17 years old. I’m currently wrapping up my seventh (lucky number, right?) at a cooking magazine in Birmingham, Alabama. And because I’m a glutton (not for punishment, no. Interning is clearly not comparable to punishment. It’s comparable instead to cake or cookies, delicious little morsels for which I truly am a glutton.), I’m packing up my station wagon and moving up to Pennsylvania for internship number (lucky number, lucky number, please, lucky number) eight.

This one’s going to be at a men’s magazine, and to be honest, I’m pretty thrilled about it. I know that might sound surprising for anyone who knows me personally. I mean, think about it, I’m a feminist. So why would I want to move 1,000 miles to work at a men’s magazine? Well, there are a lot of reasons, really.

1.) It includes interning. ‘Nuff said.

2.) I’ve never written for an audience like that, and I feel like I could really learn a lot from this experience.

3.) If you’ve ever read the magazine I’ll be working at in Pennsylvania, you know that it’s not one of those “bad” men’s magazine. I have found nothing derogatory or degrading toward women in the pages of that mag, so as a feminist, I cant really complain.

4.) Their “voice” is really awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I love my current gig, and USA WEEKEND, and all those other places I’ve worked, but the truth is, I really have to watch the way I say things at those kind of magazines. I’m not going to say I wont have to watch my tone at my upcoming internship, I’m just saying I might get to spice things up a bit, which is something I thoroughly enjoy.

5.) I’ve never lived in Pennsylvania.

Yea, you’re right. Number five isn’t really a good reason. Especially since I’ve never really wanted to live in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer a promise (that I’m really going to try to keep this time) to update about my internship. After all, where interning is concerned, I’m the resident expert.


2 Responses

  1. […] can find other people who will read their blog. Trust me. I’m not an expert on anything (though I do claim to know a bit about interning), and I got your […]

  2. […] you know what can be fun? New jobs (sigh, I mean internships). Especially when the first day of your new job includes overhearing a rousing game of football in […]

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