I most definitely feel that I achieved my defined learning goals this summer. My academic goal was to “gain hands-on experience in journalism and thus apply my studies as a journalism and American studies student to real life.” In fact, I feel that I achieved this goal far more than I expected to. I did not anticipate how much I would get to write about and explore American history and I believe that in actually applying the past to current events and situations, I gained really valuable insight and perspective on many of the issues I’ve studied the last two years.
My career goal for the internship was “to gain professional experience working in a national magazine setting and to come out of the internship having published more of my own writing.” I’ve published 11 articles, and have been really lucky to be able to stay on in the fall as a contributor for Ms.— so that number will continue to grow! While I didn’t get to experience an in-office work environment, I do still feel that I learned about general policies and practices within the field (such as how to pitch a story, how to edit, how to learn particular style guidelines, etc.).
Finally, my personal goal for the internship was “to improve my own journalistic and nonfiction writing and gain experience writing with an activist lens.” Thanks to my wonderful supervisor, I feel that my writing skills have greatly improved since the beginning, which I am really proud of. I also got the chance to work as a feminist, and in the process, learned a lot about journalistic ethics and professional writing in general.
Surprisingly (to me at least), I don’t feel that my learning goals have changed. I think I went into this experience with really clear insight and I worked hard to reach those aims. Thanks to the generally well-thought internship, and my supervisor’s support, I feel that I really did accomplish what I set out to do.
Undoubtedly this internship has helped me clarify my career goals and interests. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in journalism before going in but coming out, I feel even more confident and is now considering branching out into more news reporting. All of my journalism experiences so far have been with magazines, mostly digital magazines. I have really loved the pace and style required for this kind of journalism as well as the wide range of genres I can write in. That being said, my few forays into more “newsy” reporting (such as this article) have piqued my interest. I definitely would like to explore this field further.
I would highly recommend spending the summer as an editorial intern with Ms. Magazine. Most importantly, my supervisor was endlessly supportive, thoughtful and helpful to me and the other interns. She took time to get to know each of us (even in a remote setting!) and once she did, made an effort to give us assignments she knew we would care about and learn from.
In terms of more general advice about interning in journalism, I would say take initiative. If you have an idea for an article, don’t hold it in. Pitching ideas to my boss this summer was an excellent experience and practice for the future (more advice— learn how to pitch really well!). It was also really exciting because I was always so invested and eager to write pieces that were entirely my idea from the start.
The article I am most proud of is this article.
I got to do two longer interviews for the piece and learned a lot about synthesizing research and interviews into a cohesive and flowing strong story. In general, I am just really proud of the ways I pushed myself out of my comfort zone these past few months. My very first piece was one that I pitched, which was exciting in itself, and I made an active effort throughout the internship to try different things and learn as much as possible. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity, in part because I was able to grow in this way and challenge myself while loving every minute of it.