Final post!

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.

Academic vs. Professional Life

I think one of the most challenging things about working remotely is building relationships with the people I am working with. In a normal workplace environment, and particularly in a college internship, in which building relationships is so important— I think a lot of time is spent on connecting with supervisors and getting advice, networking, etc. At the beginning of this internship, I really struggled with how to connect with both my supervisor and my fellow interns, all of whom seemed, just from the early introductions, really smart, talented and generally very cool people that I knew I wanted to get to know. It was definitely a struggle to try and get to know them all through Slack messages and emails and I spent a lot of time worrying about whether or not I was making a good impression or demonstrating my abilities to the fullest extent.

Now we are all a bit more settled into the internship and I feel that I actually have been able to connect with many of my colleagues, even in this “virtual state.” As a writer, or someone that intends to pursue writing moving forward in my career, I’ve always sort of envisioned that career path as a very independent and “solo” one. This internship has really taught me that writing, especially in this “virtual existence,” it’s important to form relationships and work closely with people. I’ve been able to learn about my own research and writing process by working with other interns, my editor who has already taught me so much about writing and journalism and my work has gotten into the Ms. weekly or daily emails (bottom row):


The world of work has differed from academic life in a lot of ways. One, I feel that my writing is valued in a very different way. When I file a piece with my editor, I am not getting graded or even evaluated in the same way as I would when I submit a paper to a teacher. I feel like I am really able to express my own ideas and push myself to write in the most engaging and informative way possible. When writing essays for class, I usually shape my writing and ideas to fit the prompt, class discussion and the teacher’s writing preferences. In this professional format, I have a lot more freedom (though still structured guidance). However, I do think that experiencing the world of work not in person limits my impressions of what a real job in an editorial or journalistic field would look or feel like. Most of my day still “belongs” to me, so I have a lot more flexibility and space than I would if I was in an office. While I’m undoubtedly enjoying the work immensely, I do wonder how the experience would be different or more immersive in person. 

One skill I’m building is interviewing with professional journalistic conduct. I was lucky enough to be able to write a long-form feature piece on underrepresented playwrights during COVID-19, and for the piece, I got to conduct two interviews with really incredible people. The piece came out on the 15th and it was one of the most interesting and fun pieces I have written, in large part because of how much I got to engage with the interviewees. I’m also able to work with writers who are more established and experienced than I, and I’m able to learn a lot about professional conduct from them. I think being able to interact with and engage with people you do not know in a professional manner is a really valuable skill. Not only for my future career, which will hopefully involve a lot of interviews, but also in terms of forming relationships with teachers, future employers and anyone I would meet in a professional environment. It’s interesting how making a phone call to someone you do not know, for me at least, can be really intimidating. Learning how to make those calls and send emails in ways that are polite, professional, but also most likely to get a positive response, is really important for a career in journalism.

Post 1: First few weeks

I have been working at Ms. (Ms. Magazine) for three weeks now, and I’ve been really enjoying the opportunities the internship has presented thus far. Ms. is based in Los Angeles, but of course, my internship is remote. It’s been interesting to work on the East Coast but with an organization in Pacific time; I’ve had to learn how to restructure my day to make sure that I am online during relevant hours. While doing that, I am still trying to maintain home life with my family and non-work activities. 

Ms. is a national publication founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972. In 2001, ownership of the publication was transferred to the Feminist Majority Foundation. The Ms. Classroom program makes Ms. a prominent resource on college campuses, and the online and print magazine strives to provide in-depth reporting on feminist issues and information. 

My work consists primarily of writing and editing for the online publication. Since starting the internship, two articles of mine have been published. The first was titled “100 Years of Women Voting Means Defending the Right to Vote for All.” In the course of writing and researching for it, I was able to explore both historical and current issues, and my academics in American studies and journalism really helped me in writing and researching the piece. My second piece was the first issue of a bi-weekly column I’m co-writing with another intern. The column is called “Tools of the Patriarchy,” and the first issue was on naming (how women traditionally take their husband’s last names after marriage). Co-writing has been a great experience so far and writing this column has allowed me to do some in-depth research on patriarchal systems/tools while learning about cooperative teamwork in a really hands-on way. 

In addition to writing my own pieces (and co-writing pieces), a large part of my responsibilities involve editing pieces for the online publication. I really enjoying editing tasks; as editing others’ work helps me improve my own writing skills. It’s also helpful to act as a contributor to the larger team effort of putting a publication together. As the internship progresses, my work will also involve fact-checking for the print magazine, working on Ms. social media, learning more about journalism in general and gaining professional skills to that end. 

My academic goal for the internship is to gain hands-on experience in American journalism to apply to my studies as an American studies major and a journalism minor. My career goal for the internship is to gain experience in a professional journalistic environment, something I already feel that I am experiencing only a few weeks in.

Even remote, the internship is a serious endeavor (in the best way possible). I have been able to imagine what a full-time career in journalism would look like and it makes me excited to pursue a career in this field. Finally, my personal goal for this internship is to improve my own journalistic and non-fiction writing and to gain experience writing with an activist lens. Already, I am making great strides towards this goal with the editing work I am doing and the feedback I have received. I’m also learning so much about feminism and how to appropriately incorporate that into my writing.