Wrapping Up My Summer Internship

The following blog post was featured as a part of CAFME’s Summer Intern Diaries for 2012. I contributed by writing about my internship at Carolina Woman magazine.

It’s hard to believe Thursday is the last day of my internship at Carolina Woman magazine. This summer has really flown by! This week has been deadline week for the August, so it hasn’t been the quietest exit. But overall, I would say my internship at Carolina Woman was a great experience and I learned a lot of (unexpected) things.

Bigger isn’t always better

Even though Carolina Woman is not a large national magazine, I believe I learned a lot there that will help me in the future. Through this particular internship, I was able to  be extremely hands-on with the publication, an experience I don’t think I would be able to have at the national level. I contributed to each aspect of the publication including creating content, making graphic design decisions, editing and proofs, and perhaps most importantly, staff and traffic management. While this sometimes meant a lot of responsibility, I believe it will definitely help me in the long run.

I would encourage other journalism students to look outside the “big names” and intern at smaller publications. It really helps to see each aspect of what goes into a magazine and at the local level, you can really get an up-close look.

Teamwork means a lot in the magazine industry

You can’t put together a publication by yourself. Or with one or two other people. Working at Carolina Woman not only showed me how much goes into a publication, but how each individual staff member can contribute. More importantly, it was great to see what it was like to work in an environment where other people not only needed your contribution, but depended on it so that they could do their own part.

I would encourage other students to make sure they are putting their best work out there in a timely fashion while interning. This leaves a great impression not only with management, but also gives you the self-satisfaction of making a meaningful contribution.

Additionally, you don’t get to choose the people you work with. I met some great people while interning, but needless to say, you can’t be everyone’s best friend. This internship taught me a lot about working with people whose personalities, work ethic and characteristics might not click as well with yours. In “the real world”, I know I will have to work with individuals who might challenge my patience and this internship helped prepare me for that aspect of the future. At the end of the day, a magazine staff is a team with one common goal and you all need to work together.

Take away what you love – and what you don’t

Not every internship will be a “dream” internship leading you down the path to you your dream job. You may have not even liked your internship that much. I would encourage other journalism students to intern as much as possible and consider the aspects that you liked and didn’t like while continuing in the industry. Did you like the way management distributed tasks? Did you like writing more, or did you find yourself loving design a lot more than you expected?

While interning at Carolina Woman, I learned a lot about what I want in a future work environment and what aspects are important that I wouldn’t have realized otherwise.

Again, I had a great time interning at Carolina Woman and I learned a lot from this experience. Have a great rest of the summer CAFME!

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