(Here I am with ASI’s president & CEO, Tim Andrews, at right, who was once a journalism intern himself during high school and college at his local newspaper – The Republic -- where he grew up in Columbus, IN, before being awarded the prestigious Dow Jones editorial internship between his junior and senior year at Ball State University. Tim wholeheartedly believes in the value of companies utilizing internship programs.)
My first journalism class began with a quote I plan to carry with me for the rest of my editorial career: “It’s no longer enough to be a good writer… If you do choose to work in journalism, know that it’s not a burning building like everyone says, but instead a building undergoing serious renovations. If you can’t adapt to those changes, pick a different house.”
Throughout undergrad school, this piece of advice motivated me to explore opportunities that varied from the traditional journalism track. So when I ran across ASI’s internship on my school’s job board, I was beyond excited by the prospect of such a wide-span, hands-on learning experience. Within the week of sending out my resume, I not only received positive feedback from Michele Bell, ASI’s editor who oversees its internship program, but also my first post-grad freelance assignment.
The following week, I submitted two different pieces – a “listicle” style piece, focusing on upcoming winter fashion trends, and an article titled “The Pen is Mightier Than Everything,” a write-up informing readers of the pen’s powerful impact in the promotional industry. As someone who studied fashion and journalism, it shouldn’t be hard to guess which one was slightly out of my comfort zone. Michele graciously offered me the editorial internship with ASI, and also worked with me, as I battled the state-of-emergency hurricane that stood between me and my transition from Alabama to Philadelphia.
Looking down at the employee photo badge I received my first week, I, of course, remember how nervous I was, but it didn’t take very long for my nerves to be replaced with excitement. Unlike former internships – in which I was introduced to higher-ups, and afterwards only acknowledged when smaller projects came about – all of the employees I met that week not only made a point of personally mentoring me, but also of including me in the wonderful company culture that exists at ASI. Almost immediately I was involved in a variety of Editorial, PR, digital, and marketing assignments, including my personal favorite, in which I got to interview and write an inspiration spotlight on one of my favorite designers, Tuesday Bassen, for Stitches Magazine.
Last week, I sat down for coffee with Tim Andrews, president & CEO of ASI, and as our conversation came to a close he asked if I had any criticisms of the program. After quite some thought, the only issue I could think of was how I wished I had more time. This, I hope, speaks volumes about the wonderful team of editors and designers I was surrounded with over the past few months. ASI makes it possible to create a better product by allowing employees to work in a fun, collaborative work environment (our off-site Editorial retreat and our Peanut’s Halloween pumpkin patch seriously made me question if it was ok to have so much fun at work!).
As my last days approach, I’m proudly reflecting on the amount of exposure and experience I’ve been able to achieve in such a short amount of time. None of this would’ve been remotely possible without ASI, and the invested trust and guidance from Michele and the rest of the amazing coworkers who helped me grow in this internship.