Samantha Lodge ’15
Major(s): Environmental Studies
Internship Site: Self Magazine (Condé Nast) - New York, NY
I had always wanted to work at a magazine, even though I’m an Environmental Studies major, so I asked around. I did a lot of internet research on how to apply to the major magazine firms (Condé Nast and Hearst) and found that most positions were only open to rising juniors and seniors, so I started asking closer to home by contacting people I knew personally to see if they had any magazine contacts. With SELF, I started my initial contact through my father, who writes the “Ask the Doctor” Q& A section. After sending our Editor-in-Chief’s then-assistant, Sarah, my résumé and cover letter, I secured an interview. I traveled to New York one weekend to meet with Sarah and interview, which went very well and led to my position at SELF.
My favorite projects at SELF were the research projects. Editors would email me asking me to find really interesting, relevant fun facts. Most of my searches revolved around healthy living, but all of them required me to read long scientific studies and papers and synthesize them down to a short blurb so my editors could get through them faster. Not only did I end up with new fun facts, but I also knew I had helped streamline the magazine’s editors’ work process, and they really appreciated that, too. I honed my research skills, which is something I can take with me to any job.
It’s challenging, as an intern, to continually fill your time productively. For the first few days, I found myself waiting for someone to email me with a task, but then I realized that reaching out was even better. On the days when I wasn’t already helping the Editor-in-Chief or working on another project, I sent out brief emails to the editorial staff letting them know I was available to help. By doing this, I ended up with some great projects and some not-so-great projects, but I also got to meet a lot of different people around the office and get a broader taste for the way the magazine runs. It also reflected well on me because it showed that I was willing to go after what I wanted and work hard, and that is a skill that is definitely appreciated in any job.
My internship helped me to realize that I have a real passion for this industry. My time here was such a great experience. Although it’s confused me a bit about where I want to end up in my career, it has helped me by giving me the tools to accomplish my future career goals once I figure them out. I have gained invaluable career and office skills here and a professional attitude that I can take with me anywhere.
Tips from Samantha:
Be proactive and present yourself as a go-getter. Employers really like it when they see that you’re passionate about the position. The best advice I was given is to also develop yourself to be proactive in your personal life. The way you conduct yourself at home carries into your work life. In addition, try to learn as many applicable and interesting special skills as you can. The more helpful you can be, the more attractive you’ll appear as a candidate and it also shows that you’re consistently working hard to better yourself. Finally, I think it’s important to work the personal connections you have and be committed. I managed to establish initial contact through a family member, but after that I worked hard to get to where I am and prove that I belong here. Stay committed to your job search and any contact you have with potential employers, and once you have the position, commit to your projects because it shows dedication. I never left work until I finished a project I had started, and people remembered me for that and sent me new and interesting projects.
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.