Auburn Family

An Auburn Student's Reflection of an Internship

When you attend Auburn University, you have so many opportunities to excel in your field of study. Auburn student, Claire Sullivan, has done just that.

This semester, Claire decided to take a leap of faith and move to New York City to pursue an internship in journalism. As a junior, she took advantage of all that Auburn has to offer by participating in Journalism Day.   (Photo available via Claire Sullivan)

Through attending Journalism Day, Claire was able to find the right internship for her to take on with Food Network Magazine. Claire said, “I was eager to hear Maria Baugh, the managing editor of Food Network Magazine, speak at J-Day when I heard she would deliver the keynote address. She shared valuable tips relevant to working in the magazine industry, and I introduced myself to her afterwards. I gave her my resume and expressed interest in any internship opportunities available, then participated in a phone interview the next week!”

 

Finding an internship can be difficult at times, but Claire said, “Look for opportunities everyday, don’t sell yourself short and make an effort to connect with people along the way. Build a resume that you are confident in, and keep it up to date as you gain new experiences.”

 

When Claire accepted this position, she knew that she was going to enter the real world for a semester. A typical day for her begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., but she says that each day can vary.

“Generally, I do a mix of research for other editors on stories they’re working on, intern-esque errands, and my own research for ideas I pitch to a few editors on a weekly basis. I spend my down time staying up to date on food news so I have fresh, timely ideas to pitch every week,” said Claire of her daily activities.

Internships are a valuable part of learning how to insert yourself into your field of study outside of school. They give you real-world experience and a better understanding of what you are planning to do with your life.

 

In finding journalism as her career path, Claire has learned about the process that goes in to the production of a major magazine. She has gotten the opportunity to explore the different departments at Food Network Magazine to see how much work goes into each publication.

 

When talking about her favorite parts of the internship, Claire said, “While the free food samples are definitely a benefit, my favorite part has been learning about how different departments of the magazine work together to produce 10 issues each year. The experience I’ve had working for editors in different departments has been a valuable tool for learning more about responsibilities unique to the various departments. Producing a single page in an issue is one big collaborative process.”

 

Another change that Claire has made is the move from Auburn, Alabama to New York City. She said, “The move from Auburn to New York has been a serious transition! Auburn and New York are two very different places. New York is loud, and it’s fast-paced, but I love it. Moving here for the semester has reminded me of the transition I made from a smaller high school to a large university. You’re out of your comfort zone for a while, but you find a way to make it work.” (Photo available via Google public search: Wikipedia)

 

Auburn provides many sources for students to take advantage of, but part of finding an internship is putting your self out there. Claire is a success story, and is a testament to hard work and finding something that you are passionate about.

Auburn does not only offer Journalism Day, there are many ways to participate in lectures and job fairs in every college. Visit the Career Center or see each college's main webpage for links to their services.


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