Danielle Calkins, Senior (May 2010)
Major: Print Journalism
Minor: Multimedia Digital Arts
Internships: Editorial Intern with Reader’s Digest Association; Social Media & Marketing Intern with Nei-Turner Media Group
Describe your internship experiences.
This past summer, I was fortunate to intern with two extremely interesting publishing companies. Most of my time was spent at the Reader’s Digest Association in Greendale, WI. There I worked as an editorial intern for the Taste of Home books department. This was my absolute dream internship because I have always dreamed of working for a food publication. My time spent with the Taste of Home department was an extremely informative and beneficial experience. I worked as a writer and editor for both retail and direct market books for Taste of Home and Pillsbury brands, assisted in the overall graphic design of these books, as well as shadowed in the photo studio and test kitchens.
I spent my remaining summer as a social media and marketing intern for Nei-Turner Media Group in William’s Bay, WI. This internship was another amazing experience that I was fortunate enough to continue working at throughout the school year. Currently, I handle the social media and online marketing aspects of the company’s various magazines, including Modern Bliss Magazine, At The Lake Magazine, and Experience Milwaukee Magazine. I am also working as an editorial assistant for the magazines, which creates the perfect balance between my love for writing and the conversion to online journalism the industry is currently experiencing.
What strategies did you use to find your internships?
While searching for internships, I became very fond of Big Shoes Network (www.bigshoesnetwork.com), which is where I found my internship with the Reader’s Digest Association. My position with Nei-Turner was also posted on Big Shoes, but I first found the internship by searching through local publications. I knew At The Lake Magazine was a publication I was interested in from the Lake Geneva area, so I simply contacted the editor of the magazine and sent her my resume and portfolio. For both internships, I went through various interviews and was eventually offered positions with both companies.
What have you learned from your internship experiences?
I could not have asked to learn more out of my two internships. On top of learning what it was like to work in a real-world setting of two publishing companies, I was able to network with brilliant industry professionals. Not only was I able to enjoy these positions over the summer, but each week I am able to learn more at Nei-Turner and continue to advance my knowledge of the industry as I near graduation.
What advice would you give to students exploring internships or beginning their search for an internship?
Students who are beginning to search for internships should know that the entire process takes time and it is important not to become overwhelmed. For me, it was extremely vital to stay organized and keep track of which internships I was applying for. I made sure to have a complete resume, as well as a portfolio of all my published work to show in my interviews. On top of this, I created smaller portfolios that I could leave at each interview for them to further review and consider. My main word of advice, though, is to stay focused yet calm during your internship search. For me at least, my internships didn’t come easy, but in the end I realized my hard work truly paid off.
Other thoughts or advice?
One more word of advice, at least for my industry [journalism], don’t underestimate the power of social media to connect to industry professionals. I cannot tell you how many people I have networked with via Facebook and Twitter, and how much these sites truly advanced my internship search. Especially on Twitter, I was able to find internship openings, as well as talk to publishers and editors of magazines I was interested in working for. It really is a powerful tool!
Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at MorrowL@uww.edu.