Center for Internships and Career Development

Amanda Topping

Thumbnail image for AmandaTopping.jpgMy first day at Soundings magazine - a national boating publication in Essex, Conn. - began the day after Memorial Day. Right from the get-go, I knew this company would present me with the perfect internship.I was right.

This experience has been the deciding factor in the career path that is now laid out before me. As an English Major, I faced the difficult choice between teaching and journalism. The experiences I embraced at Soundings were so fantastic I now crave the life of a journalist/editor/proofreader/reporter.

At Soundings I was offered the chance to be considered a regular worker. "Intern" is an almost non-existent word in the office. Though it is an unpaid internship, I realized quickly that I would gain from this experience only what I put into it. With that in mind, I happily took on any assignment my editor threw at me.

This attitude paid off, and in my six weeks there I've written my own story to appear in a later issue, and have come away with my byline on various other sections of the magazine.
I jumped at the chance to fill in as full-time proofreader during our busiest deadline time (signed off later by the editors, of course!) and also gained experience in conducting interviews, writing book reviews, making contacts in public relations, and writing briefs from press releases.
I have learned a great deal that a classroom environment could not offer as easily.
By not limiting myself, and throwing myself into even the assignments that proved slightly intimidating at first (Interviewing the commodore of the Coast Guard Auxiliary!) I have created for myself the chance to succeed in a career that would've been difficult to break into otherwise. No doubt, when I graduate next year, I will be more prepared for the "real world" and have the know-how to continue in the field of journalism.
I see rings from coffee mugs stained on newspapers and magazines, and deadline calendars marked in red ink in my near future.
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