What three months in New York City & an internship at Food Network Magazine taught me
Probably every starry-eyed journalism student has dreamed of moving to a big city and working behind the scenes of some prestigious, gloss-covered magazine. I was no different. My junior year of college, I applied to—and was eventually offered—an internship through the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). Through this program, I traveled to New York City alongside 23 other students and interned at major publications throughout the city.
During my time in New York, I interned at Food Network Magazine and worked on the October, November, and December 2019 issues. I met with and learned from industry experts at Vogue, The New York Times, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. I ate indescribably good food at Food Network Magazine‘s photo shoots. And I lived the journalist experience that only New York City can provide.
The largest learning opportunity provided through ASME was my internship experience at Food Network Magazine. During my three-months there, I worked primarily with the features and news editors to research, pitch, and write relevant and attention-grabbing content for their respective sections. On any given day, this could include sourcing gold silverware for an upcoming feature story, researching the history of avocado toast, or compiling a list of candidates for the best restaurants in every state. I also sat in on monthly pitch meetings, assisted at photo shoots, transcribed interviews with Food Network stars, and jumped in on any aspect of the operation with eagerness and excitement.
My biggest accomplishment during my time at Food Network occurred when I pitched, researched, conducted interviews, and wrote my own story for the “Food News” section. In a photography-driven magazine, there’s heavy competition to get even a few of your own words on the page—but my story earned the rare praise of Food Network Mag‘s editor-in-chief and appeared in the December 2019 issue.
In addition to the learning opportunities provided by our internship placements, ASME interns also get to meet with industry experts at what is commonly known as “ASME Lunch.” This weekly meeting featured prominent editors at magazines such as Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and T Magazine, journalists at The New York Times and the New Yorker, strategists at LinkedIn and Twitter, and more. I asked questions about the industry, editors’ individual roles and what they wish they’d known sooner. I got to hear firsthand what it’s like to work at a magazine. I traveled all across Manhattan and visited every major publication company in the city. I only got lost once or twice on the way.
Skills and Takeaways
While my time in New York City was certainly every childhood pipe dream I’d ever had come true, it was also a huge learning opportunity and stepping stone in advancing my career. Through interning at Food Network Magazine, I saw the day-to-day steps it takes to create a print publication. I learned to take rejection when my pitches weren’t quite right. I collaborated and shared ideas with some of the most talented editors in the industry, and I got paid to do it! During ASME lunches, I networked with people who have already achieved all the career goals I’ve ever set for myself. I visited a variety of publications and learned how they work, where their ideas start, and what it takes to succeed in the industry. When I first set foot in New York City, I felt like a wide-eyed child. Leaving my ASME internship three months later, I felt like a journalist. And while I am still learning and growing as a writer every day, the practical knowledge and skills I picked up that summer remain some of the most valuable tools I have in continuing my growth.