From a Creative Writing Major to Two Journalism Internships


Andrew RussoI graduated from college more than a month ago, and in that time, I’ve watched more than half of my friends go on to land full-time positions in their field. I, however, am working two internships — one at Mediabistro and the other at Guideposts magazine — that have an expiration date at the end of August.

When you tell people after four years of hard work, dedication and thousands of your parents’ money that all you have to show for it is an internship — or worse yet, unemployment — they might give you that universal sympathetic look before saying, “Don’t worry, something will come along.”

In my case, though, I couldn’t be happier to have landed two internships in the field of journalism because I didn’t even major in it. About halfway through school, nearly finished with my BA in creative writing, I decided I really didn’t like it. I loved writing, but I had no time or dedication to think of plotlines or characters or read another thing by Nathaniel Hawthorne. So, I moved on to nonfiction. In news writing, the details, characters and motives are all there; all you need to do is put the facts into a cohesive whole. Another thing I love about the news is that you know what you write will be important to someone. Whether you’re covering the small-town high school prom or world conflicts, someone is interested in it, and that makes it important.

Since I changed my mind late in the game, I found myself close to graduating with only enough time to take the courses needed for a journalism minor and a few free electives to fill up with some multimedia classes. So I’m at Mediabistro and Guideposts to learn and grow.

While at Mediabistro, I hope to gain a better understanding of digital media and the growing use of technology, social media and blogging platforms. (Despite being a millennial, I didn’t have a computer in my household until 2009!) The site also helps me keep an eye on all the changes happening in the news industry and on what media professionals are doing.

At Guideposts, I’m doing traditional editorial work — digging through the slush pile, pitching stories, fact-checking and researching.

Perhaps like other recent graduates, I figured out I was in the wrong major too late and am now trying to supplement the education I lost with some solid time put in with two great organizations.

Plus, there’s free coffee at both offices, which is always a good thing.

I may not have a full-time job for a while, but my internships are helping me get that much closer. At least that’s what I tell myself to help me sleep at night.

(Someone please hire me.)

Andrew will be blogging about being a media intern — the good, the bad and everything in between — every Thursday this summer, so stay tuned.

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