It is difficult for me to choose my “best” internship. I actually had the opportunity to do three: two while I was earning my undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and one just after I graduated.
The first internship I took was in Washington, D.C. with Girl Scouts of the USA. It was also my first introduction to the office environment and I had a lot to learn! I took meeting minutes at congressional hearings and I also helped plan a huge national conference where I saw Maya Angelou speak. She moved me to tears—twice!
My next internship was at BUST magazine, a women’s magazine in New York City. I was a big fan of the publication and applied even though I had never considered writing as a profession. Boy, am I glad I did! The magazine’s small staff helped me understand the submission process, fact checking, proofreading and more. I even got my first byline, which allowed me to write a few stories for the student newspaper when I went back to school.
Although I had two great internships under my belt, when I graduated I wasn’t sure what direction to go. Luckily, I had applied for a fellowship through the T. Howard Foundation, and I was accepted! They connected me to a paid internship with AOL Travel in Northern Virginia, where I learned so much about creating Web content. After earning the staff’s trust I was able to pitch and write daily stories for the website, and I also worked on social media promotion. I loved working there so much that I ended up extending my internship for nearly a year.
That internship springboarded me all the way to Ecuador, where I took a contract position working at a travel guidebook company. I never had the study abroad experience in college, so I wanted to see what living in a different country was like. After spending six months in Ecuador I was able to do a fair amount of traveling and writing as freelance work. Ultimately, I moved to Baltimore, where I took a position in public relations and later landed here at UB in the Office of University Relations, where I get to write and edit every day. I’m also earning my M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts at the University—all thanks to passions that I discovered and honed through internships!
By: Libby Zay, Communications Manager, Office of University Relations