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Cincinnati magazine-The life of an editorial intern

By Rachael Harris
On October 5, 2012

It was a bright and sunny August day as I sipped my coffee
from Tazza Mia in Carew Tower and awaited my future boss,
Jonah Ogles, outgoing associate editor of Cincinnati Magazine. I was about to meet him for the first time, to get a tour of the office in which I would work, fill out paperwork and grab my parking pass. Nothing to be nervous about, right? Still, I was nervous. Being hired as one of the two editorial interns was a big deal to me. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting - some crusty old man, maybe, who was going to lecture me on how to write and how a magazine works. Thankfully, Jonah was young and
extremely down to earth (and did neither of those things) and the people in our office on the second floor of Carew Tower were friendly. Tess Eger, a senior journalism major at the University of Cincinnati and the other editorial intern, and I have become pretty good friends (she likes to think we mirror Lauren and Whitney from The Hills) and are even going to see Ingrid Michaelson in concert together. "My favorite moment thus far was being able to shadow the editor of custom publishing, at a photo shoot for Cincinnati Wedding Magazine. ," Eger said. "She writes the captions for the spreads, so she needs to know everything the model is wearing. It was literally a girl's dream. Diamonds, wedding gowns and Jimmy Choo shoes. Amazing." Now that I am halfway through my experience, I could not be happier with my decision to work with Cincinnati Magazine. I have pitched story ideas, transcribed
interviews, fact checked, contributed to various blogs and
have received writing assignments (my first two articles will
be in the January 2013 issue of the magazine - be sure to look for them!). This internship is about more than just fact-checking. "If someone wants to show up and fact-check articles and leave, they can," Ogles said. "But if they try to get to know the staff and ask questions and ask to participate, they're going to have an internship experience that is unparalleled in the city." Now, I am going to tell you why I love my job. Hopefully then I can convince you to take a leap of faith and accept that internship you are nervous about. It is worth it, I promise.

Environment

Everyone dresses casually - Jonah called it "family reunion style" when I asked how I should dress - and jeans are completely acceptable. It is also a very pro-active office; people are always running off to interviews or walking to Moerlein Lager House to get grilled cheese for a review. While there isn't any pressure to do something, the staff always expects the best of each other and the interns. If a story isn't up to par, it is revised and edited until it meets their high standards. There is also a sense that
the staff is there for each other, and that they are friends outside of work.

Experiences

While I have definitely learned a lot from my experience so
far, it's the unexpected, random moments that I love the most. Most recently, Tess was fact checking an article about a Northside resident who makes handmade jeans. During the course of their conversation, I hear, "did you compare your jeans to tomatoes?" (The answer was yes, he did, if you were wondering). Also, remember the grilled cheese from Moerlein Lager House? That sandwich wound up split in half, placed on a scanner and scanned for a magazine picture. This was something I'd never seen before, nor did I ever expect to see. It worked, although it did leave behind a very greasy scanner. Finally, the company seems to have an addiction to cupcakes. Every week, without fail, there is a large box of cupcakes of various flavors sitting in the kitchen, waiting to be devoured by staff members. Now, since I am passionate about baking and have a special place in my heart for cupcakes, I love this, and I look forward to these cupcakes every week.

 Relationships

Everyone that I've met is down to earth, easy to talk
to, friendly and fun. Not to mention hilarious - where
else can you listen to editors discussing how a picture of
a man's hairy nipple should have been photoshopped,
or how head editor Jay Stowe was convinced to do a
photo shoot in a gorilla costume? Where else do you
go out for a fancy taco lunch and ice cream on your
first day on the job? And, although I am working in a
professional environment, no one takes their work too
seriously. Everything that needs to be done gets done,
but work is not something to stress about. It's a job to
enjoy for the rest of your life, and that is because of the
people who make the magazine happen.
I also really appreciate that interns with the magazine
are treated as equals. Ogles strives to include interns in
every aspect of the magazine experience and admits the
internship program is his favorite part of his job. "First
and foremost, I like working with interns, probably because
I was an intern not so long ago, and I appreciated
that I had a boss who took the time to talk to me and
teach me throughout my experience," Ogles said.

Culture Shock

Fact checking dozens of articles has made me discover
new places in the city that I, as a Cincinnati native
for the past 21 years, never knew existed. It has
made me become more aware of what's around me
and has made me want to go out and explore the
places I read about. Now that I have explained the reasons why I love
my job, I hope you will take the time to think about
that internship. Maybe you've already been offered
the job or maybe you are just starting the application
process, but I hope you realize all the vital experience
you will gain from having an internship. My experience
with Cincinnati Magazine is something I will never
forget, not in a million years.
"Cincinnati Magazine has really shown me how
a small staff can put together something amazing,"
Eger said. Couldn't have said it better myself.


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