July 18, 2013
From guest blogger and intern Samantha Phillips …
The first day I stepped into ASI, I felt like a fraud. I walked in, attempting to appear as the young, modern professional: donning my ironed pencil skirt and first lady inspired hairstyle. I was sure at any minute I was going to be found out. I was convinced that the intern supervisor would walk through the lobby, take one look at me, and have security guards fireman-carry me shamefully through the front doors shouting “Back to the restaurant business for you missy!”
But, the woman who came to greet me was not the terrifying business executive I expected with cold eyes and razorblade heels. Instead, Michele Bell wore leopard print stilettos and welcomed me warmly into her office, which appeared to be an eclectic shrine to the Rolling Stones. Michele was quirky, funny, and possessed a subtle snark that she often used to playfully poke fun at her office neighbor, Joe Haley.
And Michele was only one of the many characters I have grown to know and love over the course of my internship thus far. As a loyal, if only temporary, member of the editorial department, I am proud to be part of what I lovingly refer to as “The League of Extraordinary Editors”: a merry band of creative types who collaborate to create a staggering 50 print publications each year. Instead of the demanding and impossible-to-please superiors I had been expecting, my colleagues turned out to be my teachers, my mentors, and my friends. Instead of being ordered to make seven Starbucks runs in one day like some Devil Wears Prada nightmare, my assignments include helping with photoshoots, writing industry articles, participating in radio show broadcasts, and occasionally indulging in a cocktail from Michele’s office margarita machine. I am treated as an equal and a partner in the department’s mission to create informative, interesting, and well-designed publications.
Being an intern in an industry that is completely new to you is a job that commands you to face those inner demons that make you doubt your adequacy. There is no better place to do this than the editorial department at ASI, where encouragement and positive feedback are daily rituals. My editors and fellow writers have taught me an immeasurable amount about publication, the promotional products industry, and most importantly, how to take time to laugh amidst the hectic chaos of the publishing world. It’s hard to always be serious with a boss like Michele and colleagues that are just as concerned with getting everyone involved in kickball as they are dedicated to the amazing publications they help to create.
What is it like to be an editorial intern at ASI? Well, it’s kind of like learning to swim and finding out that you love the water. Scary at first, and a bit challenging. But then it’s fun, exciting and leaves you with an unmatched feeling of accomplishment. And to future editorial interns I’d say: come on in, the water is just fine … and the margaritas are delicious.