Imagine having the opportunity to earn an internship at a place where the typical employee worked for years to end up there. For 2010 Anderson University grad Stacy Wood, this was more than imagination as she was accepted as an intern for The Saturday Evening Post during the summer of 2009.
Wood had a problem not letting her nerves get the best of her on her first day of work. “I had no idea what to expect,” said Wood, who majored in journalism at AU. “I was nervous because I was working for a national magazine and this was my first time experiencing journalism on a ‘real world’ level.”
As she walked through the double doors, Wood clenched her sweaty palms to tell the receptionist that she was here for the first day of her internship. “The receptionist welcomed me, and told me to sit down in the waiting room to wait for the editor,” said Wood. “As I waited she told me not to look the editor in the eye. She described the editor as a feared woman, who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is. After hearing this description Wood’s nerves began to overcome her.
As Wood waited anxiously in the lobby, she saw a town car pull up. The editor exited the car, dressed to the nines. She approached Wood after entering the building. “You must be the new intern,” the editor said. Wood quietly nodded and introduced herself. “I was so surprised that she was nice and welcoming, after hearing the receptionist’s description of her. I was expecting the worst,” Wood said.
“She asked me if I would like to meet her assistants. I replied that I would love to,” Wood said. The editor whistled and through the double doors came three small dogs. “She then introduced me to all of her dogs, which the staff knows as her assistants." Wood’s sweaty palms began to dry as she followed the editor through the building for a tour.
Wood began experimenting with writing as a young girl, but knew that journalism was a highly competitive field to excel in. As a freshman she declared a nursing major because it offered a more realistic job opportunity.
“As I began to take classes I remember asking myself what I was doing,” said Wood. “I had no passion for nursing and I quickly realized that. Life would be extremely dull if I wasn’t doing something I was passionate about.”
She enrolled in creative writing courses and during the past school year served as editor of Anderson University’s campus newspaper, the Andersonian.
“My life literally revolves around writing now, and I love it,” said Wood. “I am constantly listening and looking for story ideas to pitch for the Andersonian.” She also finds that her mood depends on her writing. “I allow myself to get so stressed when I am at the beginning stages of an article. People know to leave me alone when I am overwhelmed with an article,” Wood said. “But there is nothing like the feeling of looking at the finished product, after all of the hard work that was put into making a great story.”
During her internship, Wood learned lifelong skills that can be applied to the corporate journalism world. She learned how to thoroughly research a topic, a skill she will use in college and in her future profession.
“We had to do background research on a topic for someone's article, and I would spend hours on Google,” said Wood. “The research had to be thorough, and I became used to spending an entire work day constantly browsing through search engines.”
In addition to the ability to thoroughly research a topic, she also managed to get some writing in. She wrote short biographies about the artists that were featured on the cover. “Although it was a brief blurb in a magazine, most interns don’t get a chance to write anything in a national magazine,” Wood said. She also relished the opportunity to learn journalism lingo.
Ultimately, Wood dreams of moving to New York City to write for a national newspaper.
“My ultimate goal is writing for the entertainment section of a respected newspaper,” said Wood.
—Joseph Matas is a senior from Anderson, Ind., majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing. Matas is an associate with Fifth Street Communications writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.