By Kelsey Mulvey
Every semester, with the Ed Trust Fund, Ed recognizes a deserving up-and-comer who’s willing to do whatever it takes to gain media experience. This summer, Maile McCann, a rising senior at Wesleyan University, majoring in government and psychology with a writing certificate is the lucky applicant. At Wesleyan, she contributes to several campus-run publications like The Argus, Arcadia Political magazine, and Spoon-Wesleyan. This summer, Maile’s an editorial intern at Telluride Daily Planet in Colorado.
Read on for her advice to fellow whippersnappers trying to make it in the biz, more on her awesome internship at Telluride, and why you don’t need a fancy New York City internship to be a success.
How did you learn about Ed2010?
I think the first time I found Ed2010 was when I was I was looking for editorial internships and jobs and came across Ed’s job portal, Whisper Jobs.
What is your current internship at Telluride Daily Planet like?
My internship has been so fun! I write at least two stories a week. It’s a super-tiny paper because the town is so small — we actually don’t have a copy editor or photographer. So along with writing the pieces, I also have to take the photos for most of them.
I [write] mostly Arts and Lifestyle pieces, but I’ve also done some government pieces. One article I’m super excited for is my upcoming cover story for The Watch (another paper under the Daily Planet team) on climate change and environmental efforts in the region. I usually have pretty quick deadlines, but I had longer than normal to work on this piece.
What are your must-read mags/websites?
I read the Washington Post and the New York Times for news pretty much every day. The New Yorker obviously has amazing long-form pieces and keeps me engaged even when they’re interviewing people I’ve never heard of on things I know nothing about. I love The Nation: I attended their student journalism conference and their whole team is so fantastic and intelligent. The Atlantic has great long-form pieces on politics and current events. My favorite fashion websites are definitely ManRepeller and TeenVogue. I also really love A.V. Club and Pitchfork. They do reviews of television and music, and often their writers’ perspectives give me new takes on the things I watch and listen to.
What advice would you give to fellow whippersnappers looking to make it in the biz?
You should try to pitch everywhere, all the time. I’m honestly not great about sending cold pitches, but I want to be better about it. Just one accepted pitch (out of many more unaccepted ones) becomes a good clip and a good connection. Beyond that, for really any job, I think it’s important to work hard, be on time, and always do your best work, even for things that don’t seem important.
Your internship is based in Colorado! Any advice for whippersnappers who want to explore interning outside of NYC?
I’m a fan of interning outside of the city! I actually haven’t done an internship in NYC ever, even though a lot of my friends have almost every summer since college started. I think NYC is an amazing place, probably with some of the most prestigious internships around, but it’s also super expensive and competitive. At least in my experience, it’s been easier to get jobs at smaller places in smaller towns. Moreover, I’ve gotten to actually do real work because they are less established or have less money than some of the more prestigious companies. My first week at Telluride, I was handed multiple stories and had to dive right in — I’m not sure that’s always the case [in NYC].
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I don’t know where I’ll be in five years! I’m kind of panicked about it, but most of the successful, job-holding people in my life have told me not to sweat it. I’m going to apply for a lot of different jobs in a lot of different places and just take the best offer for me at the time. It’s scary that I don’t even know what city I’ll end up in, much less with what job, but ultimately I think it’s a good to not have too concrete a plan at this stage in my life: Things can really change so much!
Psst! Are you an unpaid intern? Apply to be Ed’s next Trust Fund winner.
Kelsey Mulvey is a New York-based writer and commerce reporter at Business Insider. She has written for several publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, LuckyMag.com, Wallpaper.com. Check out more of her work at KelseyMulveyWrites.comand follow her on Instagram and Twitter.