We got the pleasure to interview both Jennifer Rodriguez (MA in Publishing and Writing) & Abby Ladner (BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing) separately about their internship as WLP majors. The WLP landscape is extensive in terms of positions someone can hold from translations to editorial.
Let’s get to know our Emtern Spotlights!
Jennifer Rodriguez ’21
Darling Magazine / Editorial Intern – Spanish Translation
Abby Ladner ’21
ENSPIRE Magazine/ Editorial Intern
How did you find your internship?
JENNIFER: I learned about Darling print magazine through friends and decided to check out their online publication. After following them on their Instagram account, I noticed they were looking for interns and decided to apply.
ABBY: I first came across their internship posting online, and then I decided to check out the company to see if I thought I’d be a good fit. ENSPIRE Magazine is focused on sharing positive news stories, and I thought that was a really refreshing perspective, so I was excited to apply!
How long is your internship?
JENNIFER: I’ve been an intern with Darling Magazine since Fall 2020. At the end of the term I was asked to stay on board and after having such a wonderful experience, I decided to accept. Being part of the Spring 2021 intern team has been just as delightful. I’ve been excited to see the team and magazine transition from one season to the next in projects and content. My internship will be coming to an end this May.
ABBY: My internship has lasted for the duration of the Spring 2021 semester, so I’ll actually be finishing up soon. It’s honestly been really uplifting to work with people who are doing such great things in their communities, so I’m going to miss having that positivity in my life, but I’m also happy I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned with me to other positions.
Where is your internship taking place? All Virtual? Hybrid? How do you feel about it?
JENNIFER: My internship has taken place remotely. I was nervous that I was going to miss out on networking and going into an office where I would get a feel for the magazine and its working environment. However, the Darling Team has does an excellent job of setting a precedent of having interns check in with people in different departments to network. At the beginning of the internship, we received a handout with the names of interns in other departments. Each week, we are encouraged to schedule a call with a different intern on the list. By doing this, we get to know one another and find out what projects are currently taking place. I look forward to my bi-weekly scheduled calls with my manager and various interns because they feel effective and I always leave feeling motivated. I appreciate that because of the pandemic I’ve been able to be part of an organization that doesn’t require me to be in the same state or city. I get the benefits of being part of a hard-working team of ladies while contributing from the comfort of my home.
ABBY: My internship is completely virtual, which I honestly love! Working from home can be difficult at times, but I also think it’s a more organic environment to be in as a writer. Working virtually also gives me the opportunity to work for ENSPIRE from Boston even though the magazine is based in New York. The whole team is working remotely, which also means we can bring different perspectives to the table that wouldn’t happen if we were all working from the same space. It also helps that I can go make a cup of coffee and say hi to my cat when I feel like I’ve been sitting at my desk for too long.
What does your daily routine look like?
JENNIFER: I start every weekday by checking my email. I look for emails from my manager letting me know what translations are coming up and if there has been any feedback. After this, I look at my Gmail folder for translations that I need to work on for the week. I set up a schedule where I give myself enough time to read the article/letter, draft a translation, edit and submit on google drive. I am also responsible for writing and sending out Thank You cards to customers who have purchased Darling merchandise, so I make sure that I am up to date on those.
HAILEY: I usually start by going through any new emails I have and reaching out to publicists if I’m still waiting to hear back from their clients. Then I’ll go through Trello to see if I’ve been assigned any new articles and start doing some research and writing interview questions for those. I’ll also write any articles I’ve already finished the interviews for, send those off to my editor for approval, and save them to the website. At the end of the day, I like to see what else we need for our newsletter, which goes out twice a month, and try to fill in that content.
What are you currently working on?
JENNIFER: I’m currently working on translating a segment titled “Darling Letters.” These are encouraging letters written by the editors and contributors to build an authentic community within the blog, social media accounts, and newsletter readers. It’s an honor to be part of this pioneering project that entails translating content into Spanish and reaching a wider audience. As someone who grew up in a Spanish-speaking community and did not have access to fulfilling and empowering content specifically targeted at women, this project is very dear to my heart. It is special to be a part of translating Darling Magazine for a Spanish-speaking audience and it is my heart that they feel connected, seen, and empowered to find what makes them come alive.
ABBY: Right now, myself and the ENSPIRE team are really focused on putting together our next print issue! That means we all have a bit of a heavier workload than usual right now because we’re working on articles for the print issue in addition to producing our web content, but it’s all worth it because it’s shaping up to be a great issue. I was able to pitch some of my own article ideas as well, so I’ll have a couple pieces in the issue that I’m particularly excited about.
What is something you wish you learned before taking your internship?
JENNIFER: Fortunately, my background and minor have come in handy when translating articles.
ABBY: I wish I had learned how to be satisfied with the amount of work I’ve done at the end of the day. I like to be organized and rely pretty heavily on my planner, but sometimes that leads me to think I have to get absolutely everything checked off by the end of the day. This is where working from home can get me into trouble because my hours might be over, but I still feel like I need to get just one more thing done before I log off, which turns into one more thing, and it goes on. I guess that’s also a sign that I like what I’m doing, but it’s ultimately not very helpful when I try to push myself too much. It would have been useful to learn to establish boundaries between my work time and my personal time before my internship instead of during.
What are some essential skills/abilities/knowledge someone in your field should have?
JENNIFER: I grew up translating from Spanish to English to my parents. I realize though it’s very different when translating a piece of writing to an audience, you can’t use slang and need to be very mindful of ensuring the message in one language will come across the same in another. Knowing resources that are offered quickly search of terms and phrases in different languages will be beneficial when translating. Being comfortable with reaching out to others or asking for feedback will increase your capacity for open communication between yourself and others in the workplace.
HAILEY: I think it’s pretty obvious to say you should develop your writing skills if you want to write for a magazine, but I think what people don’t think of as often is how you have to learn to be a little confrontational. When you’re working with publicists or an interviewee, it’s not uncommon to have to push a little before you get the information you need. You need to get your work done, but you also want to have a good relationship with whoever you’re talking to. Learning how to be assertive while still being respectful is something I didn’t expect to take away from this internship, but it’s a skill I’m glad I developed and that I think would help anyone in this field.
Why did you decide to take this internship?
JENNIFER: Darling Magazine is a publication I respect and admire. I have always wanted to work for a magazine and being able to work for a company that is wholesome in every sense of the way was a perfect scenario. Another determining factor was that after I applied and was informed that the position I was going for had been filled, The VP of Business Development reached out to me to talk about the possibility of creating a position for myself. The fact that she had intentionally looked over my resume and noticed skills I could bring to a new project they wanted to pioneer made me feel appreciated.
ABBY: It was really the type of content ENSPIRE produces that dictated my decision. At the time I was applying, I honestly needed a lot more positivity in my life. ENSPIRE seemed like a great avenue to find that, and I think it was a good decision for me.
During JENNIFER‘s free time, she enjoys catching up on her “To Be Read” pile, watching K-dramas, and cooking with my best friend. Jennifer is also currently teaching second-grade math, and from time to time help first and second graders choose their next book to read.
ABBY is usually spending her free time taking care of her houseplant collection, reading science fiction, and watching true crime documentaries. Abby is also on the committee for the Emerson Recognition and Achievement Awards, which are happening on Friday, April 9th at 7 pm and that everyone should attend to celebrate their fellow Emersonians!