By: Hanna Martin
Free food – the (perhaps literal) carrot on a stick that all college students follow…
My summer internship as an editorial intern at Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine, though unpaid, was full of free food (and a bunch of other cool stuff).
Looking back, my daily schedule seemed to be: 1) Edit. 2) Write. 3) Eat!
When we met our sales goal, the entire office went to O’Doherty’s for lunch. My first article was for the “Signature Dish” page of the magazine so I got to go to The Ivory Table, the only restaurant in Spokane that serves traditional buckwheat crêpes. Over an amazing salmon crêpe and fresh lemonade, I got to chat with the owner of the restaurant about her life and her aspirations. For the next month’s article, I went to a Thai place out in Airway Heights where I was served amazing chicken and perfect white rice. In lieu of a plate, the dish was served inside half of a pineapple! One day, we went to a restaurant owner’s office for lunch, where he literally spread dressing on each individual salad leaf by hand, made mango salsa, and BBQ-d us chicken lavished with African spices. Each year the magazine puts on one or two major parties to celebrate publication. The Hot Summer Nights 20s-themed party was up at Arbor Crest, where we feasted on greasy pizza, fancy chocolate and Arbor Crest’s signature Riesling. Then, naturally, we had a huge dance party under the stars. On my last day of work, to send me off into the school year, we all had tender pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, coleslaw and baked beans for lunch.
Who knew the publishing world could be so filling?
Of course, there were also the realities of my life as an editorial intern. I did immense amounts of research on the topics we featured in the magazine each month, on everything from prohibition and Silverwood attendance to heart health facts and the hours of local restaurants. My favorite part of the job consisted of copyediting the entire magazine the day before publication each month. I’d sit at my desk poring over page after page, trying to make the issue perfect by catching every single spelling error, every Oxford comma (which Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living doesn’t use), every instance where sentences had two spaces instead of one between them.
Obviously I was thrilled when I was given my first feature-length article, a 20-page spread on a historic home in Spokane. I got to tour the home and interview the owner, meet their dog and then write about it all! The home is in the Rockwood district and was designed by Spokane’s first city planners and architects. The oldest ginkgo tree in Spokane is on the property, which also includes a mini putting green, a swimming pool, tennis court, and 11-car garage! It was a home worth writing about.
For all the good parts of the job, there was one sad truth:
Working anywhere in the modern world, you will spend half your life waiting for other people to email you back. Nearly all the communication, coordinating, and even some of the interviewing that I did was via email. It is 2015, and email should accessible in literally 2.5 seconds on your phone…It should never take you more than a day to reply to someone’s email. I assume that people who operate successfully in the professional world will respond to emails as soon as possible.
For you seniors, I have to tell you that I did in fact get this job because of a connection. I didn’t even know I had the connection when I went into the interview, but it turns out that the editor-in-chief is friends with my dad’s colleague’s wife. Crazy. But no matter how distant the connection, try and find one! They’re valuable.
In all seriousness, my time at Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living was immensely rewarding. Seeing my name in print on a glossy, colorful page sent my self-esteem through the roof. I got to wear fancy dresses, heels and lipstick every day and tell people at the grocery store that I had just recently become a published author!
More meaningfully, I was able to build community in the city that I love. Being the youngest in the office, (and with the magazine demographic geared towards 30-40-year-olds), I brought a fresh, new perspective to the summer issues of the magazine. I interviewed people in the city that otherwise might never have received the recognition they deserved. In a personal article, I was even able to share my belief in God and my wonder at His creation with readers.
This internship unearthed the deep desires that push me towards a career in editing and publication. I’ve always loved reading and I’ve always loved words. Now I understand more fully that words hold incredible power. I’ll make sure that the questions and issues raised in literature and media are important and valuable to our readers. I encourage you, English majors, to make your words meaningful, too.
Click the link to read another one of Hanna’s online articles about mountaineering.
Hanna Martin is a senior at Whitworth. She is double majoring in English Literature and French, and she is studying abroad next semester. Hanna got addicted to adventure last May-Term, and has since devoted her time to traveling, reading, and doing as many outdoor activities as possible.