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Embracing the Unexpected

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Nailah Morgan
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Published on April 2, 2014

This is a guest post by Nicole Knoebel for Student Stories. 

When I moved to New York City last semester as part of Marist College’s Marist in Manhattan program, I was shocked by how terrified I was. I’m a Long Island girl who’s spent her fair share of time visiting the city and dreaming of the Carrie Bradshaw life. So why was I so afraid?

I’d written for my school paper and done some blogging, but interning for a real life magazine was on a whole other level. What if I wasn’t prepared? What if I didn’t like it? What if I was wrong and it wasn’t the career path for me after all?

My first day as an intern at Seventeen was an exhilarating blur of an experience that only got more incredible and exciting as the semester went on. I started off with fears of an internship a la The Devil Wears Prada and left with a confidence I didn’t even know I could have. My editors were the most supportive, helpful people and I can only dream of working with them again in the future. Instead of the life of fetching coffee and running errands that movies led me to believe was reality, I entered a world of constant surprises and unexpected opportunities.

There was no “normal” day at Seventeen. I spent my days researching for my editors’ articles, transcribing celebrity interviews, and compiling the entertainment news stories of the day for the entire editorial staff. I sat in on multiple musical performances in the office (hello, cute British boys of Rixton!) and even got to conduct my own interview.
On one unexpected occasion, I got to fill in for a photo intern and spent the day shopping in Union Square for props for a photo-shoot and worked the entire next day in the East Village assisting on set, schmoozing with male models, and babysitting an adorable puppy making a cameo in our photo-shoot. A girl could do worse.

The absolute greatest opportunity came when my internship coordinator and Assistant to the Editor in Chief, Meaghan, allowed me to spend the day in her shoes and fill in for her. Being Ann Shoket’s assistant for the day was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to meet so many new people in the office and tackle a level of responsibility that was daunting but so rewarding. When the day was over, I was exhausted from nerves but thrilled and elated that I actually felt like I belonged in the industry.

If there’s one thing I learned from Seventeen, it’s to embrace the unexpected. I walked into work every day not knowing what I’d be doing, but that’s what made it so exciting! I’ve learned to live my life with spontaneity and enthusiasm as a result of my internship experience.

As an intern, I never said no. I said yes to every opportunity and I’m a better person and a better writer for it. Seventeen gave me an enhanced sense of self and a determination to succeed that I’m forever grateful for.

About the Author:

My name is Nicole Knoebel and I’m a junior at Marist College majoring in English with a concentration in Writing and minoring in Journalism. I’ve interned at Seventeen and ELLE magazines and will be interning with Us Weekly this upcoming summer. I am the President and Co-Editor in Chief of Her Campus Marist, a staff writer for the Arts and Entertainment section of our school newspaper, and a sushi and pop culture addict. You can follow me on Twitter at @nicoleknoebel!

Nailah Morgan

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