Intern Testimonials


Christina Weber

Intern, 2002-03

It was a small town on the coast of Ireland that first piqued my interest in working for a Friends organization. While studying abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway, during the spring of 2002, my roommates and I, in an effort to explore the country we’d been calling home, took a bus tour up the coast. The tour guide—evidently endowed with the fabled gift of gab—told endless stories, but one stood out in my mind. We’d been driving through a rough, barren stretch of land, which he explained as being one of the areas worst hit by the 19th century potato famine that caused the death or exodus of a third of the country’s population. Suddenly, we came upon a small village that, somehow, had survived intact. The tour guide told the story of how, during the famine, many church relief groups had come to this area of the country in order to “feed” the natives; unfortunately, most of these groups insisted the consumption of their particular religious doctrine as a prerequisite to receiving food, leaving many people who were reluctant to abandon Catholicism unable to benefit from their aid. This village, the guide explained, had a relief service run by the Quakers. Because the Quaker relief workers fed everyone, regardless of religious faith, the villagers were able to survive the famine and prosper in the years that followed.

Perhaps this is a roundabout way of explaining what drew me to work at a Quaker organization, but that commitment to service both influenced my decision to intern at Friends Journal, and was a large part of my experience at the magazine. In working for a Friends organization, I was exposed to people, ideas, and ways of looking at the world that reflected, above all, a deep commitment to the needs of others. Although my tasks as an intern at FRIENDS JOURNAL were similar to what one might expect at any publication—copyediting, drafting letters to authors regarding their submissions, and taking the burden of small typing chores off of some of the senior staff—the atmosphere of the JOURNAL is what made this internship particularly rewarding for me.

I am, like many of the other interns, an English major, and found that the experience drew on the skills I had acquired in the study of English, as well as cultivating new ones that would be helpful in that field. However, I will be attending law school in the fall. Some may wonder where the connection between the two is—what will I do with my experience in the field of magazine publishing in the future? With the mechanical details of publishing that I picked up, probably very little—though there is no doubt that copyediting teaches levels of patience and concentration that are invaluable as life skills. But the experience, for me, was less about learning a trade than about learning a way of looking at the world. I found myself, as I learned more and more about Friends ways and beliefs, becoming more attentive to others, more respectful, and more reflective. I found my attitude towards unfamiliar opinions, lifestyles, and points of view becoming not only more tolerant, but more appreciative and understanding. My experience at FRIENDS JOURNAL was, because of the opportunity for personal growth it offered, more relevant to my career and to my life as a whole, no matter the path I pursue in the future, than any other I might have chosen.


2002 Summer

Amber Gravette

Intern, 2002 Summer

When I began my search for an internship in the spring of 2002, I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about the publishing industry and to use the editing and writing skills I have gained from three years as an English major at Haverford College. As soon as I interviewed for the internship program at Friends Journal, I knew this was exactly the experience I wanted. I was told that I would have the chance to be exposed to all aspects of the magazine’s production, giving me an idea of the varied jobs and talents needed to put together a publication. However, while I expected to gain more knowledge about the magazine publishing industry, what I did not expect was to gain a broader knowledge of not only Quakerism, but also important global issues troubling our world.

From the very first week of my internship at Friends Journal, I felt that my skills and opinions were sought after and seriously taken into consideration. After only a few trial runs at copyediting manuscripts, I was trusted to make corrections and changes to articles currently going through the publication process. The rest of the internship would include quite a bit of copyediting, which I found to be one of my favorite tasks at Friends Journal. It gave me an opportunity to sharpen my own writing skills and brush up on my grammar, and I became familiar with using the Chicago Manual of Style, a resource that I believe will serve me well in years to come.

As an intern, I was also asked to read manuscripts from the JOURNAL‘s backlog of submissions and to give my honest opinion of them and recommend what the next step should be in the publication process. This task taught me to look analytically at submissions and helped me to see the difficult job the editors have in developing a spiritually-balanced issue for each month. It also helped me to look critically to see an article’s potential for change, where its strengths and weaknesses lie, and the value of its overall message and whether or not this message was concurrent with the JOURNAL‘s mission. The interns’ long-term project for the summer—going through back issues of the JOURNAL and choosing articles for possible inclusion in thematic anthologies—offered me the greatest chance to get a sense for the JOURNAL‘s style and content. Not only did I learn more about Quakerism this way, but the JOURNAL‘s wide range of topics, such as poverty, war, ecological concerns, abortion, and gay and lesbian rights, broadened my knowledge of the world around me. I saw how in many ways Quaker beliefs coincided with my own, and reading articles advocating nonviolence, spirituality, and mutual respect for others strengthened my own beliefs and inspired me to become a more active participant in the world around me.

As promised during my interview, during the summer I had the chance to experience all aspects of the publication process. From assisting with office duties to learning the computer program used for layout design, I developed a sense of how much work goes into producing a magazine and running a business. I learned not only the production end of the company, but also the business aspects, which included advertising, renewing subscriptions, and keeping the list of subscribers updated. Another aspect of the internship that I found to be particularly beneficial was attending both staff and graphics meetings. I truly enjoyed seeing how the different members of the staff interact and the mutual respect they have for each other and their opinions and ideas. Again, from the very beginning, the interns’ presence at these meetings was encouraged and valued, making me feel like a part of the staff from the start. It made me see the value of not only loving the work you do, but also loving where you work and the people with whom you work. As my internship at Friends Journal comes to an end, I take with me not only a greater appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing a magazine, but also a newfound perspective of the world and the kind of role I want to play in it.


Molly Wilson

Intern, 2002 Summer

An English and Music double major at Muhlenberg College, I served as one of Friends Journals interns in the summer of 2002. When not doing that, I played the flute and the mountain dulcimer (not at the same time), and drank lots of coffee. This summer has served as another integral part of my search for a spiritual community. I was interested in integrating spirituality with work, and love bringing a piece of writing from birth to completion.

When I first imagined working at a publishing office, I pictured an old-fashioned printing press with people running frantically around trying to meet deadlines for a tyrant boss. In fact, that was how I pictured all offices to be run. I found nothing of the sort working as an intern at Friends Journal. Instead of being a cold, impersonal place that stifles creativity, I was met with people who shared intense intellectual discussions with me over lunch. Instead of telling me what to do, my “authority” figure valued and encouraged creativity. The small atmosphere of FRIENDS JOURNAL made staff meetings a time to discuss work-related affairs, but also to share personal stories. In addition, each person had a specific job, but everyone helped each other, which was contrary to my image of an office as a cutthroat place where “every man or woman is for themselves,” working only to raise their own paycheck. The summer I spent working with these amazing people was definitely not long enough. I was thrilled with all that I learned about the writing process, and about the people of FRIENDS JOURNAL.

One surprise this summer was being forced to make “right use of resources” after porcupines essentially destroyed my car while I was on a weeklong hiking trip. One month and $2,000 later, I realized I actually enjoyed making use of my feet and the mostly efficient Philadelphia transit system. An earlier chapter of my spiritual search involved spending the fall semester of 2001 at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. While visiting Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Patrick’s in Dublin, and the ruins of an old church in the hills of Holyrood Park above Edinburgh, I kept feeling the preciousness of the present moment and an exhilaration in the awareness of a long life of experiences ahead of me. That semester also brought me an appreciation of living without technology. I had no car, no TV, no Internet. I walked, bused and took the train, read a slew of books, and became more observant in that most intriguing nook of the UK.

I wish for continual peace for all of the fascinating people who work to bring the content of FRIENDS JOURNAL to the Light.


Juliana Rosati

Intern, 2002 Summer

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at FRIENDS JOURNAL. Much of my time was spent copyediting articles, evaluating manuscripts, and searching back issues for articles on specific topics for possible anthologies. I learned a lot about Quakerism through reading so many articles, and I found it refreshing to see current events presented from perspectives with which I had not had a great deal of contact before, in particular when I was working on the prisons issue. I have a very different sense of the world and my place in it now than I did at the beginning of the summer.

As someone with an interest in journalism and creative writing, it was enlightening to see the various stages a manuscript goes through as it is prepared for publication. And since I’ve always had difficulty restraining myself in the face of a typographical error, be it on a bulletin board or in a book, learning how to copyedit was right up my alley! I also had fun learning how to lay-out the galleys on Adobe PageMaker for the art department.

I found FRIENDS JOURNAL to be a peaceful, respectful working environment, and I received some remarkably honest and straightforward advice about life after college in informal conversations with staff members. My experience was especially positive because of the chance to work with four other interns—I appreciated their thoughtfulness as we collaborated on news briefs and shared comments on manuscripts. I know I’ll miss our lunchtime conversations and the hours we spent quietly working together.


Nicole Perry

Intern, 2002 Summer

The summer of 2002 was my first time living on my own in Philadelphia. For the first few weeks I was sleeping on the floor of a house I shared with two people; we had no fridge, no phone, and it was a lot hotter than what I was used to in my home state of Maine. But coming to FRIENDS JOURNALon Mondays, Wednesdays and some Fridays made all the difference in my enjoyment of the summer. Truthfully, I would have worked every day of the week if I hadn’t been committed to another job at Bryn Mawr College library, where I attend school.

I loved riding my bike across the Spring Garden bridge in the morning, and pedaling to Arch Street with a purpose. The air conditioning felt cool when I got inside and heads lifted to say, “Hello,” as I made my way to the back of the building. There were four other interns that summer and on Wednesdays we were all scheduled to work together. Sometimes all five of us squeezed around one table and worked from the same pile of manuscripts, breaking the silence with questions on copyediting or a slight chuckle. We spent most of our hours in quiet concentration, reading; but the silence was never awkward or oppressive. I gained much from reading the articles. Not only did I learn copyediting skills, but the content of the pieces introduced me to Quakerism and led me to contemplate higher truths.

We were not reading all the time, however. Some days we spent time packing boxes with magazines or stuffing subscription renewal notices into envelopes—or, my favorite: staff meetings. At staff meetings we discussed topics pertinent to the magazine, but there was also time for a “go around,” in which the staff and interns were invited to share anything they wanted about the events in their lives. I remember the first week (and the second week) complaining about not having a bed to sleep on or a phone to call my mother with. It felt good to share my struggles with such friendly, sympathetic people. It was these “go-arounds” that made me feel part of a family, even though I had left mine back in Maine for the summer. It is one of the things I will remember most fondly about my summer internship at FRIENDS JOURNAL.


Elizabeth Markham

Intern, 2002 Summer

When I applied for the internship at Friends Journal last spring, I knew that in working there I hoped to learn more about Quaker ideals and theology. However, my main concern was learning more about publishing. Being a Comparative Literature major at Haverford College, my career path is not yet determined. Like most other rising seniors, I am worried about my options and decisions after college, and in pursuing this internship I hoped to learn more about a potential field. After talking with a friend who had interned there before, I realized that FRIENDS JOURNAL would be an ideal place for me because, due to its small size, I would be exposed to all parts of the publishing process and could therefore discover where my interests lay. I would also be able to interact personally with people working on different parts of the production.

As I had hoped, I was able to experience many parts of the publishing process while at Friends Journal. The main focus of the internship was copy-editing, and I became familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style as I worked, along with four other interns, on preparing articles to be published. We were also involved in the process of choosing articles and poems to be published and were encouraged to give our honest opinions on the pieces we read. As a result we saw articles in all stages of the editing and publishing process. We were invited to participate in layout meetings and to express our opinions on the artwork chosen to accompany articles, and we attended the weekly staff meetings where various concerns were discussed. There were a couple other projects, which the interns worked on including reading through the Friends Journal archives to find articles on popular themes for anthologies. We were also given some training in PageMaker and The Raiser’s Edge so we were able to enter corrections on articles into the computer and also help with accounting. We helped out with secretarial tasks when other deadlines were not pressing. A couple times a group of interns headed down to Friends Center to attend conferences and write up news reports on them. After one such conference I contacted a psychologist involved with the project that had been discussed in order to learn more about her theories. Her ideas had particularly interested me so I wrote a piece about them for the JOURNAL. I really appreciated being able to practice writing by contributing pieces. We, as interns, were given many opportunities to learn more about publishing and were always made to feel that our input was appreciated.

However, although all of the things that I learned about publishing were important, and I feel will serve me well in my career search, I feel that the invaluable lessons that I learned at FRIENDS JOURNAL did not really involve publishing. One of the volunteers at the JOURNAL made the comment to me that I must be learning a lot this summer because he has learned so much just by coming in to read and help edit once a week. He was right. Although I attend a college with Quaker roots, and I have learned much in my three years there about Quakerism, I had not learned nearly as much as I learned during my summer at FRIENDS JOURNAL. I was concerned at first that not being Quaker would make it difficult for me. Our world is very divided along lines based on religious belief so I was surprised by the openness of Quakers. I feel that in many ways their willingness to accept others makes others very willing to accept them, an important lesson for our times, I think. Friends Journal does not report news or deal with issues the way that the mainstream media does and learning about this new perspective was a real eye-opener for me. I think what impressed me the most was their response to September 11, which in its desire to avoid revenge, to seek justice, and to help all those in need, was so different from the popular response. Their response to violence and crime and their wish to aid and embrace both the victim and the offender as well as their worldwide peacemaking efforts have changed my ideas about the power and importance of nonviolence. Their respect for other people, and even other creatures, no matter who or where has made me more aware of the consequences of my actions and of the sometimes selfish way that I live my life. I also want to mention the trust and faith in others that Quakers show, which I also had always really appreciated at Haverford. A workplace that is based on trust and on a desire to work together rather that on competition or criticism is conducive to hard work and general well-being. I think that one of my favorite parts of the internship was the end of the staff meetings when we would go around the table and staff members would share stories about what was going on in their work and also in their personal lives and how they were feeling. I don’t think that this is a traditional part of many staff meetings, and I really appreciated it and enjoyed learning about the lives of the people I was working with. Being a shy person, I did not always participate, but this is something else I would like to mention as being important to me. Throughout my educational career I have found that being a shy person who likes to think awhile before participating in a conversation or debate is difficult because often people think that when someone does not participate, it means that they are not paying attention or that they are not smart enough to contribute. I really appreciated feeling comfortable saying “pass” on the weeks when I could not think of something to share. In conjunction with this idea, I was intrigued by the Quaker emphasis on the importance of silence. I think silence is often misinterpreted, but it is a central aspect of Quaker meeting for worship.

There are many other aspects of Quaker thought, which interested and often surprised me with their truth. Learning about Quakerism was probably the most valuable part of the internship for me. I’m very thankful to the staff members at FRIENDS JOURNAL who were so friendly and so willing to help me learn about the process of publishing. Although I hoped and expected to learn a lot about publishing, I am also surprised by the many other valuable lessons they shared with me which, although they may or may not help me find a career, they will definitely help me decide what I want to do with my life.


2002 Q3 Summer

Adrienne Pasta

Photography Intern, 2002 Q3 Summer

The most valuable aspect of any internship is the sense of community on the job. Friends Journal is outstanding in this area. Supervisors and colleagues were friendly, supportive, and encouraging.

A second goal of interning is gaining knowledge and experience. At Friends Journal, I quickly learned how to use Quark to layout photography and other graphics for the magazine, which is a valuable skill. I loved the experience of working at a professional journal, using my training as a photographer and my untrained eye for graphic design and visual layout.

As a Quaker, I felt very much at home in the Friends Journal environment. I also got used to commuting on a work schedule in Philadelphia, and other aspects of normal work life. It was a valuable experience and I appreciated the chance to intern at Friends Journal.