My internship experience at Friends Journal was one that I will never forget. I knew I wanted to do an internship the moment I declared my major (English) during sophomore year in college. I wanted hands-on experience. I started my research last summer and I was not feeling hopeful because nothing really stood out to me. First, I applied to two places. I got interviews and both places extended an invitation to start with them during the spring semester. I knew that I probably was not going to get the real experience from them that I wanted out of an internship. I was going to be leaving my part-time job at the bank for an internship. I really wanted something that would be worth it. Before I said “yes” to them, I did more research and somehow ended up finding this great gem. Right from the start, I had a good feeling about FJ. I applied and I was extremely happy to hear that I was offered an internship. Without thinking it over, I let the other two places know, “Thank you for your time, but I plan on doing an internship elsewhere.”
I was here from January until the end of April, but in those few months I got exposed to so much in the world of putting together a magazine. Right from the beginning, it was hands-on experience. I thought it was great, but then I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up! However, I learned that everyone was very helpful and I did not feel constant pressure to rush through things to get something done or else I would be in trouble. I learned that this was truly a learning experience and Bob was a great supervisor to have during this time.
My tasks involved anything from copyediting, reading submissions and poetry, working on an anthology on Education, and much more. My personal favorite was working on the anthology. I got to read so much (which I love doing) and sort through articles that I thought would work well in the anthology. It was a great experience and I loved every second of it.
I had to write daily log entries for my supervisor at school and she was very impressed by the work that FJ had me doing. She said it sounded like a great place and I definitely agreed with her. I met with her a few times during the semester and we would discuss what I was gaining from my internship experience, and she was always impressed.
Even though I should be excited to be leaving FJ and graduating in a couple of weeks, I am not joyful. This was the best semester I had and FJ was a big part of making that happen. With a comfortable environment, friendly staff, and a great learning experience along the way, I am not ready to leave it all. What more could I have asked for?
When I decided I wanted to add some real-world experience to my resume, I quickly realized that many of the “serious” publishing internships were very competitive and were offered for school credit only. Having already graduated college, I searched for a more open option, ultimately discovering Friends Journal.
I began my internship at the Journal in January 2011 and stayed for about six months. Because I had a full-time job, I was worried that my limited availability would interfere with the type and amount of work I would be able to do, but I quickly found that this was not the case. After spending my first few visits completing orientation activities, I was thrown right into the mix with the other more seasoned interns. I evaluated and commented on submissions, edited and proofread articles, and even transcribed lectures. One of the aspects of my internship that I really enjoyed was how much I felt I was a real part of the editorial staff. Many times I found myself in the office of the senior editor discussing my opinion of a certain piece, or conferring about the best way to handle a certain correction or a particularly harsh letter to the editor; I really felt like my abilities were respected and taken into consideration, and that my shortcomings as part of the learning process were accepted.
As a current job-searcher, my time spent at the Journal has also given me more of the confidence I need to tell employers that I do have many marketable skills as an English major other than writing skills. Since being exposed to the Quaker faith about ten or so years ago, I’ve found that integrity, honesty, and collaboration have become a few of my core character traits, and my internship at the Journal has really showed me how I can put those to use on the job.
When I first started my internship at Friends Journal in October 2010, my biggest concern was that I would be judged for my nonreligious background and upbringing. I was worried that the Journal and its employees would be preachy and pushy. It didn’t take long before my fears were assuaged. I quickly learned how loving and accepting people of the Quaker faith are. I never felt uncomfortable or preached to at Friends Journal. Many of the articles we received and published addressed issues far more universal than just “Quaker issues.” FJ authors frequently topics like gay rights, social/economic justice, and climate change were written about by. I was constantly being challenged by new and exciting ideas, and able to discuss articles with other interns and members of the staff.
In addition to learning invaluable editing skills and the chaotic (though satisfying) process of putting a magazine together start to finish, I also gained a world of knowledge about spirituality and current events. The experience pushed me to examine my own spirituality and I have grown enormously because of it. I even got to join EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team) in an exhilarating rally for environmental justice in Philadelphia. I wrote an article about the experience, which was published in the February 2011 issue of FJ. For someone interested in expanding intellectually and spiritually as well as gaining a world of knowledge about the editorial field in a small, hands-on environment, this internship is truly ideal.
Interning at Friends Journal was, in many ways, a coming home, both physically and spiritually. Since going away to school and subsequently traveling to various places around the world, returning to Philadelphia and interning at the Journal was the perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with my Quaker roots and attempt to bridge the often misinterpreted divide between Quakerism and more literary pursuits. I had known about the hands-on nature of the internship, having gone to Quaker school in the area and hearing from several of my classmates of their experience as an intern. Having studied English in Minnesota and immersing myself in authors such as Chaucer, Austin, and Joyce, this internship was the perfect chance for me to bring my well-honed analytical skills in line with my Quaker beliefs, some if not most of which I had put on the back burner.
And I learned a great deal, not just about Quakerism and the ways in which it touches people, but about copyediting and publishing. Nothing, not even being an English major, can quite prepare you for the set of rules and guidelines that accompany copyediting. It was a key skill to learn. But I wasn’t just reading manuscripts and checking for errors—I was also given larger projects that concerned the entire publication. I learned about how different departments work together, and how communication is vitally important for the smooth operation of a publication such as the Journal. Attending staff meetings and working with people from various departments gave me a fascinating peek into the subtle social dynamics that pervade any workplace.
Interning at the Journal has taught me so much and inspired me to become part of the conversation among Friends about faith and belief. The generous staff reminded me of the vitally important role that all of our voices have in discerning a deeper and more complete truth.
Immediately after returning to the United States from Japan in August 2010, I was looking for something worthwhile to put on a résumé. In particular, I was looking for something editorial since I have long dreamt of being a magazine editor. One day, while searching for internships online, I happened to stumble across information about Friends Journal. Upon looking at the interns’ testimonials, I was delighted to learn that the magazine would be a great place to learn firsthand about editing and I didn’t have to worry about my lack of knowledge about Quakers.
As expected, the internship has been a wonderful experience. In addition to learning a lot about Quakers, I have gotten an upfront look at the work that’s put in to publish an issue of a magazine. I have enjoyed the fact that I am always busy in the office. Whether it’s judging submissions, copyediting, proofreading, or creating an anthology, there’s always something fun for me to do at Friends Journal. It’s a great magazine to intern at because the interns are important people. Our opinions are always valued. Most importantly, I have learned tips about copyediting (mainly trying to keep as much of the author’s original voice as possible) that will serve me well in the future.
But the fun at the magazine isn’t simply limited to copyediting, proofreading, etc.
The most enjoyable aspect of working at the magazine—and what I looked forward to most—was the weekly staff meeting. While it was nice to hear about what others were doing workwise, it was more enjoyable hearing about the events in my co-workers personal lives and expressing what was happening in mine.
My time at Friends Journal has been a fun experience, and it’s a great place to learn about magazine publishing.
Going into my final semester of college, I found myself in a rather difficult position. Being an English major, I wanted to take my writing skills into the workforce, but didn’t have any experience in order to make an informed decision on what to pursue. As a result, my last semester has been a hectic but rewarding series of projects and experiences in “the real world,” with the crown jewel being my time at Friends Journal.
Publishing had always been an interest of mine, but I had very little knowledge of what actually went into publishing on a day-to-day basis. When I decided to intern at Friends Journal, I was intrigued but apprehensive, particularly since I had no Quaker background. It was a great relief to find that the staff was so receptive and insightful, and I couldn’t imagine a better place for someone to get their first bit of experience in the publishing industry. Over the course of my internship, I learned some of the conventions of style, practiced and honed my editing skills, read and commented on potential submissions, as well as a variety of tasks Every day I came in, there was something new to learn. By going to weekly staff meetings, I was also able to see firsthand everything outside the editorial aspect that goes into making a successful publication, valuable information that I’m sure will serve me well in the future.
Perhaps my favorite part of my time here was working on the “Racial Concerns” anthology, a compilation of past Friends Journal articles. Not only did I get a chance to look back in the archives and read some fascinating articles from various parts of history, but I also got some experience making tough decisions such as creating categories and selecting articles based around what suited the vision of the anthology best.
Overall, I would certainly say that my internship at Friends Journal is far from the stereotype of an intern filing documents in the corner. From the moment I started here, I was treated as a member of the staff whose voice is heard and whose input is valued. In addition, I also had great freedom in customizing my schedule to meet the demands of a final semester of college. Friends Journal is both a friendly and informative work environment, and anyone seeking a positive introduction to the publishing world should consider an internship here.
As a Sociology major, I came into my first week at Friends Journal self-conscious in my editorial skills, especially around the experienced interns who were all English and Journalism majors. By day three, I did my best to push my insecurities aside and focus on improving. With this adjusted mindset, I was pleased to pick up copyediting techniques quickly, thanks to the assistance of the senior editor and my fellow interns.
One of my favorite assignments at FJ is reading and commenting on new submissions. As interns, we are the first to preview possible publications and comment on whether or not we think they are a good fit for the Journal. That’s right, we interns have a say! Our comments and opinions are appreciated and actually taken into account in the decision process.
In my final days at Friends Journal, I came across a sheet of notes I wrote this summer on what I was looking for in an internship. “Meaningful” is underlined quite a few times, as is “hands-on.” “Social justice, understanding inequalities, social change, nonviolence, spirituality” is just one stream of thoughts under my list of interests. I wouldn’t have thought these interests would apply to an editorial internship, but at Friends Journal they did.
Interns are encouraged to take on a long-term project. I knew I was in the right place when I started working on the “Social Concerns/Change, and Outreach” anthology. This project allowed for me to read deeply moving articles from throughout the years and choose which I thought belonged in the anthology.
I have developed a set of valuable skills in my two months with Friends Journal that have already applied to my writing. I’m grateful to have found and participated in the meaningful, hands-on internship I was seeking.
I discovered Friends Journal during one of my many scans of internship websites. As an English major I was seeking an internship in a field that dealt with publications, eager to find out if such a job would be an appropriate career choice for me in the future. While initially wary of the idea of working for a Quaker publication, about which I knew nothing, I quickly found out I had discovered a comfortable working environment filled with opportunities to learn all aspects of the publication process.
Though a small publication, Friends Journal is one of the rare internships that encourage their interns to be involved in all aspects of the magazine. I went in on my first day not knowing what to expect and having no real knowledge of the publishing process. By the end, however, I feel comfortable that the skills I learned will be extremely beneficial for my future career.
Over the course of the fall semester I had the opportunity to read many interesting articles, with my opinion aiding the editorial staff on their article selection. Further, I learned proofreading symbols and was able to practice my skills in editing. I was also able to aid in the compilation of an anthology of articles related to the arts, a subject that interests me and is connected to Quakers.
Overall the internship gave me some invaluable knowledge of the publication process. I learned many new skills and feel comfortable with the editorial aspects of a magazine, from the initial reading of an article submission to the final product that is mailed out.
As soon as I began working at Friends Journal, I realized that it was the perfect internship for me. It was an opportunity to gain skilled work experience in a friendly and welcoming environment. Every day I was given meaningful assignments that strengthened my reading, writing, and editing skills. My experience couldn’t have been further from the stereotype of a lowly intern confined to filing, data entry, and bringing people coffee. I was able to read, evaluate, and copyedit manuscripts, which was one of my favorite parts of the internship. I was always excited when I arrived in the morning to find a stack of red folders holding a fresh batch of submissions. I was even given the opportunity to research and write an article about the current transitions taking place in a number of Quaker organizations. This was a challenging but rewarding experience.
While interning at Friends Journal I was treated as a valuable member of the staff. I was surprised to be included in staff meetings, and to be asked for my opinion on the layout of the magazine, photographs, and graphics. As an intern I was not confined to the editorial world. I was given the opportunity to see how the organization functioned as a whole, and gained a more comprehensive view of the publishing process. I am very grateful to have worked in an organization where my voice mattered, and I was able to contribute to important decision-making processes. I would recommend this internship to anyone. It has flexible hours that can accommodate a busy college student or someone with a part-time job. Most importantly, this internship is an opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain confidence in your abilities as a writer and editor.
Intern, 2010 Summer
When I first stumbled upon the Friends Journal website last winter, while searching for possible summer internships, I was pretty sure that I had found exactly what I was looking for. Months later, I think I was right.
As an English major and rising college junior, I wanted a summer internship that would allow me to test my interests in publishing and editing through actual experience. During my ten weeks at Friends Journal I’ve enjoyed participating in many different stages of the magazine’s production—commenting on submissions, copyediting articles, selecting poems, proofreading, and attending layout meetings. I’ve enjoyed witnessing the incredible amount of thought and effort that goes into creating each issue. Friends Journal does a great job of including interns in the editing and publishing process and I don’t think I could have had such a hands-on experience anywhere else.
Throughout the summer my learning experience reached beyond the realm of publishing and editing. I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about myself—my strengths, values, and goals. Now I know that I really enjoy copyediting and other editorial tasks, that I thrive in a friendly work environment, and that I can see myself working somewhere similar to Friends Journal in the future.
Working at a specifically Quaker magazine also shaped my experience and added a deeper level to my learning. Initially, I wondered how Quakerism would play out in workplace values, the content I would read, the people I would meet, and how my experience of Quakerism would compare to or even shed light on my own beliefs. I soon discovered that to work at Friends Journal is to work in a supportive atmosphere where staff members value my opinions and trust me with actual work. Here I’ve read articles that encourage nonviolence, a deeper understanding of other cultures, seeing good in others, and showing compassion. I’ve met people who care about the work they do and I’ve been exposed to a new a way of looking at the world.
Editor’s note: For more detailed information on Julia’s internship, check out her blog “Inside Interning” at http://insideinterning.blogspot.com/.
Intern, 2010 Summer
I still remember last April—that month of panicking because I had yet to send out a single application for summer internships. The thought of another wasted summer overwhelmed me. So now when I walk into the Friends Journal office every morning, I recall that stressful period and laugh at myself. Every morning, I see that I have been blessed with an opportunity that exceeds my expectation.
The work is satisfying. Unlike previous jobs where all I do is run after noisy children or reorganize DVD shelves, I finally have a chance to apply my writing skills. For example, the interns here on a daily basis copyedit manuscripts and give their opinions about the choosing of submissions. My supervisor, knowing my love for creative writing, trusted me to spearhead revisions for a short story submission. And my favorite—reading the poetry submissions. One afternoon after flipping through pages of mediocre poems and a few poorly written ones, I stumbled across a collection by Tina Tau McMahon that blew me away. I could not help but reread each poem as her words transported me into a captivating, lyrical world. That refreshing experience made me want to go home and do one thing—write a poem.
Besides the enjoyable assignments, I also love the working environment. I felt little discomfort here. Getting to know the other six or seven interns here on the first day intimidated me, but after a few days of eating lunch together, we laughed as we recounted stories of our weekends and gave each other tips concerning our work. The staff is also a delightful bunch. I don’t know them as well as the interns, yet I love watching them discuss business with serious expressions and hearing them laugh at each other with cutting jokes. Most of all, I treasure the few times when I ate lunch with a few of the staff. Despite our age difference, they welcomed me warmly and told me some of their hardships.
I love interning here because of the work and the people. I can look back and say I had a productive summer. Because of these joys, I feel satisfied. Yet there is more. As I write this testimonial, I also feel grateful. Every day still feels like a pleasant surprise because I stumbled upon an experience so enjoyable despite an application so late.
Intern, 2010 Summer
I first learned how enriching a Friends Journal internship could be in the fall of 2008. As my friend MaryKate and I waited for a bus together in Florence, Italy’s Oltrarno section, we spoke about her time as an intern at the magazine, which had ended just weeks before. She mentioned that she had learned a great deal about both editing and Quakerism, and praised the people, staff, and fellow interns alike, with whom she had worked. After working at the magazine for 11 weeks, I truly understand her enthusiasm and am happy that I now have my own Friends Journal experience to cherish.
Before I applied for this internship I had feared that my experience would somehow be hindered because I was not Quaker. I was mistaken. I have felt both comfortable here and that my opinions matter, which is rewarding in and of itself. But those aren’t the only rewarding aspects. Very early on it became clear to me that running a magazine is a very collaborative process and I found being part of such an environment invaluable. The office was a place where it was okay to ask questions, where we were encouraged to learn at our own pace, and where there was always something new to do and to discover.
An internship at Friends Journal will give you a great deal of insight into what it takes to run a magazine. Throughout the summer I learned the basics of InDesign, updated the magazine’s production schedule in Excel, and was able to copyedit, proofread, and format articles throughout the various stages of the publishing process. I got to sit at a table with all levels of staff at weekly staff meetings. I even had the chance to research and write a brief news piece for the magazine, for which I contacted and interviewed the newly appointed leader of a Quaker organization. Interns really have an opportunity to make this internship into whatever they want it to be. It can be as grand and as productive as you can imagine. I definitely recommend it.
While here, I was exposed to a variety of issues and viewpoints, which I may not have encountered otherwise. As such, my beliefs have been challenged and my opinions about certain issues have constantly been refined, with each anthology or submission I proofread, which has been very engaging. Having learned about what matters to Quakers today, I now feel more informed about the society we live in.
Intern, 2010 Summer
Before coming to Friends Journal, I assumed all internships consisted of making copies, running personal errands, and filing—lots of filing. But on my first day at FJ, I was exposed to the world of copyediting, proofreading, and a number of opinions—no filing necessary. Along with the other interns, I was able to express my opinions on submissions to the magazine, and what we had to say actually mattered. I had taken a course on editing the semester before starting the internship, so I was anxious to use the skills I had learned in class on a real publication and to see if the love of editing I had developed from the course would carry through the length of the summer.
In addition to editing, I also worked with InDesign to format three anthologies. At first I labeled myself as an “intermediate” user, having only done minor projects in the past, but after working with the program for many weeks, I think I can now call myself an expert. I was given the opportunity to learn every function of InDesign, and after all of the hard work I put into the anthologies, I was able to see my name in print. It was awesome that the interns were given thanks in the forewords for the time spent working on anthologies; I don’t know if interns would have received the same recognition at any other internship. Everyone at FJ was patient and kind. Even though they had probably heard the same questions a million times from interns over the years, they answered me each time calmly and thoroughly. I could go up to anyone in the office and ask him or her how to perform a task and receive an answer or guidance. No one ever used me as a personal assistant or gopher, which made me feel like an equal.
As the summer comes to an end and I prepare myself for a semester abroad in England, I am excited to take the knowledge and experience I received from Friends Journal and use it in future endeavors. After reflecting on the internship, my love for editing is stronger than ever, and along with it, I have a newly acquired infatuation with InDesign.
Intern, 2010 Summer
When I began my summer internship with Friends Journal, I was nervous that my inexperience with both publishing and Quakerism would hinder my abilities to perform well at the magazine. However, after only a few short days, I was comfortable here. The staff at Friends Journal was encouraging, helpful, patient and respectful, and I soon felt completely at home.
I knew that I would be somewhat involved in the publication of the magazine, but I was surprised by the extent of my involvement. Interns were encouraged to share their opinions and ideas, and we were included in decisions regarding editing, layout, and the design of the magazine. We also attended weekly staff meetings, reinforcing the idea that our opinions were valued.
Friends Journal offered a relaxed, fun, and gratifying work environment, which allowed me to learn a lot while enjoying my time here. I learned a great deal about how a magazine is published, while refining my writing, reading, and editing skills. I could not have asked for a more rewarding and beneficial internship.
Intern, 2010 Summer
Who are Quakers and what are they up to? What modern-day issues are most important to them? If you’d asked me these questions three months ago, I would’ve stared like a deer in headlights. But I’ve learned quite a bit. At Friends Journal, I’ve participated in the editorial process, copyedited and commented on article submissions, taken part in layout meetings and staff meetings, and collaborated with staff and other interns on various projects. Each intern must choose a long-term project for the duration of his or her time here. Many of my fellow interns worked on compiling anthologies; I worked on an article for publication in the Journal.
This has been my first real experience in a city. I’d never taken a train by myself before, I’d never been to Chinatown, and I’d certainly never navigated the streets of Philadelphia! I have learned a lot since I began my internship, both in and out of the office, and I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about Quakerism or interested in the editorial process. Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. The possibilities don’t stop until you do.
Intern, 2010 Summer
When I first discovered Friends Journal, I was in the unique and fortunate position of being a study abroad student overseas in Northern Ireland. As I felt my time coming to a close in the UK, I knew I wouldn’t be able to survive the summer without an equally enriching experience back home, and lucky for me I have found that experience.
Four days after I had stepped back onto home ground, the staff welcomed me with the warmth, guidance, and enthusiasm that I had so hoped for. I was able to gain important experience in copyediting and the editorial process, as well as be surrounded by others who were passionate for the kind of work we were doing. The sense of community at Friends Journal was immediately apparent in the way that I was treated as a valuable member of the organization, whose input was just as important as the rest. I attended staff and layout meetings, participated in the selection process, worked on article selections for a future anthology, and—with other interns—selected the entire article lineup for an upcoming issue.
I was surprised and refreshed by the quality of responses and discussions that were sparked by the submissions we received, and the editorial challenges we sometimes faced together. It was not uncommon for the interns to engage in discussions about an article or its revision, and we often sought each other for second opinions. The time that I have spent here has been well invested and important, and has eased the uncertainty of my transition back home while also providing me with real-world job experience. I feel fortunate to have spent my summer with Friends Journal, and I know that it will serve me well in the years to come.