[GUEST BLOG] Aspiring writer Sarah Cornett ’15 juggles three summer internships, journalism career plans

Posted by Centre News in Internships, News, Norton Center 01 Aug 2014

cornettAt the start of the spring semester, I had absolutely no clue how I would be spending the upcoming summer. As a rising senior, this was an absolutely terrifying thought. I knew that I wanted to spend the summer months improving my writing skills and portfolio as well as exploring the world of marketing and public relations, so I focused my applications on internships that fit these criteria.

By the end of semester, I found a chance to work as the marketing and development intern at the Norton Center for the Arts, which I gladly accepted. As luck would have it, the week after I welcomed my Norton Center internship, I was also offered a contributing writer position for USA Today College and a job as a national writer for HerCampus.com. Even though the thought of managing each internship and job seemed daunting, to say the least, these opportunities seemed too invaluable to turn down. By the start of June, with a mixture of nervousness and excitement, I decided to take on all three positions for the summer.

I joined the Norton Center team during one of their busiest times. Since their new season had just gone public, I was able to get very involved, very quickly. In my almost two months there my tasks have included everything from managing social media, subscription sales, event design and marketing to writing blog posts, advertisement copy and press releases. Mandy Prather, director of marketing and development and my supervisor at the Norton Center, has allowed me to truly get involved in the marketing process and is constantly encouraging me to take on new projects and responsibilities. With my internship extended until next May, I am excited to see what other activities I will have the chance to experience.

While my duties at the Norton Center occupy my time during the days, the nights and weekends are devoted to writing and developing stories for USA Today College and HerCampus.com.

My time as a contributing writer for USA Today College has proven to be an indispensable opportunity. The majority of the content for USA Today College is produced by a select group of writers from colleges across the country. After making it through the very competitive process, each contributing writer is given access to the publication’s website with writing guidelines and instructions. From here, we are free to write on any topic that would interest the national college audience, and then upload it to the site for review. However, no article is guaranteed to be published, and each piece goes through rigorous editing.

At the start of the summer, I was warned about the difficulties of being published. However, I’ve already been lucky enough to have three pieces published and just finished a story for The USA Today College Guide 2014, which is printed through USA Today’s partnership with The Princeton Review. The flexibility of the contributing writer program and my connections with the national network of writers created a wonderful writing experience that I’m excited to continue, since my role as a contributing writer has also been extended until my graduation in May 2015.

The final piece of my summer experience is my position with HerCampus.com. Founded by three Harvard Business graduates, the website is the #1 online community for college women, written entirely by college women. As one of only 54 national writers, I am assigned an article every other week, which is then published on the site. The organization’s mission and content has given me a chance to learn and improve on a new writing style and connect with magazine editors, publishers and entrepreneurs across the nation.

While my three summer internships have definitely required a lot of work, patience and a few late nights, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities they have created for me.

by Sarah Cornett ’15