Guest Blog: Laura Zolman ’14 interns at CAKE&WHISKEY Magazine
Over the summer I worked as an editorial intern for the international businesswomen’s magazine CAKE&WHISKEY: The Sweet & Spirited World of Business. My goal was to be immersed in the publishing world, but what I learned from my summer at CAKE&WHISKEY expanded my knowledge way beyond the ins and outs of the publishing business: I was exposed to so many incredible women’s stories. And, in their career narratives, I found inspiration for my own.
I joined the CAKE&WHISKEY team as their second issue hit the shelves. My internship experience was unique because the magazine was young: I wasn’t the only one learning, we were learning together. CAKE&WHISKEY became just as much my project as it was the editor-in-chief’s. And their manifesto, the motivation behind the magazine, was easy to endorse: they are devoted to women at all stages of their business journeys and seek to motivate those women to dream bigger, reach higher and achieve greater things. The publication is a culmination of inspiration, and working with these sweet and spirited women’s stories daily was nothing short of empowering.
However, CAKE&WHISKEY wasn’t just about sharing business journeys of joy and success; it was about living joyfully and successfully. The workplace was extremely collaborative, which allowed me to be more involved than I originally expected. Not only did I craft social media posts and sit in on meetings, but I was asked to participate in those meetings and share my ideas whenever they came to me. I was provided with a CAKE&WHISKEY email account and trusted to personally contact big names inquiring about future feature articles and possible sponsorships. I edited articles alongside the editor-in-chief and founder Megan Smith (pictured above, right, with Zolman), and she asked for my input on just about every article that came in that summer. While I found this to be a great experience in refining my editorial skills, I took most delight in working with Megan directly, and her praises meant the world to me. But by far the most energizing duty of my internship was the chance to write a full-sized article from an idea that I proposed. I wrote a Trailblazer article on the children’s author Beatrix Potter and finally realized my dream of being published this fall when the issue we worked on this summer came out.
Megan and I both lamented my return to Centre in August, but she did ensure that we would remain in contact by offering me a chance to continue working with CAKE&WHISKEY as a freelance editorial assistant, writing and editing articles part-time. I enthusiastically accepted. Since the beginning of this year, I have written two more articles for CAKE&WHISKEY’s 2014 winter and spring issues (winter issue article pictured right) and am looking forward to — hopefully — many more to come.
Although I was exposed to many inspiring stories, I was most taken by the editor-in-chief’s career narrative. The way Megan balances running a magazine with being a mom, wife, crafter, baker and blogger was (and is) amazing to me. She approaches everyone — including competitors, future features and partners, freelance writers and strangers on the street — with the same friendly glow that she uses to approach her own family. I was smitten with the way that she crafted emails with emoticons and exclamations, warmly sat down to business meetings with hand-written notes and big dreams, and moved through each circle of her life gracefully: the same sweet Megan as mother, wife, business partner and boss. I had always been nervous about one day entering the stiff professional world, but Megan’s down-to-earth, sweet-and-spirited attitude showed me that the professional world didn’t have to be scary. I could actually enjoy being a professional; and, with Megan, I certainly did.
When I first came to Centre four years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, much less, what field I wanted to pursue as a career. Eventually I decided on the English major, finding comfort and pleasure in studying literature. And because of my love for stories, publishing seemed to follow naturally. My time at CAKE&WHISKEY confirmed my passion for storytelling, and, when I go out into the workforce after graduation, I will have a much firmer idea of how I want to live out my career, with fervor and joyfulness.
By Laura Zolman ’14