My name is Liza Pennington (’20) and I am a rising senior with a double major in American Studies and Spanish. This summer I have had the opportunity to work as an Editorial Intern at Westchester Magazine, a monthly lifestyle publication located in Rye, New York. Westchester Magazine is the flagship publication of a family of magazines that cover local businesses, homes, and weddings. These publications are an esteemed source of local news seen in storefronts and homes throughout the county.
Working with the editorial team has taught me about all the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into a finished piece of journalism. Considering today’s political climate, the need for factual and reliable news is greater than ever. Each story goes through multiple editors before it is sent to the art department for layout. The editors and myself work diligently to fact-check each article to ensure that the information we are putting out is fully correct. I have also had the privilege of writing multiple articles for the magazine to be featured in print over the next six months. I have covered topics like the magazine’s annual Wine and Food Festival, the opening of a new science center, animal rescue activism, and arts and entertainment at local venues. The writing process for each of these pieces has presented different challenges, from conducting and transcribing interviews to meeting tight word count requirements to using writing as advertising.
My most long-term project of the summer has been the preparation of the 2020 Ultimate Guide, an annual publication that highlights the best of the best dining, retail, recreation, and education in the area. I was tasked with distributing and overseeing the research within the intern team and personally preparing a lengthy statistics guide on local demographics, politics, education, and more. I am learning to edit information in Adobe InCopy and InDesign, where all of the articles are formatted.
When I began my internship search last winter, I knew I wanted to explore the publishing industry. I applied to positions in print, book, and digital publishing to cast a wide net. In today’s corporate climate, print publishing is known to be a very at-risk industry, so I am thankful to the CDC for providing me with the compensation necessary to pursue my interests. I have been relieved to learn that there continues to be a strong and thriving market for regional print publications. I encourage all students to take advantage of this funding opportunity and not let unpaid internships deter them from pursuing their passions. I would not have been able to get my foot in the door of this industry without the generosity of the CDC.