Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And On To Something New: Last Day at Parents Magazine

I’ve been delaying the post. Procrastination at its finest.

I’m not quite sure how to wrap up the last 9 months without sounding cliché, but I’ll try to keep this as light as possible. However, you should be aware, under all these words I’m both sad and content in my final decision.

For those of you who don’t know, I will be leaving Parents magazine at 5:30pm today, and not returning tomorrow. Another job has presented itself, and while I’m very excited to begin my next adventure, I can’t help but feel as though I’m leaving behind something a little bit great.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

The first day of my internship I was in a fluster, slightly late and slightly lost (as you might remember). My confidence in the 7 train had been overestimated, as well as my ability in recalling where exactly Parents magazine’s offices were located.

I ran over to one of the Editorial Assistant’s desks once I’d finally found the correct department. “I am so sorry I’m late.” While I was less than ten minutes behind, you just don’t do that on your first day.

CJB looked up at me, matter-of-factly. “Your fine.” There was beat… a momentary pause where I couldn’t decide if she cared or not. No smile yet. I just sat standing there awkwardly.

“Let me show you where your desk is.”

And then BAM. She gave me a dazzling smile. I was reassured by this very gesture that no - she didn’t hate me, and that yes - I could do this internship.

Lucky enough, it was one of those miraculous internships that led to an even more desirable position: a job. I had put in my two weeks notice at Bloomingdale's before July was over, and the 60+ hour workweeks slowly slipped away until I was only involved in magazines.

I became a fulltime EA.

Me. Editorial Assistant for your Tablet department? No… stop it… but really, yes? Are you Sure? Maybe I shouldn’t ask if you’re sure… Yes.  Yes, I want this job! Wait, what exactly is this job? Oh it doesn’t even matter at this point… just thank you for the job – ANY job!

But here's the thing... It wasn’t just any editorial job.

I feel as though my experience was a rarity in magazines – not to mention in New York City.

It should be noted: Not all companies will treat you with a respect that is not only expected, but in fact, the standard. Even as an intern, I was not just an intern. My work was relevant, and while not always enjoyable, it was important. A sense of value and appreciation is difficult to come across in any position, so to nurture even the volunteer workers is truly going above the norm.

It should also be noted: Many stumble into a job hoping to discover mentors who can guide them through the basic practices of business. My magazine was an open environment, and I was astonished to find editors bending over backwards to explain guidelines and conduct. When I asked, people answered – and not because they were under any obligation.

Finally, it should be noted: These people were enjoyable. These people were genuine. These people were mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands. These people were friends. These people watched out for one another. These people affected me in both big and little ways.

Your first real job in the business you desire to be a part of is an unforgettable experience, and I sincerely thank the staff of Parents for making my time at the magazine more than gratifying. Between toy closets, iPad testing, lineups, and tablet meetings, I saw the world of print and digital colliding from a position I couldn’t have fathomed a year ago when I moved to the city with a few bags of clothes and a mattress.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve given me the tools – now I must finish the job. Here’s to leaping into the next thing… eyes closed.

And we jump.

A look back through the last year:

My first assignment: Call in hundreds of books from publishing houses. Well, you know how well that went... but I got by with a little help from my friends.

Toy testing. I liked this toy quite a lot. 

My Lorax that guarded the cubicles. If ever we were in a pinch or stressed out, we would hug the Lorax for comfort. A few weeks ago, after the Christmas holiday, there was a lot of hugging. 

Desk decorations.

Something I will miss: free food from press events. 

I met Mo Willems at the launch party of his new book app. 

And I played with cardboard boxes. 

Ah! I will truly miss this! Goodbye Bagel Wednesdays. You were good to me. 

I had the privilege of interviewing Jeremiah Brent and meeting Rachel Zoe at a press event.

Office view.

My cubicle when we had just moved into our new office. 

CJB's drawing about when I got the EA job at Parents. PS - I was not a little devil and she knew it. 

The ONE thing I would buy for lunch in summertime with the other interns. The rest of the time... you know it! PB&J. 

On the way to my interview.

So many tablet computers... this was in the middle of sending out magazines into the digital world. My desk housed a crazy amount of chargers, cords, and cases. 

Corporate coffee. 

The last few things to do before walking out of the office for good...  

... and beginning all over again tomorrow. 
But don't you love the word tomorrow? 
Ah, such a good word.



cjb said...

I've never had anyone publicly describe my smile as "dazzling" before -- I'm liking this blog more and more every day!!

Good luck, little dead fish; you will swim far.

Angela Watson said...

Soooo...? What's next? You can't leave us hanging! :-)

Karen said...

Ah! We're going to miss you SO much. Seriously, we were the lucky ones.

(That sounded like a song. Is that a song? Anywho.)

Anonymous said...

Love this blog but think maybe you exaggerated a little with the Beverly Hillbilly "arrived with a couple of bags and a mattress"???? I distinctly remember unpacking more on that 100degree day... LOL... Seriously, so glad you had a great experience with this magazine... :)