Entry Level 101 Skype w/ Chandra Turner Recap

Kelsey Roadruck, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, recapped the meeting we had last Tuesday evening with founder and president of Ed2010, Chandra Turner.

Although it’s a humbling thought to imagine yourself landing your dream job straight out college, it’s a tad – just a tad – unrealistic. Edsters hyperbolic visions were brought down to an attainable level this week as they Skyped with IU Journalism alumna and founder of Ed2010, Chandra Turner. Turner tuned us all into what entry-level editor positions are really like, and how whippersnappers can get there.

“We all wanted to be editors by 2010,” so Ed2010 was born, folks. Straight off the graduation stage, Turner fled the Midwest and headed to New York where she began interning for “American Baby” as part of the ASME program. Her fellow ASME interns were just shy of age from Turner, so when they returned to school in the fall, Turner remained their core contact that was still based in NYC. After graduation in ‘98, the ASME clan reunited with a six-pack and departed once more with a buzz and a website – Ed2010.

Finding Internships and Jobs:
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How to Email an Editor

Kelsey Roadruck, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, gives you all her tips on how to write a standout letter to the editor of your favorite mag!

There comes a very daunting time in an aspiring journalist’s time, and that time includes a shaky, clammy palm hovering above a mouse pad, eyes closing – no, squeezing – shut after rereading for the billionth time and finally clicking “send.” Letters to an editor can be overwhelmingly nerve-racking as you ponder detail-to-detail what you could revise, replace, and rewrite. Often times you end up scrapping the entire email and procrastinating on your career inquiry just one more day. If you couldn’t already tell, that one more day isn’t going to come on its own and land you that magazine editing job you want. However, Ed at Indiana has done some thorough research (from browsing WikiHow to asking editors themselves) to provide you the best email toolkit for a confident, and much less sweaty, “send”.

  1. Give the subject line a great deal of consideration. This is ultimately the first line of “copy” an editor will probably read of yours, and we all know first impressions are essentially either deal sealers or breakers. Though a catchy subject line is important to a point, conciseness and correct grammar will get you, and your email, even farther. A heavily hooked subject line may very well get an editor to open your email before others. However, if the subject line doesn’t match up with an email’s inquiring content or, worse, is an over-exaggeration of yourself or capabilities, then an editor may get frustrated and revert back to their inbox without a second glance. Note: If you have a solid reference, use this subject line to read “Referred to you by [reference’s name].”

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A Day in the Life of a Style Guru

Kelsey Roadruck, contributing writer for Ed at Indiana, was a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista last summer. This virtual experience taught Kelsey how to be a standout intern.

A day in the life of a Style Guru was not particularly new to Kelsey. She had interned with CollegeFashionista during summer 2013 as a Style Guru for the weekly “What to Wear” column. This summer, CollegeFashionista added a couple departments to its site, which Kelsey jumped at the chance for. Although reporting on other Fashionistas/os’ collegiate clothing choices was inspirationally fun, Kelsey really enjoyed writing for the new “Style Guru Style” column.

10 a.m.

My first Style Guru responsibility was to browse Style.com for a recent runway show or trend. This was perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming task I was responsible for this summer. Reimagining a high fashion look in a realistic manner with an affordable approach sometimes took well over an hour. Trust me, my browser’s bookmarks were worn out by the end of the summer.

Noon

Makin’ Macklemore proud, Goodwill and local thrift shops were always my go-to when it came to finding a similar style to the one I had (finally) chosen earlier that morning. Believe it or not, I hate shopping, but something about reviving worn wardrobes is always a rewarding feeling, not to mention cheap. Plus, I knew the chances of another intern photographing the same salvaged style would, more than likely, never happen.

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The Pros and Cons of Freelancing

As you relentlessly click through the many internship postings on Ed2010, you might also explore the freelance opportunities Ed so kindly lists for us aspiring magazine editors. In comparison to internships, freelancing can sound pretty foreign; however, after we’ve given you the 411, it may very well take hold of your resume. Here are the pros and cons of freelancing:

Pros
DIY Schedule: By taking on anywhere between one to a handful of freelance opportunities, a journalist is able to be their own boss. With freelancing, journalists have the choice of focusing on a single job or juggling multiple assignments at a time. And, unlike the majority of major city-based internships, freelancing is, more often than not, a remote position. Additionally, freelancing doesn’t require concrete office hours. A journalist can work in pajamas at the crack of dawn or in a cozy café late at night.

Write about what you want: Because a freelance journalist isn’t committed to a single publication, it becomes easier to avoid assignments that prompt yawns and limit creativity. Journalists are able to pick and choose freelance opportunities that sound most appealing to them. Good riddance boring beats.

Racking up skills: Just like internship and employment history, when it comes to resumes and portfolios, the more the merrier. A journalist’s resume is decorated with new, shiny skills and a vast variety of clips are added to a portfolio by either venturing from one freelance opportunity to another or multitasking freelance work. Employers will be impressed with a journalist’s ability to adjust to different audiences through style modifications and tone alterations.

Cons
Self-management and motivation: It’s easy to become discouraged with whispers of “Journalism is dead” and “Don’t you think it would be smart to double major in something beside journalism, like, oh, I don’t know, business?” filling our ears. This lack of motivation is usually refueled by an intriguing speaker series in EP220 or some encouraging feedback on your latest JOUR-J342 assignment. After stepping into the freelance sphere, motivation is difficult to find anywhere other than within ourselves. Self-management can get stressful and self-motivation can become exhausting, so it’s important to only take on as much work as your schedule and determination will realistically allow. Continue reading

Top 5 Resources for Aspiring Magazine Editors

From the career café to award-winning staff members, the IU School of Journalism and its faculty provide an abundance of resources to students. And although Hoosiers couldn’t be more grateful for our inboxes’ weekly serving of The Scoop or for our access to computer labs, aspiring journalists cannot get enough resources. You’re in luck, whippersnappers. We’ve compiled a list of the top five resources every magazine journalist-to-be should be using religiously.

1. Prescription for a Subscription
We know it can take some extra encouragement to purchase that glossy magazine you can’t pass in CVS without thumbing through, which is why we’re seriously advising you to stop using that perforated, mail-in subscription order as merely a bookmark. The only way to write for your favorite magazine is to read it, read it again and read it once more. When you earn an interview for your dream job (and we have complete confidence that you will), you’ll want to be able to reference former features, identify a target market and pitch appropriate articles. In other words, you’ll want to know the magazine inside and out.

2. Apps on Apps on Apps
Forget to check out an audio recorder for your interview this weekend? There’s an app for that. Don’t have a pen and paper handy? There’s an app for that. Can’t escape personalized Web searches? There’s an app for that, too. Because journalists live an on-the-go lifestyle, we strongly suggest you to visit the app store and load up on some mobile journalistic resources. Don’t you think Evernote would sit comfortably between Instagram and Angry Birds? So do we.

3. #SocialMedia
Sharing may be caring, but we endorse listening more than anything. It’s time to go on a following spree, whippersnappers; however, following Cosmo will only give you content. You’re looking for the juicy details on what it takes to create that content, aren’t you? First, navigate your way to your favorite magazine’s website. Oh, please. As if you’re not already there. Then, find its staff. This usually takes a bit of scrolling, but can be found with some sort of title like “Contact Us.” Next, start plugging and chugging staff members into your Twitter search box. Soon, your Twittersphere will be full of encouragement from editors, suggestions from staff and probably some photos of luxurious lunches and custom cupcakes that you’ll enjoy too one day. One day. Continue reading

How to Start Your Own Publication or Organization on Campus

Although IU provides limitless opportunities for aspiring journalists to exercise their writing, reporting and editing skills on campus, sometimes a Hoosier can’t quite find exactly what they’re looking for. If you find yourself with sore soles from taking multiple roundabouts through the booths of student involvement fairs or with watery eyes from browsing the lists on MyINvolvement, it may be time to add to these booths and lists rather than playing “Eeny, meeny miny moe” and settling for something you aren’t passionate about. Here are five tips for starting and maintaining your own publication or organization on campus.

1. Inquiring & Applying

It’s love at first site (pun intended). Find a magazine or content source that infuses your aspiring journalistic self with excitement. Next, do some research — determine whether or not the magazine of interest provides a campus chapter program. If a campus chapter program exists, the site will either provide an online application or contact information to send inquiry emails. If a campus chapter program does not exist, send an inquiry email to a staffer on the magazine’s team that you feel could best answer your question. Note: You do not want to send a mass email to everyone on the magazine’s contact list; it’s unprofessional and even a little lazy. Ed encourages you to inquire about a campus chapter program, even if one does not currently exist, because you may spark an idea and land yourself a resume booster labeled “Campus Chapter Program Founder.” Sounds fancy, huh?

2. Evaluating

Before accepting a position as founder, you’ll want to evaluate your current obligations and schedule. The staff behind the magazine will decide whether or not you’re a good fit for the position based on your application and orientation process; however, the only person that can truly estimate the future success or failure of this new project is you. Begin your self-evaluation by comparing the campus chapter requirements to your current workload and availability. Some programs require a weekly quote of hours invested into the chapter, while others request frequent communication with headquarters. Requirements vary, and can sometimes be negotiable as long as you report your questions, comments and/or concerns to the program director in a professional manner and timely fashion. Continue reading

Meet Kelsey Roadruck, Founder of College Lifestyles IU

11There seems to be endless possibilities when it comes to student involvement on college campuses, but every once in a while a student may find himself or herself struggling to find the perfect activity even though hundreds are at their disposal. When this happens, it’s time to get inventive and bring the opportunity you’ve been looking for to your campus.

Meet Kelsey Roadruck. She’s a sophomore here at IU from Lowell, Indiana, studying journalism and informatics. When she’s not in class, you might find her ushering at the IU Auditorium or writing an article or two for HerCampus or Uloop. Her dream job would be to work for any magazine, but to write for Nylon in New York would be the icing on the cake.

Nylon may be her goal, but in the mean time, Kelsey is setting the stepping-stones to her future by taking some initiative and grabbing the journalism bull by the horns. She interned as a writer with College Lifestyles, a blog turned online magazine, this summer. “Any place for me to get my work published was important to me,” Kelsey said about advancing her journalism skills. Continue reading