As I walked back home from the PolicyMic office in the searing cold a few days ago, I realized something: I really enjoyed being a PolicyMic intern. I genuinely wanted to recommend the internship to everyone I knew because it was really awesome. However, every time I have attempted to suggest an activity without providing my reasoning, it has resulted with drinks in my face.
So, to do what I should have originally done with Francine Angelakos at prom, I will provide a list of reasons why everyone should take my suggestion seriously and consider being a PolicyMic intern.
1. Improve Your Writing
Writing once or twice a week is cute; writing three or four times a day is a true challenge. And, even though it may initially be daunting, writing in a closed (but flexible) time frame daily forces you to improve your prose, abandon stylistic conventions, and write as you write naturally.
No more catering to the cheap seats or petty eloquence; get to the point and work with your own voice. By writing more, you get more feedback, bring in more readers and get more of a chance to find and embrace your desired tone of voice; mine, I’ve learned, is sarcastic and pretentious.
2. Get Experience
Before my internship, I was terrified to tackle subjects like politics, and the idea of live-blogging caused me to shrivel up in a ball and cry. However, by interning with PolicyMic, I got experience with different fields and different methods of news reporting. And even when I didn’t know something like the back of my insanely talented hand, everyone was very patient and helpful in guiding me on what to do.
I learned how to produce high amounts of content without compromising quality, how different aspects of an online publication work, and how exactly to coordinate what it is you want to tackle on any given day.
3. Meet Awesome Co-Workers
I now have references, and I also got to spend time with (and get to know) the people that provide them. It was a tolerable atmosphere and I didn’t mind pretending to have fun. (Sarcastic and pretentious.)
With all sincerity, the whole PM backstage area is an incredibly friendly place and everyone is genuinely interested in helping you as a writer. Be it the directions they provide in what to do every day, the awesome topics they suggest, the writing feedback they give, or just the fun conversations in the office, everyone there makes sure that PolicyMic is an approachable organization, not a faceless machine.
And Alex Marin only consumes the souls of innocent children and old ladies, so most interns will be out of that age bracket.
4. Share Your Opinions
I was really able to customize this internship. My schedule allowed me to work around my schedule and I took Fridays and Sundays off. I worked from home but was also free to come into the office. My daily assignments were always based on what I was interested in writing about and I even did the trends searches myself. So scheduling and likeability of topics was never an issue.
Also, I was entirely free to express my opinion and it was given the same treatment as any other opinion; my ideas were prominently displayed, tweeted about through PolicyMic's official account and carefully edited for clarity and maximum impact. There is a legitimate diversity of opinion that many publications seem to lack and I’m glad PolicyMic has it.
5. It’s Just Fun
The users on PolicyMic are already aware that this is a lively atmosphere. Once you do the internship, however, the liveliness goes up even further. You get to meet more people, are introduced to an even greater variety of opinions, make good allies in the comments, and are even introduced to some very cool rivals (I’m coming for you, Merkel). You become part of a larger discourse and get to tackle many ideas you may not have thought up on your own.
In short, the PolicyMic internship is challenging, fun, and looks great on your resume. You meet people you want to keep in touch with and you get better at what you do. Considering my genius level intellect and natural affinity for writing, I did not think that was possible. But it was.
And I learned that it’s pronounced PolicyMIC, as in “microphone,” not as in Mickey. Seriously, was I alone in that? Well, I’m an immigrant so if you scoff at my pronunciation, you’re a racist.
(Sarcastic and pretentious.)