After a fun-filled few days at Universal Studios, it was finally time to travel to Winter Park and begin what would prove to be an amazing adventure, chock-full of first-time experiences, friendly faces, and my very own cubicle.
I had been counting down the days from when George Wozencraft first notified me that I had, incredibly, been chosen for this prestigious internship (cue the composed phone call, followed by excited squeals and several emotional calls to my parents). The internship of my dreams was within reach—all I had to do was reach out and grab it.
After moving everything into Bonnier Corporation’s ultra-modern company loft (in the rain, might I add: the inevitable afternoon rain is one thing this Tennessee girl still has not gotten used to), walking distance to their office in Winter Park Village, I finally took a breath. Here I was, 20 years old, almost 700 miles from home, and about to walk into one of the largest special interest publishing groups in the country. I must confess… I was a tad nervous.
Little did I know that my nervousness Sunday night would be all for naught—as soon as I met Patricia Wuest, editor-in-chief for both Scuba Diving and Sport Diver magazines, I felt instantly at ease.
After all, most of the people in the dive publishing group at Bonnier are divers. One thing I’ve learned in my five years of diving is that divers are pretty awesome people; this group did not disappoint!
As Patricia gave me the grand tour, I shook many hands and met lots of smiling faces; unfamiliar to me then, these people would come to play huge parts in my experience here at Bonnier Corp.
My first few days were spent familiarizing myself with the magazines’ layouts, getting my logins for the numerous online platforms Bonnier uses, and learning the lay of the land (er, ocean?).
I dove in quickly, embracing my busy schedule—I attended three meetings the first day alone, learning about budget and collaborating on the creative content (Note to self: bring a sweater or parka when meeting in Zone 1). I soon learned to swear by Gmail’s calendar; without the little ding! alerting me of a meeting in 5 minutes, I probably would’ve been known as the Late Intern by the end of the first day. (Glad I escaped that stereotype…)
I was continually amazed by the efficiency in the office, much of it coordinated by the uber-organized Ashley Annin—once an intern, and now the Managing Editor—she, along with Alex Bean, Digital Editor, and Tara Bradley, Assistant Editor, provided many of my “Intern Training” sessions—all neatly recorded on my Google Calendar, of course.
I was fact-checking and posting to Sport and Scuba Diver’s website before I knew it. There is nothing like the rush you get when you realize that YOU are responsible for the article so many divers read and share. I soon found it to be addicting.
I even finished my first original article, written for the Briefs section of the October 2014 print edition of Sport Diver. Interviewing the Executive Director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Cocos Islands project and being able to say I work for Sport Diver was absolutely surreal and humbling. Writing about endangered sea turtles and the work these scientists have done towards their protection was an honor, and I can’t wait for it to come out in print so many other divers find out about what they can do to help our beautiful ocean and the animals in it.
I truly saw every side of publishing this first week, cumulating in being a stand-in model for Sport Diver’s Gear Guide on Thursday. Working with the amazing Elizabeth Fleener, Chelsea Pomales, and John the photographer/lighting wizard was so memorable. I got to see where the magic happens—where those gear guides that I have so thoroughly pored over for years were shot, how they are put onto the layout, and the creative minds behind it.
Okay, this is getting long. I promise to wrap it up, but before I go, I want to thank everyone at OWUSS and the Bonnier Dive Group that has made my first week phenomenal.
I look forward to the next week of my adventure.