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  • Zach C. Cohen 12:31 am on June 6, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: editing, , julie keck, ,   

    When the intern gets the final say 

    It’s odd when the intern’s the boss.

    For the last few weeks, I’ve been editing PBS MediaShift’s Daily Must Reads, a collection of the latest news in media innovation and journalism industry trends. Though it often requires me making simple edits such as checking links and deleting commas, I often make much more substantive calls, such as nixing or pitching stories.

    Julie Keck, our social media and newsletter author, typically takes my recommendations. Though she’s been working for MediaShift (and working in general) much longer than I have, I often have the final say.

    (More …)

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  • Erin Greenawald 9:36 pm on October 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , cowokers, editing, , , , working virtually   

    The Good, the Bad, and the Gchat: On Working Virtually 

    As I mentioned last week, my work for The Daily Muse doesn’t usually involve fun times with my co-workers—or any time with my co-workers. My work usually looks a little more like this —>

    Admittedly, this picture was taken during a day that I did get to spend at our co-working space in NYC, but you get the idea. Just me and my computer, getting chummy. Starting last August, I have worked 10—and now 20—hours a week virtually, in various locations and states of dress (read: I don’t always look that cute).

    There are a lot of things I love about working virtually. The biggest perk is that it’s continually given the the opportunity to work for a company I’m really excited about, but that is unfortunately not in the city I’m living in. When I first applied to The Daily Muse, I was a week away from moving to Copenhagen for a semester. I was worried they would turn me down because of my international situation, but they were completely on board. (Thank goodness.) Plus, I can pretty much work whenever, wherever, and wearing whatever I want. As your typical way-too-busy AU student, this is key.

    But as great as it sounds not to have to show up in your best business casual every day, there’s a dark side to working virtually, too. The hardest thing for me has been not having face-to-face interaction with my co-workers. As I learned over the summer when I did get to work in person with them, my co-workers are pretty awesome, and face-to-face time leads to a lot of great things: socializing, brainstorming, coffee breaks, collaboration, happy hours, joking around, more coffee breaks. My managing editor and I try to mimic it by sending each other links to Editor Real Talk or pictures of cute puppies over Gchat, but it’s just not the same.

    So, now that you know the best and worst of the matter, here are a few other things you should know if you’re thinking of picking up a virtual internship:

    1. If you aren’t a self-motivator, don’t do it.
      No, your boss won’t be watching you work over your shoulder, but that doesn’t mean you get to slack off—if you don’t do your work, your boss will still know. Take yourself to super-star intern level by regularly communicating the status of your projects to your boss, even if they aren’t due yet. It’ll make her life easier knowing what to expect from you (and reminding her that you’re doing good work never hurts you either).
    2. Get ready for an email explosion.
      All the assignment check-ins, quick questions for your boss, and little conversations you would have in the hall? Get ready for them all to be in your inbox. Long emails that replace presentations or team updates, short emails with quick questions about a project, just-in-the-subject-line emails for quick need-to-knows. We recently adopted a team chat service called HipChat that has relieved our inboxes some, but the amount of email you send and receive as a virtual worker is pretty absurd.
    3. If you can find a way to meet the people you work with, do it.
      Whether you can afford to take a trip to go meet them all, or Skype is the best thing you can do, find a way to spend a little time with your most immediate co-workers face-to-face. It’s kind of hard to really get to know someone over the internet, to get how you vibe with them. I worked with all of my co-workers over email and the phone for nine months, but didn’t feel like I really got to know them until I met them in person—and now I feel like I can interact with them all much better virtually. It’s nice to have a face, voice, and personality associated with the person on the other side of the email chain.
    4. Don’t be afraid to have a little virtual fun.
      When all your work is done via email, it can be easy to feel like every email you send has to be business related. News flash—it doesn’t. You have to find some way to virtually replace the break room (in fact, most of our breakroom content stems from the jokey emails and chats we send to each other). Obviously, this will depend on the level of professionalism within your organization and how well you know your co-workers—and you don’t want to spam people’s already crammed inboxes—but a fun email every now and then can be a good way to give everyone a quick break.

    That’s all I got for now! Do you have any questions about working virtually, or tips from your virtual work experiences?

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    • Julia Beyer 4:59 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for these extremely useful tips about working virtually, Erin. I am highlighting this in the SOC Spot Newsletter.

  • Zach C. Cohen 6:14 am on October 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: article, editing, enterprise, , , ,   

    Enterprise Reporting 

    The biggest project I underwent at USA TODAY was taking on a fully-fleshed-out article from start to finish, full with in-depth interviews and document analysis.

    Too bad it never saw the light of day.

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    • Julia Beyer 5:44 pm on October 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing some of your realistic insights. I am linking to this in the SOC Spot newsletter.

  • Erin Greenawald 8:24 pm on September 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: editing, , , party, ,   

    Put On Your Professional Party Faces 

    Hi, I’m Erin and this is me at work! (I’m the curly-haired gal in the middle.)

    Now, usually my work is not quite as glamorous as having my celebrity shot taken at a party with my lovely co-workers. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, “me at work” usually involves me sitting on my couch/somewhere on campus/in some random coffee shop squinting at my computer screen for hours on end. But this week—this week was special.

    I work as an Associate Editor for The Daily Muse, an online magazine geared towards young, professional women (though we like our dude Muses too!) where you can go to get the best advice about your job search and career. As an editor, my weekly duties include working with my wonderful columnists to fine-tune their pieces, putting out our three weekly e-newsletters, coming up with new article ideas for the site, and writing when I find the time. So, lot’s of computer time. Oh, and I work virtually so even my interactions with my co-workers are predominantly over chat, with a few scattered conference calls.

    But as I said, this week was a very special one. Our bi-coastal team was all brought together in NYC to celebrate our 1-year birthday as a company. While it was certainly a big week for the company, it was also a big week for me personally. I’ve been with the company since almost the beginning, so it was a chance for me to celebrate one year working for a company (and still going strong!). That feels like a pretty big deal at this stage in my life.

    The party itself was a great success. A bunch of our investors, advisers, and partners in New York were there, as well as some of our writers and staffers who I haven’t gotten to meet before now. We all enjoyed sponsored food and drink, networked like pros, and made a big announcement about what’s next for the company (more on that to come). It all felt very glamorous. Besides the party, we also got to spend some time all working face-to-face in our new New York co-working space, and doing some team learning activities.

    There will be plenty of internship musings to come (pun intended), but for now I just want to welcome you to the next few months of my Daily Muse adventure. So, new friends. Prep the disco ball, put on your professional party faces, and get ready for a good time. The Daily Muse is ready to rock your career and mine—and have fun doing it.

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  • Emily Roseman 1:17 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , editing, , , music, , ,   

    Get by with a little help… 

    I think some of the most rewarding encounters at my internship have been with co-workers that have offered their own advice as to how I can perform better, or how I can even be successful in my current and future careers. I have had the pleasure of working in a smaller department which has its great advantages of taking on my own tasks, but also asking for help when I need it, and seeking the guidance and advice from more senior members of my team.

    I am lucky to share my experience with a current professor of mine and he urged me to get to know a few members of the video team personally. I now certainly understand why he suggested this. He worked closely with the two members that I now feel very comfortable asking for help or even asking for their own opinions on work and career tips.

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  • Emily Roseman 1:12 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , deadline, editing, , , , , ,   

    The big leagues: By-line and all… 

    Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of my internship thus far, and exciting as well has been editing a package that was featured in both the print and online versions of USA TODAY. I was given the assignment by one of the Video Editing team members I work closely with who has been giving me some helpful tips along the way. She was in need of making the deadline for the next day and we had discussed the original piece during a table discussion at a news meeting earlier in the week. The story would be a centerpiece in the print paper as well has a cover section on the front page. It was my job to take what Shannon had transcribed during the early logging and edit the entire piece from raw footage. I was warned that the piece was shot from a videographer that was new to filming and interviewing since she specialized in writing for paper, not shooting. I quickly learned that this edit would be a challenge but as my first official by-line in the paper and online, I would need to step up and create a solid piece of work for both sections.

    (More …)

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