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On Being an Intern

Today we bid farewell to our summer intern, Austin Evans, who’s done yeoman’s work in his time with us. He’s waded through more database entry projects than was probably fair, proofread every newsletter article for the Fall, and even contributed a couple articles to the newsletter and to this blog, one on the Writing Challenge app and one on the literacy group Durham Mighty Pen.

If we’d really had our act together, we would have asked him to write a few reflections about his time with us, and then posted them here. But, well, we just got back from the Squire Summer Writing Residency and frankly, we just didn’t think that far ahead.

Instead, we’ll link to a recent blog post over at the Minneapolis-based Milkweed Editions, where their pride of interns talked about the projects they’re working on and the value of making an immediate impact on the organization—just as Austin has.

The entire post is worth a read, but here’s one quote:

“I’ve come to know that the fastest way to learn how the field of publishing works is to be thrown at a desk with a task, and force myself to figure out how to complete it—asking questions and getting out of my comfort zone are simple, essential skills that I’ve honed in this office. When I’m in a welcoming environment that encourages learning, tasks go from daunting to motivating—I constantly leave here feeling accomplished, and that the day went too fast!”—Rachel Johnson

That, to us, should be the intern’s creed. We should strive to provide that for our interns, and every intern should hope for an similar experience, where his or her hands are getting dirty in every aspect of the business, where they’re given responsibility, and where they’re relied on for much, much more than just fetching coffee.

Thanks for all your hard work, Austin. Keep in touch, and happy trails.

Interested in being an intern with NCWN, or know someone who might be? E-mail communications director Charles Fiore.