by guest blogger Katelyn Schwartz, Rodale’s editorial and social content intern
I’m sitting at the end of a conference table. My supervisor is seated next to me, scribbling notes. I listen as the Rodale’s team discusses marketing plans for the upcoming months, yet my eyes are set on CEO Maria Rodale. A few moments ago, I was introduced to her before the start of the meeting, and now I sit at the same table as she, studying her reactions to ideas. Some receive pleased nods, others furrowed brows.
An idea pops into my mind. I wonder nervously if I’m allowed to pitch ideas as an intern.
Are my ideas good enough—worth their time?
I swallow my trepidations, open my mouth, and share my thoughts. I remember to speak slowly and make eye contact. I end my pitch and anxiously wait for a response. I’m rewarded with a smile from my supervisor and a “good idea” from Maria.
That was my first morning as an intern at Rodale’s. That was my first encounter with Maria Rodale. And that was the moment I knew I’d love my summer job—and that this is the industry where I belong.
My name is Katelyn Schwartz, and I’m a rising senior at Gettysburg College, studying English and business. When I’m not studying or spending time on the golf course, I’m pinning, tweeting, instagramming, Facebooking, and blogging about the colorful adventure that is my life. Sounds pretty typical for a 21-year-old girl, right?
Yet, I’m turning my passion for social media and love of writing into career opportunities, and have found my niche with other individuals like me.
In truth, I didn’t know what to expect from my internship at Rodale’s. I’d heard horror stories from friends working at large corporations, where their bosses bark orders at them to get coffee and doughnuts for early-morning meetings. In my 11 weeks working here at Rodale’s, I can happily say that I’ve never heard the words “Get me coffee.” (Or, more realistically, it would have been “Get me organic coffee” here.) Instead, my supervisor asked me to come prepared to meetings with ideas, social media plans, and blog articles written and ready for press.
At Rodale’s, I’ve been given creative freedom to participate wholly and express my ideas freely. As time passed, I gained my colleagues’ respect and support, which led to greater opportunities, such as assisting in the development of a social media and content strategy that will dictate the voice of our brand. I researched and wrote multiple articles, on topics ranging from sustainable clothing to toxic beauty chemicals. I sketched and drafted ideas for infographics that I believed would be successful in the social media realm. In short, I did what I would be doing if I were at home—pinning, tweeting, instagramming, blogging, and researching. But here, I received feedback and gratification for the work I posted. I was able to dig deeper and learn faster. I gained real experience and practical knowledge. Every like, comment, share, retweet, and favorite gave me the confidence and motivation to continue working and discovering.
Yet, as rewarding as exploring my professional passions has been, the best part of my internship has been the Rodale’s employees I’ve met along the way. Not only have they been mentors and motivators to me, but they’ve also become my friends and family.
The Rodale’s team truly embodies the #RealRodales hashtag that we incorporate across channels. They’re real individuals, with the same interests, hobbies, and passions as their customers’. They practice what they preach and wholeheartedly believe in creating an organic world—a better place for everyone. And even though I was only a summer intern, I’m proud to call myself a member of the #RealRodales team, and will carry what I’ve learned here throughout my future career and my life.
Katelyn Schwartz is the editorial and social content intern at Rodale’s. She is a senior at Gettysburg College studying English and business. As a social media fanatic, she enjoys par-fect days on the golf course and cooking up delicious (and sometimes healthy) treats in the kitchen.