My journey from Copy Editing Intern to full-time paid work
About three years ago, I came across an advertisement on a job board for the Bleacher Report Copy Editing Internship. At the time, I was two years out of college and between positions after a layoff. My initial post-college jobs, including the one I had been laid off from, had nothing to do with my communications major, so I wasn’t very happy with my professional life.
The Copy Editing Internship intrigued me, especially since I could do it from home with a flexible schedule. But seeing that it was an unpaid internship initially made me dismiss the posting.
I decided I had nothing to lose, though, so I sent off my application, and about a day later, I answered some questions and provided a writing sample via e-mail. A couple of weeks after that, I was “meeting”—at least virtually—then-Managing Editor Ryan Alberti and my editing trainer, Gracie Leavitt. I quickly learned about working efficiently in the copy-editing queue, learning B/R style and SEO practices along the way.
When I wasn’t on an editing shift, I was submitting articles for the NHL section, specifically about my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. After I had been an intern for about two months, I decided to apply for a Featured Columnist position. Being accepted was an honor, especially since I was able to take what I had learned as a copy editor and apply it to my writing.
I stayed in the FC program for two years before moving on, but I have never left the site. I was hired as a part-time paid copy editor after my internship, and eventually worked my way up to full time.
I’ve also worked with many supportive people along the way. Although I was supervised by Tim Coughlin, B/R’s Copy Editing Manager, I also received guidance from NHL Editor Adam Hirshfield and Associate Editor Trent Reinsmith when I was an FC. Whenever I needed advice about how to be better at what I did, all of these guys were happy to help.
Now, my path here is just beginning again. I recently got promoted to a Quality Editor role, which means I evaluate stories that are candidates for front-page placement. Already, my time as a Featured Columnist has brought something to the role: It’s helped me understand what B/R expects from its writers regardless of their reputation level. Excelling as a copy editor helped me get promoted, but being an FC is still paying dividends. It was even brought up in my Quality Editor training.
I would encourage any writer with the appropriate skills to apply for the Copy Editing Internship. It will make you a better writer, and it will give you a unique look into what happens once you submit your article. Not only that, but if you stick with it and commit to improving your performance, you never know who will notice and what other doors will open in the company.
Another piece of advice I’d give: If you’re unsure about a job opening, don’t automatically write it off. Go ahead and submit your résumé. Maybe that position could help you meet your goals. It could also lead to something you never even imagined was possible.
Because as Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
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