My name is Rachel Johnson and I have the internship. I’m working at Bon Appetit Magazine, 12 floors under Vogue, in Times Square, New York City. I go to work everyday and think about food. I start out answering a few emails and then typically get assigned writing a web article or researching a bigger project for the magazine. If I’m lucky, I get to watch a demo in the test kitchen in the afternoon and then if I’m really lucky, I get to take home samples from the giveaway table. Hello free cookbooks. It’s definitely not difficult to get good food/drink recommendations for after hours activities and I am slowly checking off my foodie dream list of restaurants, bars and grocery stores.
I have also been taking advantage of my location while I can. I’ve shadowed a New York City-based chef, attended PR events for product launches, written numerous blog posts of my experience and learn about all types of cuisines not available in Tallahassee. I have learned a lot about initiative in this internship: Never say no and go beyond the asked for assignment. Work quickly and always be a step ahead. Run the fastest to drop off products. Also, I am learning that I think I want to write more in my future. It’s helping me learn that maybe graphic design and
photography, which I’ve been thinking is my career path all along, might not be as suited for me as editorial work could be. I’ve also been juggling the idea of culinary school but I’m thinking thats a ‘no’ at this point. I don’t necessarily think that it is important to be professionally trained but it definitely wouldn’t be a hindrance, either. If I am to make decisions about food trends in a magazine, would it be beneficial for me to have a broader knowledge of food or would being self-taught give me a unique edge? These are questions I still have to explore and I think that if I look into setting up meetings with editors for advice, I can get a better idea of what I need to work on.
The most valuable thing I have learned in my past month and a half is that this is what I am supposed to be doing. Food is supposed to be my life and my passion lies in the publication side of it. Whether it be online, cookbooks, editorial- my life will always be about food. So Bon Appetit, life! I could not have asked for a more amazing opportunity.