If you’re reading this, you’re probably a student in your first Missouri-Method placement at Vox Magazine.
And you’re probably a little intimidated too, considering during your first week you’re helping launch an issue.
But fear not! Hundreds have come before you, and countless more will follow you. You need to focus on yourself now and the opportunity you have.
Here’s five pieces of advice to help you survive your semester at Vox, from somebody who has done it before.
1. Embrace the chaos and immerse yourself in the flow. Go forward and write every single meeting in your planner for the rest of the semester. Schedule your daily routine around Vox. We have a crazy workflow, but the sooner you embrace it and understand it you’ll see the genius.
2. Ask everyone questions and find your heroes. It’s common knowledge that Managing Editor Anna Seaman is a walking database of meeting times, class schedules and phone numbers of Vox employees. Half the time I ask her what I’m supposed to be doing. Ask people questions – they want to help you. Helping you helps the machine work.
3. Learn the language. I’m not talking about our official office language of sarcasm, I’m talking about communication. Learn how to ask, discuss and brainstorm with the right lingo and you’ll pick up quick. Learn those editing marks, and remember handwriting on galleys!
4. Don’t just hit the bottom line. Use this opportunity you have to boost your skills set, your connections and your clips. You’ll have the chance to enrich yourself and pitch the stories you want to cover. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd and make a difference for your career.
5. BREATHE. Stress is a side effect of our industry – learn to deal with it. Step back from the problem and go get Chipotle. Take a walk around the rotunda to clear your head. Freaking out about something doesn’t solve the problem. Learn how to mitigate and control your stress. Stay chill, dude.
6. Cherish every moment. Before you know it, you’ll be done and looking for job offers. Take every learning opportunity you can find. Genuinely get to know people. Stretch out of your comfort zone. This isn’t just a class, it’s an experience. Make the most of it.