Kaela Anderson is a second-year student studying Journalism and Interaction Design as a double major. Last semester, Kaela worked hard to set up a position with The FADER magazine. She has spent the last few months working with the magazine in New York City as her first co-op.
We were lucky enough to catch up with her to see how her co-op is going as well as what advice she may have for students about to start their co-op search.
Can you tell us about your current co-op with The FADER?
I currently intern part-time at The FADER magazine, based in New York City. The FADER is an online and print publication that covers music, style, and culture. I work in the Digital Marketing and Ad Operations department, with three other team members. We work on proposals, execute display media campaigns and digital portions of The FADER’s integrated marketing campaigns. I work in a small team consisting of three others. Thus far I’ve been able to work individually on wrap reports that are essentially summaries (presented on Keynote) of how well The FADER’s clients have done during their media campaign.
Why did the position interest you?
I initially reached out to The FADER in hopes to find a position in the editorial or design department of the magazine. Although there were no positions in my field available at the time, I was offered a position in the ad ops department. I thought it would be foolish to turn the position down. If I had turned it down, I would be missing an incredible opportunity to work at a major publication, where I could at least get my foot in the door and network.
What is the hardest aspect of the job?
There’s definitely been a learning curve since I work with numbers and excel/google sheets every day. As a journalist and design major I really haven’t need to venture far out of the arts department, so just adjusting to a different type of work/daily assignments has been a bit challenging at times.
What experiences in your time at Northeastern best prepared you for co-op?
Having professors that have been tough on me in the past have definitely helped me in the best way. I’ve learned to have a thick skin, as the corporate world can be intense at times, and nothing should be taken personally.
You’re also a very active part of The Avenue Magazine on campus, could you tell us a bit about what you do?
At The Avenue Magazine, I started as a writer, after I pitched an article for the Outsider issue (Spring 2018.) Over summer I stayed connected to The Avenue via Instagram and email blasts. I had actually received an email about the magazine taking applications for open positions for the 2018 Fall semester. I applied to almost all positions; I had nothing to lose so I went for whatever I could get. I heard back from the former editor-in-chief Phil Ziminda, who let me know I’d been offered the position of Lifestyle Editor. As Lifestyle editor, I was responsible for an average of five to seven writers, whose articles I’d follow from the first pitch to the final draft.
Do you think your experience with the magazine helped prepare you for co-op?
I think being responsible for multiple peoples work at once, and having to constantly work and meet with a team of editors has helped me a lot in terms of teamwork. I’m the type of person that would much rather get things done on my own if I have an idea in mind, so working in a group has helped me build my patience and has kept me more open-minded.
What are the biggest struggles that come when transitioning from classes to co-op?
Honestly nothing, I think it’ll be harder to transition from co-op to classes. I’d much rather work than be in classes; I really appreciate hands-on experiences.
How have you worked to overcome them?
If anything, my biggest adjustment from classes to co-op is the full day of work and commuting. I’m from North Jersey, so I decided to commute from home this semester and save money on housing. But because I’m dealing with a 45-minute train ride into the city every day, I have to make sure I manage my time wisely.
What recommendations would you have for other students who want to go on co-op outside of Boston?
Go for it! You’re being given the opportunity to experience another place, maybe it’s somewhere you’re familiar with, or maybe it’s somewhere you’ve never been to before- either way, it’s worth getting out of Boston. I’d definitely recommend co-oping outside of Boston to students who never plan on going abroad. I think getting a little out of your comfort zone is so important towards your self-growth as a young adult; there’s a lot you can learn that you’d never learn in a classroom.
Do you have any advice for students about to start their co-op search?
Have patience! It took me about two months from my initial email to The FADER to get an offer. I even had a friend find their co-op during finals week. Of course, your search for the perfect co-op is going to take time, but everything will eventually fall into place. Don’t worry that you’re being annoying or pushy; there’s a way to have the ball land in your court- you’ve got to be persistent, trust me.
It probably feels far off now, but when you finish your co-op experience, what do you hope you’ll have gained from the experience?
I really hope to have networked well enough to start interning for editorial or at least have created strong ties to the editorial or design team. I’m planning on continuing this co-op until the end of summer if all goes well.