Max Kortlander '12
Employer: Canteen Magazine and The Tottenville Review. Brooklyn, NY
Internship Title: Editorial Intern
Describe your duties:
At both Canteen and The Tottenville Review I was fortunate enough to work in various atmospheres of the literary world. Mostly I worked as an editor, sifting through submissions and grammar checking work. I also worked in public relations at both magazines, finding contacts however I could and letting them know what the magazines were all about. This part of the job was especially rewarding and open-ended, as both magazines are fairly new and had yet to develop concrete marketing strategies.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
The best part for me was definitely the freedom. At Tottenville I could choose nearly any type of work I wanted- from editing and transcribing to writing my own reviews. At Canteen I was able to design and promote a marketing strategy for the magazine in addition to volunteering with their Harlem tutoring program, critiquing artwork, and planning parties.
There was one particular workday about a week prior to printing where I was invited to meet with the Publisher and Art Director to look over the newest issue of Canteen. They had chosen an artist to feature for an 8-page spread and asked me for my opinion. Before I knew it, I was convincing the two of them to switch artists-and they did. I'll never forget the respect I was given. Seeing my influence in the final print (where we featured an intern-approved artist) was perhaps the most rewarding part of my whole summer.
What did you enjoy least about your internship? What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
It's hard to find anything to complain about with either internship. Since Canteen is a non-profit and Tottenville is brand new, I wasn't raking in the kind of cash that can easily support an adventure hungry 20-year-old living on his own in Brooklyn. A professor had told me that "living in New York is an internship in itself" and I couldn't agree more. While difficult at times, making my income stretch between life, fun, food, and work was an amusing challenge which taught me some of the most valuable lessons I could've learned this summer.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship?
To be quite blunt, Bucknell didn't only prepare me for my internships-it is responsible for my opportunities. Professor Porochista Khakpour gave me contacts with both magazines after I'd taken a 100-level writing seminar with her. Bucknell provided the context for this type of opportunity to be possible.
How did your internship prepare you for a career?
As far as my career, I learned the value that projects and satisfaction have for me. That is to say, seeing the progress from an idea into a magazine, knowing that my time and skills were used to construct the final product-those are the qualities I want my career to have, whatever that career may be.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Follow your heart. As an International Relations and Spanish major, literary magazines don't immediately come to mind when considering summer internship opportunities. I wanted an opportunity to do something I love (literature is a passion of mine) while living in New York City and being directly involved with my work. I did all three of these things on a deeper level than I could have ever imagined. I realized which qualities will make me happy with whatever path my life's work takes, and I had an absolute blast while doing so.