7 real world internship tips I didn’t learn at college

There are some experiences college can’t prepare you for. Interning at a media company is one of them.

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This summer I interned at Ragan Communications. As an incoming sophomore, this was my first substantive internship, which made for a valuable and challenging summer.

While college prepared me for an internship in many ways, there were some experiences it did not provide—experiences you can gain only in a workplace.

As my summer as an editorial intern comes to a close, I have compiled a list of things writing interns must know, but don’t necessarily learn in college.

Concise writing

Contrary to what you might think, your writing is not ready to be published.

That paper you gave your sociology professor after a Red Bull-fueled all-nighter might get you a passing grade, but it certainly won’t pass the red pen of your editor—nor the billions of eyes online.

Long words, winding sentences, and intellectual buzzwords can slow down punchy and concise writing.

There is a time and place for a multipart thesis, and a time for a five-word lead.

Online audiences want the five-word lead, which took me a while to get used to.

The following sentences are from the original draft of my first story:

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