Internship Experience

I’m halfway through my internship with Microcosm.

Before I came here, I got teased endlessly about not being “DIY enough” for Microcosm. I only ride my bike sometimes, I’m not vegan…blah blah. The publishing and distribution part, run out of Bloomington, is actually inside of a house. A far cry from the cubicles and corporate offices my friends are interning at in New York City.

But I love zines. So I came here. So far…I’m super glad I’m interning here, where I can listen to my own music and wear whatever rather than getting coffee and being uninvolved with process.

I’m a magazine journalism major at Ohio University, and we are told day in and day out that print is dying. “If you are to succeed, you must create a personal brand. You must master Twitter, and stalk the internet so that you can make the headlines your status before someone else does.” This is what we are fed in school.

Print is only dying because we let it. But not here. And personal brand? That’s what each and every zine is: someone’s individual gift to all us, something they worked hard on so that other people can be informed, humored, and amazed.

So in essence this internship is simultaneously reinforcing and proving wrong what my journalism professors lecture. It’s a learning experience; what an internship should be.

Though my tasks here usually involve packing orders, counting inventory, folding and stapling zines, etc…I am happy with the amount of input I get to have. I can give my opinion at an admin meeting, I can choose whether or not I feel like making buttons or reading submissions, and nothing I say or do here is judged.

The most important lesson this internship is teaching me, though?

I would rather work in a collective environment doing something myself and others are passionate about than obsessively following every new social network and technology just to keep a career afloat.

If you are in the Detroit area, come say hi next weekend! Steven and I will be tabling at the Allied Media Conference.

Also, if you want to set up an internship or volunteer with Microcosm (which you totally should)- email and fill one of these out.

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