by Karen Phillips




Writing is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, it will not be strong. Before this internship, I had not written in about three years, and I admit I was pretty rusty. Being an intern forced me to exercise my brain by thinking, reading and writing, and it helped me communicate in ways I hadn’t in years. If nothing else comes out of this experience, I appreciate that I got the opportunity to think critically again, which we all need to do more often.


I was surrounded by an immense amount of knowledge in this office. I worked most closely with the editorial department and learned from Brian Clarey, Jordan Green and Eric Ginsburg. Everyone on the staff has something special to offer to the paper and it was awesome getting to see how all their talents meshed to put the paper together every week. I learned how to draw inspiration from things I might not have thought to write about, how to work on deadline, how to be more versatile in my writing and how to interview people to get the specific information necessary for the topic I was writing about.


I’ll no longer be trapped in the infamous cycle of not being able to get a job because I have no experience and not being able to get experience because I can’t get a job. YES! Weekly gave me more than just introductory knowledge in the field of journalism — they published my work, making me feel like this was something I could do, something I might eventually excel at.


It’s a pretty cool feeling to walk into a place as a journalist and get special treatment. When I went to meet Santa Leonard at Tanglewood Park, he let all the workers know I was coming and I got to go in through the back entrance to skip the line. That’s something I’d have to get used to, but I definitely appreciate the gesture.


So I didn’t get paid. At least I built up a kick-ass portfolio with profiles, food reviews, staff columns, art reviews, 10 Best articles and cover stories. I even got to interview a local band, Jonas Sees in Color, which was one of my favorite experiences of the entire six months.


I’m sure you’ve Googled your name before. We’ve all done it. Before this internship, mine didn’t produce much except maybe my Facebook page. Now, the second thing that pops up is one of my YES! Weekly articles. I think that’s pretty cool. And because of this internship, maybe I’ll work for the Washington Post or the New York Times one day, and I’ll be all over the first page of search results. Now that’s fame.


The office is so funny. I would be writing at my desk and hear strange noises coming from the art department, or hear Clarey tell loud, hilariously exaggerated stories from his office, or get my head blown off by an explosion on an iPad app. There was never a dull moment in the office and everyone kept the day fun and light while always doing their work and getting their jobs done.


Sometimes I got my lunches paid for, which is really nice. And I ate with good company — also a plus. And when I had to eat pizza two times a day for a week, I got reimbursed, plus a little extra, which helped make eating that much pizza slightly more bearable. Thanks, Charles Womack.


I took on this internship to fill some of my free time, and it certainly accomplished that. I was never bored, especially as election time neared. When I started, Clarey told me I could make as much or as little of this internship as I wanted to. While I’m sure I could have done more, I hope I took advantage of the resources that were available to me, and I’ll never forget what I learned here.


The best thing this experience has given me is the opportunity to move forward. Whether I want to be a journalist or a writer in another capacity, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without YES! Weekly. As my interning days come to an end, Jamal Bell’s are just beginning. Be sure to look for some of his awesome photos and cartoons in the upcoming issues. And if you’re interested in starting a journalistic career, there’s no better place than here. E-mail Brian Clarey at