I am a recent college graduate hoping to pursue a career as a journalist
(feature writer). Currently I am a marketing intern at a respected award-winning
regional theatre company. In college I majored in theatre although I also
minored in journalism wrote for the school paper and interned with two
I have sent out resumes to a few newspapers for reporter positions and recently
received an offer to work in a primarily administrative position as an editorial
assistant (this is not the position I applied for but it is the one that has been
offered to me.) Time permitting I might also be allowed to write feature
stories on occasion.
I am unhappy with my internship — mostly because I am no longer interested in
marketing — and want a job in journalism. However they need me as an intern
at the theatre company and would be very angry at me if I chose to leave.
My internship officially ends December 2012.
What do you think I should do?
The Career Doctor responds:
You don’t need to hear this but I do wonder why you took the internship
in the first place if theatre was not something you were going to pursue as a career.
I think before you decide anything you have some big questions to ask
yourself — and answer.
First what is it you really want to do for a career? It sounds like writing
so perhaps you have answered this question but humor me and ask it again.
Second where do you want to live? I think it’s kind of odd that you would
take an internship on the West Coast while now searching for jobs on the
Third why are you not using your network? Take the time to consult with
your journalism professors and the journalists in your network. Get their
advice — and perhaps get more names of editors you can contact about jobs.
Typically I tell job-seekers to never burn bridges because you just never
know who you will see again in your job search. That said if you can
answer all the above questions and want to pursue this editorial assistant
job (or some better one that comes from your network) then you should
do so… but be professional with the theatre company and give them as
much notice as possible.
If you do take the editorial assistant job and you have not had anything
published after six months you will need to start looking again for another job.
In all my past experiences editorial assistants were basically go-fers.