The Intern Diaries: What I learned in my summer internship

August 19, 2010

All good things must come to an end. So the trite saying goes. Having finished my stint as a summer intern at Golf Digest, it is time for me to bid you all adieu. A few months ago, upon leaving my home in Phoenix, I had never been to Connecticut. I had no idea what to expect working at Golf Digest. At the very least I can say I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully my career in golf journalism is just beginning. I've come to find there are far worse professions.

I was intimidated and nervous before I started. Expecting to be met with criticism and skyscraper-high standards, instead, I was greeted with kindness, patience and instructional criticism that I can only hope, will improve my writing skills. There are too many highlights to list a sole one as my favorite -- assisting with photo shoots, helping with an instructional "How To Play With A Woman" video, interviewing PGA Tour players at the Travelers Championship, blogging for the Golf Digest Woman website, sitting in on meetings, and participating in a Hot List tester for grip. Let's just say I did a little of everything.

What I enjoyed most was discovering the faces and personalities behind the black and white bylines I used to see in the magazine. At one point, I had the chance to speak with CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Golf Digest, Jerry Tarde. He had the comfortable approachability of a fatherly friend. Tarde shared with me his vision for the magazine in a transitioning industry. Before I left, he reminded me of his humble beginning, starting at Golf Digest as an intern leaving college.

I was surrounded by golf and golf addicts for two months. Their enthusiasm and passion for not only their career but the game as well, only stirred within me a love that I thought had already blossomed.  I now have a new appreciation and understanding for the immense collaborative effort it takes to create a monthly issue of the magazine. From instructional pieces, to feature stories, to equipment, to the woman's section, to the fashion section, to breaking news online, to artistic photography and page design, everyone's role is pivotal in putting together each issue. Trust me, it's not all wine and roses. I did glimpse a few spats pushing the close of our last issue.

I learned that deadlines are negotiable, that several cups of coffee and then tea are necessary, and whether you finish the 18th hole with a birdie or a bogey, any round still beats a day at the office... except maybe at Golf Digest. It's not a bad gig they have going in Wilton, Conn.

What was the worst part?  I still don't know...leaving, maybe? Although, I did have to make a few copies once...

-- Kathryn Stafford