Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Editorial & Design Intern
Student: English Junior
BACKPACKER’s headquarters are located in Boulder, Colorado—a beautiful, progressive town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Each intern has his or her own cubicle, computer, and work email address. BACKPACKER shares a workspace with a climbing and an equestrian magazine. There are six editors with BACKPACKER, ranging from Associate Editor to Editor-in-Chief, making it a welcoming family feel, but it also makes for a slim chance of a post-internship job offer.
An intern at BACKPACKER Magazine is lucky: There are only one or two of us here at a time. And we aren’t treated like the typical intern; we’re part of the team. As far as a work time estimation, you’re only required the 15-40 hours you commit to, but you’ll want to do more. Put in as many hours as you physically can to gain the respect of the editors. The intern duties flow steadily between checking facts in articles, researching, uploading articles and pictures to the BACKPACKER web page, and calling park rangers or other outdoor figures of authority. But as long as you keep up with the small tasks, an internship with BACKPACKER allows you to dream big and reach those big dreams. If you pitch an article, and the editors like it, you’ll spend time in the office writing rather than researching. I’ve spent more time writing than researching and already have six articles published in a national magazine. Attendance at important editors-only meetings isn’t merely allowed, but rather it’s encouraged. On the eve of an issue close, the office is filled with pizza, laughter, and hard work until midnight—or later.
If you have no outdoor interest and/or experience, this internship may not be for you. Editing a subject with no familiarity isn’t only difficult, but it’s not helpful for the publication. Bringing outdoor experience to the table is an internship prerequisite.