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J-School student selected for prestigious magazine internship

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

When Jazmine Polk subscribed to her first magazine, Seventeen, she rushed to the mailbox outside her home in Omaha, Nebraska, so she could read it cover to cover. She absorbed every detail: the way stories were written, how graphics were displayed, and why a certain font was selected.

During her three years at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Polk developed skills in writing while her appreciation for magazines escalated. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in the magazine industry, and this summer she will receive hands-on experience as a participant in the selective American Society of Magazine Editors Magazine Internship Program in New York.

At KU, she has written for the University Daily Kansan newspaper, HerCampus blog, Style on the Hill online magazine and the KU Rock Chalk Sports Blog. Polk created and produced her own entertainment TV show, “KU E-news,” which has steadily grown in viewership in three seasons. After much prodding her freshman year, she convinced the Media Crossroads professor she could generate enough content on celebrity gossip, fashion and awards to sustain a regular program.

 “I have learned how to be a strong leader, work under pressure and create interesting content for my audience,” Polk noted in her application letter for the internship. “Throughout my studies at KU, I have become a better writer and better storyteller.”

Polk developed her writing style in Associate Professor Carol Holstead’s magazine class, where students are encouraged to produce various articles — short and longer substantive stories.

“Professor Holstead lets students write about what they are interested in and thinking about that day,” Polk said.

Holstead expects Polk will thrive in the internship.

“Jazmine is an excellent fit for the ASME internship because she understands and knows how to write for magazines,” she said. “In magazine writing, her affinity for the style and substance of magazines became quickly clear. From the start I knew she was the real deal, and I felt confident she would be a standout candidate for the ASME internship.”

As part of the application process, Polk was asked to select her preferred magazines to intern. She picked Essence, People, Oprah and Real Simple. By the end of April, she should know her magazine destination, where she will be contributing to interviews on the red carpet, editing or generating story ideas.

“I really enjoy focusing on the storytelling and relationships that come from writing,” she said. “The ASME internship will give me more hands-on experience with a top magazine and show me how magazine media, print and online are produced.”

The trip to New York will be Polk’s first to the Big Apple. The internship is scheduled for May 25 to Aug. 5.

“I want to see if I would like to live there and see if the internship could turn into a job,” Polk said. “Working for a magazine is really what I want to do.”

Steve Rottinghaus

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