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The summer of the extraordinary internship

Internship stipends allow McCully to experience work in the magazine industry.

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2016-10-13

Virginia McCully, Wofford Class of 2017, has always wanted her work published in a well-known magazine. She crossed that off her bucket list this summer, and hopes the experience will be her big break into the field.

McCully interned for Modern Luxury in Atlanta, Ga., during the summer. She learned the copyediting process and the hard work that goes into the production of a magazine.

“In the internship I learned different skills I had not encountered before, like fact-checking, copy editing and how to research different topics. Then I learned different copy styles of the magazine industry; magazines use AP style, which is different than the MLA style that I have been taught as an English major at Wofford,” says McCully. “There’s a lot more to the editorial process of the magazine than anyone knows. The writing is intensive but so is the research and the fact-checking.”

While with Modern Luxury McCully wrote several pieces that made their way into four different issues of Jezebel and The Atlantan. In addition to learning the ins and outs of the industry, McCully also helped organize corporate events.

“I learned to copy edit and do research quickly. I helped plan extravagant events and watched my boss interact with the public,” says McCully. “People say the magazine industry is dying, that it isn’t going to make it, but the industry is working hard to rebrand itself, so it’s not just print.”

McCully credits her experience with The Space in the Mungo Center, Wofford’s center for professional development and entrepreneurship, with helping her shape her future. During the summer of 2015, she worked for the WritefullyHis Foundation, a social stationery, greeting card and wedding invitation company that gives 20 percent of its proceeds back to purchasing school supplies for children in East Africa. McCully wrote a blog for the WritefullyHis & Wedding website. She was given freedom to create her own topics and design. That work sparked her passion for lifestyle journalism.

Once she decided on a career path, McCully attended The Institute through The Space to gain the professional skills she needed to be effective in her internship.

“All of my goals have somehow been tied to The Space,” says McCully. “I had the Mike Brown internship stipend last year to help me with WritefullyHis, which gave me experience in the lifestyle industry. Then I did The Institute, which helped me really refine my ideas and learn exactly what I needed to do to make myself more marketable to future employers.”

This summer, McCully’s internship with Modern Luxury was funded through the Extraordinary Internship Stipend at Wofford, a $1,000 scholarship designed to help students choose a transformative internship based on interest instead of money. The internship was unpaid, so the stipend helped her afford the summer in Atlanta.

“Receiving money from this stipend helped lighten the financial weight of my summer plans and made this internship manageable for my family and me,” says McCully, who is now widely published thanks to the experience. “This was my big break. Wofford doesn’t have a journalism major, but the college gives us all the tools we need to get into any industry we want.”

by Omar K. Elmore, Wofford Class of 2019