Interning at National Geographic Adventure Magazine

By Meagan O’Connell

For the spring semester of my senior year, I worked as a photo research intern at National Geographic Adventure Magazine in New York City. I wanted to combine my interest in photography and travel and simply found the internship by searching the publication’s website. Getting the internship was much easier than I had anticipated. I went for an interview after the photo editor reviewed my resume, and I was offered the position almost immediately. I was one of three photo interns.

Since NGA doesn’t have photographers on staff, my main job was to search stock agencies and contact photographers for images of the places we were featuring. I spent hours searching different photo websites, sending requests to photographers and making an initial photo edit that would provide the photo editors with several images to consider. This was the best part of the job because I was interacting with real photographers and making decisions on whether a picture was right for the magazine. This made me feel that I had an active role in the publication.

Although I was not fetching coffee, other responsibilities included updating the names and contact information of photographers, logging slides and products that came into the office, and, often, returning things like bags and clothing that were featured in the magazine. This was probably the least fun part of the job, but I quickly learned that it had to be done.

Overall, I feel I gained a better understanding of how a staff works together to publish a magazine on deadline. It truly is a collaborative effort, and I was lucky enough to work with people who were willing to help me as much as I needed. I learned how to interact with writers, editors, and photographers in a professional manner, and I feel better prepared for my next job.