This summer, I’ve had the privilege of being an editorial intern at Prime Publishing, LLC.
Prime has over 30 sites and even more newsletters, magazines, and cookbooks. For the summer, each intern learned about, worked on, and wrote content for two of those sites. I spent my time enveloped in the worlds of AllFreeKnitting.com and AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns.com.
“There’s an entire site about crocheted afghans?” you may say.
Yep. And it’s a pretty great one.
Coming into the internship, I had a vague idea of what I would be doing, but I did not know what my everyday would look like. After a few years of a college schedule, the idea of spending 8 or 9 hours in an office every day was overwhelming to me, especially after my previous summer jobs as a nanny. I know that those who have been in the working world for a while probably just chuckled, but how I would survive was a real fear.
But I did survive! Here I am on the other side: much less leery of long working days and much more confident in my ability to be a “real” adult.
So, without further ado:
11 Things You Learn as a Prime Publishing Intern:
1. There is a whole world of crafting and cooking out there that you never knew existed.
Sure, I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing Pinterest and have my favorite bloggers that I like to follow, but there is more out there than you’d ever imagine. Blog after blog, pattern after pattern, recipe after recipe. You’d never know that there are so many ways to make a blanket or a hat or a chicken casserole (or that you could find new ways to describe them each time). It’s pretty cool, really, that so many people are out there in the world being creative all the time.
2. There is a lot of variety, in terms of learning and tasks.
At the beginning, it can seem a little monotonous because you only know how to work on a few tasks, so you do them over and over again. After weekly trainings and learning sessions, though, we were working on a lot of different content and projects all at once. I could spend a few hours working on articles, then switch my brain to a different topic, like updating or making collections. That helped in spicing up the workday.
I wrote everything from an article on crochet joins to an article on knitting while traveling to a collection of beginner baby blanket patterns. Plus, it was pretty fun to get to see my name in the byline!
We also had a lot of opportunities to learn about the different aspects of the company and their functions in bringing content to our readers. We could see all of the gears at work in the “Prime Machine” (I just made that up, they don’t actually refer to the company as a machine), which made it easier to see the bigger picture of what I was doing within it.
3. You are capable of learning a whole new language.
SEO, pillar, link-out, longform, AFPC, CMS, CTR, AFJ. Got that? For a while, I didn’t either. It took a bit to get in the swing of Prime’s jargon, and there’s probably a lot that I still wouldn’t understand, but you do feel accomplished when you can follow an entire line of conversation with these words and acronyms sprinkled in.
That’s not even to mention all the terminology you learn from digging into the content on your sites. Knits, purls, clusters, bobbles, circular, entrelac, Tunisian, join as you go. Just a sampling of the terms I worked with every day from knitting and crochet.
4. You can write, A LOT.
Coming in, I wasn’t sure exactly what my role would be. But now, on the other side, I can say this for absolutely certain. Every week, our goals challenged us to write thousands of words about the topics on our sites. I was overwhelmed at first by the goals we were given. But as I gained more experience, I found that I could, and did, spend the summer writing those thousands of words. I had a lot to show for it!
5. There is so much to know about the topics you write about.
I learned things every day at this internship. Every day I was researching some new method or stitch or pattern trend. And I didn’t even scratch the surface of all I could know.
I have always been a knitter, so I was constantly tempted by new patterns and new methods of knitting during my time at Prime. I’ve saved tons of patterns that I hope to make it back to one day. I did make some pretty great knit pillows for my good friend’s wedding shower using this pattern for a Chunky Knit DIY Pillow.
However, my crochet knowledge was extremely limited before this experience. The only things I had crocheted before this summer were little applique animals for knit hats. They turned out somewhat okay—there was a turtle that looked more like a snail—but I really had no idea what I was doing when it came to crocheting.
I remember the first day of this internship thinking to myself, “What on earth is a granny square, and why are there so many patterns for them?”
Now I have great appreciation for crocheting. The patterns I saw every day also inspired me to make a throw pillow cover out of granny squares. The article I wrote about crochet joins helped me learn how to put the squares together, and away I went! I used these granny square patterns: the Lacy Pinwheel Square and the Secret Garden Granny Squares.
6. You may have a craft addict inside of you.
This isn’t a for-sure thing, but it was certainly true for me. I already had a pretty big crafting streak in me, but I had never before had inexplicable, incredible urges to buy yarn and buy it now. The number of times that I had to talk myself out of driving half an hour to the nearest Joann Fabrics is, honestly, ridiculous.
I’m currently working on a knit blanket, a knit shawl, and two crochet blankets (one baby, one throw). All patterns I found on the sites I work on, and all patterns I am enjoying.
These are the patterns I’m making right now:
7. You can be a “real” adult.
I’ve always wondered if it were possible. I see the impending mid-May date of my college graduation and say, “Eek! I’m really going to have to be an adult after that!”
At Prime, we were not given fluffy, extraneous tasks that the stereotypical intern would have completed. Instead, we were deep in the mire of what a real editor on the sites would do. We crafted articles from start to finish. We were accountable to other editors and managers. We had the freedom to be creative, come up with new ideas, and challenge the way things were going. I can say that I know what it is like to be a site editor at Prime, to have that “real” adult job, even if I was not responsible for everything a regular editor is.
I also know that what I did as intern was important to the sites I worked on and to the company as a whole. You don’t get that in a lot of internships, so that was definitely a motivator to do my best at every turn.
All this to say, know that the skills you learn in school are not for naught (say that 10 times fast), and that, given the right opportunity, you can feel like a “real” adult, too.
8. Many skills are translatable.
This summer, I learned a lot about Prime, but I also learned a lot that could be used outside of this company. Most broadly, I learned what it’s like to work for a company with offices and break rooms and weekly goals. Many companies I would work for in the future will be similar, and if you’ve never worked in that context before, it is very enlightening. It does a lot to prepare you.
You also learn a lot about online content. The world is online now, so it is super important to know. Plus, ever see a job listing asking for experience with SEO? Well, Search Engine Optimization—making your content the best it can be to rank on search engines and reach the most people—is something you learn a ton about in this internship.
That’s not even to mention the skills you gain in writing quickly and to the point. Or in researching a topic deeply in a short amount of time to give readers the best content. Or in interacting with experts on certain topics. Or in all of the things that I can’t even think of right now, they’ve become so ingrained.
9. People are always your greatest resource.
While this is a lesson I’ve been learning for a while now in many different contexts, it was truly embodied in my time at Prime. Getting acclimated to a whole new world of working and crafting and online content, with all of its quirks and nuances, can be intimidating. But, all of the people I interacted with were able and willing to help me learn, answer my questions, and just generally be great people. There is no way I would have made it through this internship, or be able to say I feel like a “real” adult, without the people who helped train, mentor, and teach us how to function within the company.
10. You can be who you are.
No matter where you have your first experience in the working world, you will learn more about yourself, how you function, and what you want to be when you grow up. You want to work for a company that cares about your interests and seeks to capitalize on your strengths.
At Prime, we were encouraged to incorporate our own interests and “flair” into the work that we did. This made tasks easier to accomplish and probably led to better content overall. I was never pushed to be or do something that I am not. Instead, I was allowed to share who I am with those I work with and find ways to use that to my best advantage.
11. The working world just might be fun.
It was not uncommon at Prime to hear laughter from down the hallway or jokes told in meetings. There were many events aimed at helping us get to know one another and grow in the process. I made friends that I hung out with both at and outside of work.
And there were, very often, amazing desserts and other recipes free for the taking in the break room. Perks of working at a company with cooking websites! The picture below is of my absolute favorite recipe to come through our kitchen… Golden Apple Lasagna. Seriously, life-changing.
I learned a lot in my time at Prime Publishing—about the company, about the industry, about people, and about myself. I am ready to finish up my last year of school and then take on the working world!
Thank you to everyone at Prime who made my time a pleasure—your support and encouragement was much appreciated!