From Iowa City to the Big Apple
One J-MC Alum Navigates the Magazine Industry Post-Graduation
On a Saturday night in the Twin Cities, Danielle Miller (B.A. 2009) found herself surrounded by several eligible bachelors.
“All of my co-workers wanted me to participate,” Miller said, “I was really embarrassed and said no.”
Upon completing her time at the J-MC School, Miller had a six month internship in the creative department with Twin Cities Statement magazine, a monthly fashion and lifestyle publication.
By day, Miller helped out at photo shoots, designed spreads with the layout department, and even made the occasional food run to Jimmy John’s for her co-workers. By night, Twin Cities Statement gave Miller the opportunity to attend exciting events and benefits at posh restaurants and exclusive venues. At one dinner event that Miller attended, there was a charge of $500 per plate.
In addition to her regular intern duties, the editors also gave Miller a chance to explore other departments. This allowed her to explore layout design. Miller helped develop a layout that included an interview with Minnesota Timberwolves coach, Kurt Rambis. Even though, Miller wasn’t doing much writing she got her fix by writing captions for pictures that were taken at events.
“Because I didn’t do a lot of writing with my internship, I really missed it.” Miller said.
Miller’s posh internship wasn’t entirely glamorous. Because Miller was working 40-hour weeks without pay she lived with her mom to save money, and paid her mom back by bringing her to some of the magazine’s events and dinners. Despite that, the experience Miller gained priceless.
“Interns are a vital part of the magazine industry,” Miller said. “I learned a lot about the inner workings of a magazine from being at Twin Cities Statement.”
The fast-paced production schedule of Twin Cities Statement gave Miller a first-hand view of how the magazine production process comes together.
With her days at the J-MC School behind her, Miller said that without the solid work and journalistic ethics she gained from her classes and experience with The Daily Iowan and the Iowa High School Press Association, she wouldn’t have felt as prepared for her life beyond Iowa City.
“The clips that I got from the journalism school were vital to me getting positions after graduating,” Miller said. “I felt like every experience that I had built me up and you have the freedom and opportunity to explore any direction [of journalism] you’re interested in.”
Miller advises current journalism majors to become more active in social media. Since receiving her diploma, she has become more engaged in social media by creating a blog, which chronicles her’s travels and experiences with people she meets along the way, entitled “Wisdom Waits,” and using Twitter.
Miller moved to New York City in Jan. 2010 to pursue her dream of working for a fashion magazine.
But even the decrease in jobs within print journalism has not been a deterring factor for Miller who considers her zest for fashion the driving force behind her optimistic attitude for being able to find a job.
She has interviewed with several media companies but is now working as a client service representative for a company that leases commercial office space. Miller is pitching stories and was able to co-write a story about men of the Olympics for yourtango.com and is looking for freelance work.
“Many [journalists] have gotten scared and have given up,” Miller said. “You can’t give up if that’s what you want to do. For me, it’s all been worth it.”