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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

After completing my first semester at Florida State’s Her Campus chapter, I was eager to gain more experience. By stalking @jamiehawksflightsociety, I discovered that Her Campus was hiring interns for Spoon University. Did I know anything about food? No. But the point was, I wanted to write and most importantly, to learn from someone with experience.

After sending in my application, I received an email to complete an Edit Test. I had to pitch article topics and write out samples. Although I am chronically online, I was completely lost on food trends. All I knew was that I wanted to be a writer, and I wasn’t going to let my inner doubts stop me. I wouldn’t just let Spoon reject me. After emailing my Edit Test, I had a phone-call interview with Felicia LaLomia, the former Food & Culture Editor for Delish, who would be my Editor and supervisor for the Spoon University Internship.

You could immediately recognize LaLomia’s experience and knowledge of the industry through our phone call. It was intimidating and I felt an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome. I told myself this: It’s better to surround yourself with people you want to become and learn from than to let yourself stay in comfortable situations. Then, as I was driving back to Miami from Tallahassee, I received an email that I received the internship. I pulled into a rest stop and called my mentor, Jamie Hawk, my mother and my closest friends. I was ecstatic. Suddenly the eight-hour drive felt like four.

Returning to school from winter break, and starting my first day remotely, I was so nervous. I needed my day to be perfect. As I wrote my first article and received feedback on it, my stomach sank. The majority of my writing was crossed out, and there were comments on every sentence. I felt as though I failed my supervisor. I let myself feel defeated for that one day and then went back to figuring out how to improve.

I began noticing the writing style in which LaLomia would want for these articles and I applied it. However, this doesn’t mean I saw a sudden decrease in lines in my writing right away. It took time. And with this time, I also acknowledged the incredible opportunity I had received to learn from LaLomia. While I was improving my writing, I was also learning how to apply embeds and work on the SEO of articles. Eventually, there was one weekly meeting where LaLomia shared that she had noticed a great improvement in my work. With that, I also felt as though my writing quality had improved as well.

Throughout the semester of my Editorial Internship with Spoon, I had been able to develop a writing portfolio that included news articles, food reviews and an interview. I credit my improvement and positive experience with this internship to LaLomia for continually guiding me, encouraging me and teaching me. Having a supervisor and editor I have been able to admire and be excited to work with has been amazing.

I look back at the writer I was when I was first applying to the Spoon Editorial Internship, and I wish I could tell myself three pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t be the one to tell yourself “No” to an opportunity. Go for it and then let others tell you no.
  2. Criticism doesn’t mean you’re failing. It’s guiding you to improve in areas that you need to strengthen.
  3. Don’t feed into the idea of imposter syndrome. If you received the opportunity, then it means you’re ready and worthy of it.

My experience as a Spoon University Editorial Intern has further reassured my passion for writing, with the support of LaLomia. I really do encourage aspiring writers to apply for an internship with Her Campus!

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Natalie Willis is from Miami, FL and is studying Editing, Writing, and Media with a minor in Political Science. Find more through socials! Instagram: _nataliewillis_