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Men's Health magazine

University of Florida Assistant Professor Ted Spiker is a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine. On top of contributing features on various topics to Men's Health on a regular basis, Spiker teaches the university's Magazine Management, Applied Magazines and Feature Writing classes. He also has organized an annual jaunt to the Big Apple for select students to meet with top editors of magazines produced by publishers like Hearst, Time Inc., Rodale, Hachette Filipacci and Condé Nast.

Spiker has been privy to the side of seeking internships that the seekers often wonder about: What do employers want from their interns, and what do they plan on doing with them?

"The students we have intern at Men’s Health work on live copy all the time. They’re reporting, researching, interviewing all kinds of sources — from doctors to exercise physiologists — I know that the hands-on experience is what a lot of students are looking for.

"And I also remember a student who interned for me at a small magazine. He ended up proving he could write well, so I ended up assigning feature stories to him. He ended up with two knockout bylines—which goes to show that interning at small magazines may get you even more experience and assignments than at big ones."

But Spiker says that the company with which you seek an internship really depends on your goals and what you want to get out of it.

"I think it certainly helps to have a big-name magazine on your resume, because that proves to the industry that you were able to work in an environment that demands excellence, and that’s important," Spiker says. "If you want to end up in New York, it certainly helps in terms of learning the culture — and making contacts. But don’t discount the smaller, regional magazines. I spent five years at a regional magazine [Delaware Today] — and I learned a lot from that experience, because I got to do everything, which you won’t get to do the larger the magazine you go to."

Spiker recommends starting small, and with the right work ethic and dedication, you're sure to end up big.

"If you can, I’d recommend trying a small one first, really build your job skills, then target a larger one toward the end of school — to help build contacts and your resume."

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