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Eric Hastie, a University of Florida magazine journalism senior, spent the summer of 2002 in New York City working with Gruner + Jahr's Parents magazine through an American Society of Magazine Editors program.

Each summer, ASME selects journalism interns from a pool of junior applicants attending universities across the country. These prospective interns then list their top publication choices from a list of participating magazines and are placed with whichever magazine is most fitting according to ASME standards.

Eric had to prepare an application packet and present it to the chair of the UF department of journalism. The department chair and college and faculty then picked the top two candidates and sent their applications to ASME in New York. From thousands of applications, ASME then selected the top 35 applicants in the country to participate in the program.

Eric says he chose Parents because of the emphasis he places on family values in his own life — and because he was one of the few to choose the publication, which isn't exactly known for its popularity among twenty-something college students. Capitalizing on this proved to be a check mate in Eric's time on staff.

Also the president of the UF chapter of the Florida Student Magazine Association and the vice president of the UF chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, this overachiever says his services were not at all limited to making copies and memorizing one sugar or two.

"I started out with ordering toys for the Best of 2002 Toy issue. From there, I was fact-checking new manuscripts and even pages ready for the printer. I also was assigned two other stories to work on. In addition, I worked with the photo department to research some story ideas they had. Online and production were also departments I worked in for a week each, mainly learning from the editors."

Of his myriad duties, Eric cited his favorite part of the internship as a the chance to attend the editorial meetings and see how the magazine is planned each month.

"I got so much out of working there — nothing I could have learned in Gainesville, that's for sure," Eric says of his time with Parents. "I know a lot of people weren't impressed that I was working for Parents, they wanted me to get [Entertainment Weekly] or Rolling Stone, but I was happy and I never wanted to work at the other magazines anyway. The best part was that I got to do more than any of the interns in the program and learned so much. It was great, the editors at Parents never treated me like an intern. From day one, I was a staff member."

Eric says his future plans in the magazine industry include working for a national magazine for a few years and hopefully becoming a food editor after attending culinary school. He also wants to start his own food magazine and eventually get back to school, where he wants to be able to teach college journalism.

"I think the internship was extremely useful and prepared me very well for an entry-level job in the magazine business. I was exposed to every aspect of making a publication, none of which I would have been able to witness while in school."

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