This past weekend, I took a trip to New York City and visited Oath and Meredith – two (very cool) media companies. But first, let me rewind a bit. During my first semester at Penn State University, I decided to join a club called ed2010; this club involves helping students interested in the editorial business (working at a print publication, for example). I always </a>enjoy going because we get to learn about networking tips, internship opportunities and more.
One of the most unique aspects of the club is that the members take a trip to New York City and visit publishing and media companies to see what it’s like to work there. In the past, ed2010 at Penn State has visited places like Seventeen Magazine, Refinery29 and Oprah Magazine— how cool is that? This year, we were visiting Oath (the parent company of media organizations like Tumblr, Yahoo and Huffington Post) as well as Meredith Corporation, a major magazine publisher.
Since New York City is four hours away from State College, we needed to arrive at the bus station at 5:45 in the morning. It was a struggle to get up at 4:15, but I luckily made it there on time. Everyone in the club wore semi-professional outfits so we looked our best when meeting the people who worked at these companies. I wore tall suede boots, but some of the girls wore high heels. That had to be difficult with all the walking we did.
When we finally arrived in the city, I quickly tried to re-apply my lip gloss and smooth down my hair. I regretted not bringing a hair brush. As we grabbed a bite to eat, I noticed purple flags that read “NYU” on them – the university’s campus was nearby. Then we headed to our first stop: Oath.
After swiping in our guest cards and traveling up the elevator, we walked into a colorful office. Two ladies greeted us, then took us into a conference room to listen to a panel of people who work for the company. One of them even graduated from Penn State. Each person explained how they got their jobs and what they do on a day-to-day basis. I enjoyed hearing about all the different opportunities Oath had to offer. For example, one of the girls worked on the editorial side and wrote for Yahoo’s entertainment section, while two other people worked on the marketing side. I liked hearing how much the people enjoyed the “culture” at Oath. They felt like it was a place where they were encouraged to try new things and were handed many unique opportunities.
After the panel, we took a tour and were treated to lunch. Each room seemed to have a cool design; there were smaller rooms that people could meet or just escape. They even had TV’s with Friends playing. How appropriate. The staircase was marble and immaculate, and the cafeteria was amazing. I had a salad that was incredibly fresh, so getting lunch like that every day would certainly be a perk. My favorite part of our visit was seeing the people in their natural work environment. They seemed to really enjoy their jobs and working together.
After leaving Oath, we headed over to Meredith Corporation in the Financial District, right on the river. As we entered the building, I marveled at the sight of it all. Since it was the holiday season, there were two huge, festive Christmas trees in the lobby. I felt so professional passing by people who worked there even though I was just a college freshman. After a baggage check, we used passes to take the elevator up to the headquarters. An employee greeted us and took our group into a room, complete with yummy cookies. Here we listened to a panel of Meredith employees.
It was particularly cool that one of the women was not only a PSU grad, but also a past member of ed2010 who had just graduated in May. I took in every word the panelists had to say. They spoke of what it was like to be a fashion editor, the pros and cons of constantly traveling and what it’s like adjusting to writing multiple articles every day. Many of them explained the importance of following up with people. A lot about this business involves “who you know.” They stressed that if you do get the opportunity to talk with someone, it’s imperative you follow up and thank them afterwards to leave an impression.
After the panel, it was time for a quick tour. But first, we got a surprise.
Working at the company comes with perks, like access to cosmetics sent from companies. We were allowed into a room to buy makeup products, many of them being high-end brands, for only one dollar each. I got a lip product twenty-five, even. After this, we toured some of the rooms at Meredith. We even visited the studio in which People News takes place. TVs were set up along with cameras and tele-prompters, with many different sets in the background, too. They even let us know that Tyra Banks was there the other day.
We also got to visit their cafeteria, which had a stunning view of the river. There was a place to eat outside, right on the water, with twinkling lights and comfy chairs. It seemed like the perfect place to eat and even have a party, like they said. At the end of the tour, we could take any of their current magazines; I picked up People, In Style and Entertainment Weekly.
I had such an amazing time at both companies, and I am so grateful Penn State and ed2010 gave me this opportunity. Going on trips like these are incredibly beneficial, because they can help guide me in the direction of where I want to go career-wise. Being a freshman, I am still trying to figure this out. However, I absolutely loved hearing the advice from each panelist about how they got where they were. Who knows, maybe I will be on a panel giving advice to someone else someday.