ULife (ulife.com) is an online publication that aims to inform, engage and entertain college students around the world with the topics that matter most. Founded in 2003 by Barrett Masso, Ulife aims to become the voice of the college student body and a community dedicated to improving the experience while at college.
Emily Kelley is the Senior Editor of ULife. Emily is a multiple award winning college journalist currently finishing her degree at California State University, Northridge. As Senior Editor, she oversees the day to day operations and content of ULife.com, as well as coordinating interns and contributors from around the country. Ulife is currently looking for interns.
1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?
I actually got started back in high school. As a sophomore, I joined my school’s newspaper and that really prepared me to go onto work on my college’s newspaper. Enough that in my first semester on staff I got promoted to assistant editor and my second I was made Managing Editor. Because of my time on a college newspaper, I was able to have the opportunity to write for an internationally distributed magazine, as well as numerous other job opportunities. Starting on something local, even your college’s paper, and getting some real instruction can really help launch you into the industry.
2. What’s the future of your industry?
The future of journalism is exactly what I’m involved in right now: the Internet. I think there will be some hold outs, like the LA and NY Times and others, but for the most part print journalism is going to die off. The Internet is just too powerful when you can read about an event 12 hours before it appears in your morning newspaper.
That’s why I’m so thankful to have the job that I do. As the Senior Editor of an online publication, the only place to go is up. I’m really excited to watch ULife grow and watch the entire industry grow.
3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?
It’s actually really weird to be looking at hiring interns since I was an intern myself just a short time ago. Right now, I’m looking for interns who want to make a difference, plain and simple. Of course, I’m looking for interns who have experience, drive and talent too, but ULife is all about trying to change and improve the University Lifestyle and we’re looking for interns who want the same thing.
4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?
An applicant can impress me by showing me their passion! While looking for summer interns, I’ve received so many cut and dry standard cover letters they’ve probably sent to a hundred other internships or employers. And while those interns are qualified and talented and we’ll probably still take them on as an intern, I forget about them as soon as I hit send on the reply. But an intern who comes out of the gate and tells me, “I’m really passionate about food or sports or student rights and that’s what I want to bring to ULife,” I remember that person.
5. Can you share a positive intern story and an intern horror story? No names needed.
The most positive internship experience I had was actually at Internships.com. They hired me as one of the very first interns back in the day, even before the site was up and operational. I had had one other internship before that and I was miserable there, so I was weary of doing another one. But Internships.com was the perfect internship. They genuinely cared about what I had to say, where I was coming from and allowed me to play to my strengths. Sure, I had to do some “trivial” tasks like making spreadsheets and PowerPoints, but they all directly affected how the site worked or certain projects. It was really empowering to know that the work I was doing actually mattered. And it was work that I enjoyed doing, which was also a big plus.
My horror story is about the very opposite thing: doing work that I hated. This was at my first internship, a Public Relations internship. I had never worked in PR before, but because of my work on my college newspaper, they figured I could just pick it up as I went. I did learn quickly enough but the overall environment was terrible. I was just an intern, but I was in charge of the entire PR department and I received little to no instruction on tasks. The office was small and because I was new, sometimes they would have someone else using my desk or my computer and I’d be on my own. The worst part was if they were going to launch a new product or ad and they would ask everyone in the office for their opinion of it but me, like I was invisible or my opinion didn’t matter to them. It definitely didn’t make me feel welcome there.
This is the second time this week we’ve heard from one of our previous interns – we’re so happy! Emily and Ulife are currently hiring interns to work virtually, in a variety of departments. Check out Ulife internships.