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Communications

How an Internship Jumpstarted a Career

By Mirchaye Woldeleoul

Sydney Gore at the MTV VMAs

“A long overdue visit,” is how Sydney Gore, (SOC/BA '15), describes her recent visit to campus.  

Gore was happy to return to American University School of Communication (AU SOC) the place where she learned so much and developed as a writer and human.

“I wanted to catch up with some of the professors who significantly impacted my time at the university and really just thank them for everything that they taught me,” she says. 

During her visit, Gore spoke in one of Professor Margot Susca's COMM-200 classes about her career at NYLON Magazine. It was during her last semester at AU that Gore was offered an internship at NYLON. Despite the four credits she still needed to earn, and the long commutes she’d have to make from NYC to DC, Gore accepted without thinking twice. 

"Mind you, I had waited four years to apply for an internship at NYLON so it was basically now or never in my eyes," she says. 

Every weekend, she would commute to NYLON's office in Soho, and then take a bus from there all the way back to D.C. and attend class the next day.  "It was crazy, but worth it," she adds. 

At the end of the semester, there were no open positions available at NYLON. But three months later, Gore received a call. "My former intern supervisor at NYLON reached out to me because she had been promoted and she wanted to know if I was interested in interviewing for her position," she says. "The rest is history!"

She is now a Digital Editorial Assistant at  NYLON, where she typically writes three to five posts a day for the website. Gore usually covers music, art and culture.  

Gore’s heart was set on majoring in communication studies when she first joined AU. "I knew I wanted to be in SOC, but I wasn't completely set on journalism per se," she says. 

But, an unexpected experience at The Eagle student newspaper led her to pursue journalism.

“My experience at The Eagle shaped me into the journalist that I am today. Journalism sort of happened by accident,” she explains. 

Gore says the courses she took in SOC's journalism track taught her all the basic fundamentals. "So you inherently know how to be a good reporter.  I feel really lucky," she says. 

Gore urges current students to take advantage of resources offered on campus and look for experience opportunities outside.  "Choose your internships wisely and don't discourage yourself from aiming high," she says. 

As someone now in the position of recruiting, hiring, and supervising editorial interns, Gore has some advice. 

“You don't have to major in journalism to get an editorial internship, but you had better be a phenomenal writer that is passionate about something,” she said.