It’s only been two years since I moved to New York, but with all that’s happened they feel like dog years. I came down in June for a summer publishing course at Columbia that promised a powerful job network. By August I was unemployed in Queens. It was a hard time for magazine work then, and I don’t blame anyone for the situation, but I soon realized that I’d have to work for it. By the end of the month I landed my first big-time internship at Rolling Stone through the help of an editor I’d interviewed in college. Had I been a classic rock historian it would’ve been heaven, but instead it was just a shiny, errand-filled purgatory. The next one at Esquire couldn’t have made me happier. They gave us responsibility, respect and relative freedom in an even shinier office than the last. Had I not needed to work nights and weekends at my restaurant to pay rent, I may have excelled further, but usually I was lucky to stay awake.
My fellow interns quickly lined up summer plans while I sat idly by. It may have been the dullness of office life, or the prospect of paying my dues as an assistant for five to 10 years, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it again. Almost a year out of our publishing course, many of my friends were miserable in their varying levels of book jobs and random internships. The work level was no surprise, but the emotional toll had been glossed over. Not only was the average pay in publishing below par, but the creative opportunity seemed almost nonexistent. I vowed that even if it meant working at a restaurant for the foreseeable future, I would try my own venture before returning to the career track. As they say, the rest is history. After a summer of planning, Realcity was born. We still have a long way to go, but since September, our reach has already grown wider than I’d ever imagined.
The fact that we have three interns starting today elicits surprise from everyone I tell. We have no copies to be made, no coffee to be fetched. They’re missing the point entirely. Our interns will have the same creative freedom afforded to any contributor, because they’re just as much a part of this city’s reality. They’ll get to write multiple times per week, come up with marketing strategies and even change the very structure of the site. Frankly, it’s the kind of gig that might have kept me on the internship track myself. It seems that New York had other things in store for my career path, though. To find a network that could really work for me here, I just had to create my own. It may not be the most powerful yet, but so far it’s proven to be one of the most promising. With our viewership continuing the exponential climb, a multitude of new features in the works and three more dedicated minds on the staff, life at Realcity is getting better every day. Welcome to the team Rebecca and Sarah. We’re thrilled to have you onboard!