What’s Your Internship?: Val Gilmore

Rick Steves and Val Gilmore doing some reading. (Photo coutesy of Val)

Rick Steves and Val Gilmore doing some reading.
(Photo coutesy of Val)

Student: Val Gilmore

Major: Journalism

Grade: Senior

Position: Research Assistant at Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door (Sept. 2012- Dec. 2012), Unpaid (for credit)

Duties include:

“It was a lot of contacting hotels, sites, and companies that were already in the books and updating it for the 2012/2013 editions. I would have to fact-check, make sure the URL websites are still active, and make sure what we had written about in previous editions was still relevant. On top of that, I was writing a sidebar on Peter the Great for the Russia book, so every intern gets something published.”

What made you decide to apply?

“I had just gotten back from Rome studying abroad and it just really inspired my desire to travel and wanderlust, so I saw there was an opening in fall and applied.”

How did you find out about it?

“Through the internship/jobs Communication postings and I had also heard that a friend of mine had done the internship two quarters before, and plus I love travel journalism. That was the main thing.”

What did you like most about it?

“I loved the people I was working with and the environment, just the atmosphere. It was like-minded people in the sense that everyone loved to travel and over lunch we’d talk about our favorite places we’d been to and I felt like I could really relate to them since I had just traveled myself and it’s my favorite thing to talk about. Just to hear other people’s experiences and what they liked and didn’t like was by far my favorite.”

Is there anything you would change?

“I would have wanted it to be longer. It was only three months for the quarter and I could’ve spent every hour of every day in that office. It felt like home.”

How do you think it will help you and your career or future goals?

“I always thought I wanted to be a travel journalist, so actually having worked with travel journalists made me realize, yes, that is the path I want to eventually go down one day and it kind of answered a lot of questions in terms of what it would look like to be a travel researcher in the field and bringing that back. Professionally, I can actually see myself doing that, enjoying it, and doing it for multiple years.”

What was your favorite accomplishment?

“The side bar was really cool because I’ll have my work published and my name in the Russia book, but my favorite accomplishment I would say was that I was allowed to attend the weekly Monday meetings with just the editors and the staff. I guess that’s not really an accomplishment so much as a privilege to have been invited behind scenes. So in that aspect I got to learn about the business side of it, logistics and meeting deadlines, which I don’t think other interns have ever gotten to do, so it was neat to be included.”

Anything else?

“I have to say, Mr. Rick Steves was very nice and I was scared to meet him, but he was really warm and inviting, and he even asked me my favorite place I’d traveled to so it was neat to talk to him.”