Aug. 17 2018 08:00 AM

Yes, a lot of the skills I learned were in the writing and editing department, but I also gained some valuable life lessons that I think anyone would be lucky to have.

Summer is coming to an end and another editorial intern is checking out of the office. It has been a pretty incredible summer. I have shadowed great editors, writers, and photographers, met prominent people within our industry, and traveled to New York to visit dairy farms.

Here are a few of my experiences that I will remember as I move on to the next thing.

1. Always keep reading, researching, and learning new things. This, not only helped me develop article ideas, it also gave me more confidence in my writing and in my interactions with farmers and industry people.

2. Speak up, ask questions, and state your opinion. Being an intern or even a younger person at your job can be intimidating. When I was asked to pitch some of my own article ideas, I did. Even when I wasn’t asked, I spoke up, too, and some of those articles will be published later this year.

3. Commas are king. Even when you think you know how to use them, you really don’t. At Hoard’s Dairyman, every piece of writing that is published is edited by each editor in the office, including myself. My goal was to receive at least one of my articles back with zero grammar edits . . . it never happened, but I am a better writer for it.

4. Stay loose, be flexible, and learn something new. I had to take a lot of photos this summer. Before starting my internship, I had a small amount of experience using a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. I really had to take the time to teach myself how to be a photographer. My mentors actually did a lot of the teaching, and since starting my internship, I am way more comfortable behind the camera.

5. Be thankful. When we are doing anything in life, there are always people supporting us and lending themselves to us. It takes a team of dedicated people to publish two magazines a month. I probably didn’t say thank you enough to my mentors and co-workers who not only edited my articles, but also helped me become a better communicator.

I have never learned so much in one summer, and I will be able to build on my skills gained for many years to come. Also, if you enjoy reading my blogs, I will still be contributing my writing every other week to HD Notebook, so keep an eye out for my posts!

Christy Achen

Christy Achen was the 2018 Hoard's Dairyman summer editorial intern. She grew up on a dairy farm in southwest Kansas. Achen is currently a senior at Utah State University studying agricultural communications and journalism.