Arts & Culture / Mosaic / September 19, 2012

Muppets and magazines: Summer internships

Fall term may be in full swing, but for three Knox students who did internships this summer, the memories of their experiences live on.

Through the people they met, the events they attended and — for one — the letters they have opened, these students discovered the impact one can have on the world with a positive, professional attitude and the dust from a tiny Midwestern college on one’s shoes.

Lena Novak: Chicago blog Stic-of-the-Week

Most freshmen give themselves a little time to blow off steam when they arrive on campus. It was a similar story for junior Lena Novak, though she got down to business once her first winter break hit.

“After, you know, my [time] of fun … I was just kind of like, ‘Okay. This isn’t the next four years. If I really want it to mean something, [I have to have a plan],’ ” Novak said.

While at Knox, Novak has been in constant pursuit of new opportunities. The dedication paid off this summer when she interned at Stic-of-the-Week, a Chicago blog that gets its name from the first two letters of “style” and the last two letters of “music” — words that also describe its featured content.

Some of Novak’s duties this summer included writing style posts, previewing upcoming shows, conducting interviews and recapping events. She is currently still involved with Stic-of-the-Week, writing new blog posts from campus and returning home on the weekends to do event coverage.

“It’s pretty full-time, but I like having a busy schedule,” Novak said. “I feel very lucky.”

Junior Max Glassner “met” Elmo as a part of his summer public relations internship with the Sesame Workshop. (Courtesy of

Max Glassner: Sesame Workshop

Junior Max Glassner, an anthropology and sociology major and gender and women’s studies minor, was already interested in the state of the world before he found his way to Sesame Street this summer — or, more accurately, the city of Manhattan, where he worked as a public relations intern for Sesame Workshop.

Glassner was initially drawn to the organization because of its ties to “a [television] show geared toward social consciousness.” While at work, he researched different outreach initiatives and contacted media outlets to encourage their coverage of Sesame Workshop’s causes.

Glassner also helped with the organization’s Healthy Habits for Life event, held at the New York Public Library this summer with about 100 toddlers and their parents in attendance.

“They were all so happy and excited and engaged,” Glassner said, adding that interacting with kids was a fun part of the internship.

Though he started at Sesame Workshop with no journalism experience, he said that his other courses were still a great help to him.

“I feel like the liberal arts education, especially at Knox, prepares you for … not only understanding, but empathizing,” Glassner said.

Laura Pochodylo: “Highlights Magazine”

Few Knoxians are strangers to creative writing, but this summer, junior Laura Pochodylo heard from some of the tiniest writers in the country.

As a public relations intern for “Highlights” in Columbus, Ohio, Pochodylo was responsible for tabulating the responses from a survey sent out by the magazine called “The State of the Kid.” The survey included questions ranging from what books kids like to read to their thoughts on the upcoming presidential election.

“It was so neat to see different answers to all the different questions we asked,” Pochodylo said. “We discovered from the surveys [that] kids just wanted to be heard.”

Pochodylo also felt that having Knox on her résumé gave her an advantage.

“[Highlights] could’ve just gone over to Ohio State and gotten a public relations major,” she said. “I think what differentiated me was that I was able to come at things different ways and always [be] open to challenges, ‘cause I mean, that’s how we operate at Knox.”

Having had so much fun reading “Highlights” as a kid, Pochodylo was pleased to have a chance to go behind the scenes.

“It was like [a] childhood dream come true in terms of an internship,” she said.

Blair Peters

Tags:  Highlights Laura Pochodylo Lena Novak Max Glassner Sesame Workshop Stic-of-the-week

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