Intern Insider: Ashley Jobe’s confidence leads to internship at Essence Magazine

Being an Elon University student has taught junior journalism major Ashley Jobe to value diligence, dedication and confidence.

“Elon has always been about chasing what you want,” Jobe says. “If you want to be president of an organization, who’s telling you that you can’t? No one.”

So when Jobe landed an esteemed and highly competitive internship with Essence magazine in New York, she didn’t meet herself with a sense of shock or amazement. She expected to be working for Essence this summer because she knew she had put in the prior effort in classes and extracurriculars.

“When I applied for this prestigious internship, working for a magazine that is read nationally—and even sometimes internationally—I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I wouldn’t get it,” says Jobe, the opinions editor of The Pendulum, Elon’s weekly student newspaper. “I just (applied), and here I am. I worked hard to get to where I am, and I think that hard work teaches you to deserve the accomplishments you do see come to pass because you earned them.”

Her reaction wasn’t completely blasé, of course. Sure, she anticipated receiving the offer to become one of seven summer interns at Essence. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t excited when she received the news. She says it was a thrill to know that she’d be working for a magazine that is specifically written by and for black women.

“I was in my car in the parking lot of the south campus fields when my phone rang,” Jobe says. “I just kept saying, ‘Oh my goodness! Thank you, thank you! I’m so excited!’ I was floating on air for the rest of the day.”

So now, instead of sprinting across the south campus fields with her women’s rugby teammates, she runs around the Essence offices all day as a beauty intern in the Beauty Department, working for four women, updating contact lists, fact checking, proofreading and lending a hand on photo shoots. It’s an exhaustive daily schedule, but it’s one Jobe relishes.

“Much like we are urged to step outside of our comfort zone at Elon and seek out a story, we are urged here to do our research, find new and fresh products that will be intriguing to the reader, and to talk to people we don’t know to get to the core of what they are all about,” Jobe says. “We all work in tandem—the magazines, the product companies, the PR firms.”

Jobe says one of her big goals for the summer is to get a byline in Essence. Right now, she works closely with freelance writers and reads copy before it continues moving up the editing chain, so she’s still receiving a valuable education. But having something published in Essence—something she can call her own—would complete the internship experience for her.

“I want with all of my heart to get a byline in the magazine, but I will be satisfied with knowing in my heart that I helped write something special,” Jobe says., “that I was there, helped, and created something amazing. I hope I will get the chance to do that.”

An important lesson Jobe has already learned, she says, is that the magazine world is insular. Word travels from publication to publication, so reputations are made and broken quickly. Jobe keeps that nugget of wisdom with her every day when she arrives at work because she wants to make connections this summer that may help her land a job in the future.

“I am trying to foster a good reputation here that will last after I am gone and that will supersede my arrival elsewhere,” Jobe says. “And as the summer progresses, I am finding myself, my talents and my identity.”

Intern Insider will run one to two times a week during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of the interns from the School of Communications or in School of Communications programs.