One of the best experiences of my life was interning at FoodNetwork.com. I spent three months serving as the online editorial intern and living life as a 21-year-old in New York City. By day I built photo recipe galleries, wrote blog posts, created captions, organized the holiday gift guide and got to learn from the editorial team. By night I explored Manhattan, checked tourist items off my bucket list, made new friends and ate my way through the city.
Three years ago, I talked about a day in the life of a Food Network intern in a blog post. I receive emails every month from college students who are looking into Food Network internships. They ask questions about how I got the job, how they can increase their chances and be recognized by the recruiters. While I don’t have the exact science, I would love to share what I recommend via email through this post to help you land the dream job!
Where did you find the available jobs?
I searched internships on Scripps Networks Interactive careers page! Scripps is the parent company of Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, HGTV, etc.
What did you do to prepare?
My goal since day one of college was to land an internship at the Food Network. To reach that goal, I knew I needed to work hard for several years to build my resume and personal brand. I started this food blog, Gourmet Gab, freshman year and blogged consistently for three years. In addition to blogging, I built a social media presence, practiced my digital media and video skills through school projects, and found other internships to gain experience.
What did you put on your resume?
A strong resume is one of the most important things to get your foot in the door. Spend time reviewing the available internships for the semester you are seeking and be sure to tailor your resume to each job you are applying for by matching the keywords they use in the job description with the wording on your resume. Also, be sure to include measurable statistics. If you’re applying for a social media internship, include statistics that detail your experience with social media accounts, like percentage growth, engagement, followers, etc.
I believe what made my resume stand out is the information I included about my blog’s reader statistics, applicable skills I listed that I could bring to the job, as well as my past internships. Before the Food Network, I interned for Arizona Highways Television and RightThisMinute.
What if I haven’t interned somewhere else before I apply to Food Network?
There are so many opportunities to gain experience these days though virtual internships, being a contributing writer to other websites or blogs, serving as a campus ambassador, or making your own relevant experience to gain credibility. Check out options for virtual internships, get involved with Spoon University, be a part of your campus’ digital media team or find a way to make your own niche.
Where did you live in the city?
I used the program, NYCIntern, to secure housing for my summer internship. After doing research about other living options in the city, I felt NYCIntern offered everything I was looking for: safety with a doorman at each building, a full apartment instead of a dorm, a kitchen for cooking my own meals, close access to the subway and ability to connect with other interns.
NYCIntern offers two locations: luxury apartments in the Financial District and traditional walk-up style apartments in Brooklyn. Several years ago I lived in one of their buildings in Midtown, but boy do I wish I could’ve experienced their FiDi apartments. They look so high-quality, have roof access, a gym and are in a quieter area of the city.
You can apply for housing on NYCIntern’s website starting in January! The apartments start to fill up in March and April, so the earlier you get your application in, the more likely you’ll be able to get your first preference of apartments and roommates. NYCIntern is offering an exclusive deal where they will waive the application fee if you use the code GOURMETGAB.
What should I write in my cover letter for the internship?
The application online does not ask for a cover letter, but that’s why it’s even more important to tell the story of your experience through your resume. Be sure to make your resume as relevant as possible by incorporating specifics into each section and using keywords throughout the resume that recruiters would search in order to find candidates.
What was the timeline for the internship?
I applied in February for summer internships. I remember getting automated emails in March/April that I was not selected for some of the internships. Around that same time, I did get an email from the online editor about moving forward with an interview. I was ecstatic! We set up a phone interview, then a week or so later I completed an editorial assessment where I had to pitch a few story ideas and caption a handful of photos. I believe I was notified about getting the internship mid-to-late April and moved forward with finalizing details from there.
Can you pass my name along?
I cannot pass any candidate names along or provide contact information for anyone at Scripps. The recruiters do a great job and are professionals at finding the right people for the jobs! If you are not selected for an internship the first time, I would encourage you to apply again another semester.
What did you do for fun during the summer in New York?
I had such an amazing time in New York City for the summer! There is always something to do in the city and a lot of things are free. Whether it’s movies in Bryant Park, events at Central Park, roaming through Smorgasburg, exploring Chelsea Market or learning each neighborhood — there is never a dull moment. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, savor the sights of the city at a rooftop bar, find your favorite bagel in the city and learn to navigate the subway. Whatever you are looking to do in your free time, New York City has it!
How can I read more about your experiences?
Here are a few posts I wrote to document my time in the city. Read about how I learned a few lessons about NYC during my first week of interning, freaked out when I got my first FoodNetwork.com byline, ooh-ed and awed over the offices being in Chelsea Market, celebrated my 21st birthday in the city with my dad and step-mom, experienced the most authentic Chinese food in Flushing, Queens, and ate Laduree macarons and visited the Hamptons.
If you have any further questions about my experience, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I hope this was helpful for you landing your dream job as a Food Network intern and finding the perfect place to live in the city. Don’t forget, you can use NYCIntern’s code GOURMETGAB to waive the application fee for Spring or Summer 2017 housing!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Thank you to NYCIntern for sponsoring this post!