The Va Mag internship program first began in 2010. College students and recent graduates from Georgia area colleges and universities like: Georgia State, Clark Atlanta, Spelman, SCAD, UGA, Clayton State University and many more, have participated in the program. We have taken on aspiring journalists with little to no writing experience and coached them through the writing, reporting and interviewing process. Our interns learn to write compelling stories on deadline, while using credible sources and tapping into their creativity. They also gain college course credit for their participation in the program.
Va Mag Alumni
Catherine Witherspoon ’14
College: B.A., Mercer University, M.A. Syracuse University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: After completing a 15-month internship with Va Mag. Catherine was admitted to S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she studied broadcast and digital journalism. After graduation, Catherine was able to land her dream job as a Communications Specialist at the International Association of Public Health Institutes at Emory University after completing the Va Mag Internship Program.
Geneva Toddy ’11
College: B.A., Journalism, Georgia State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: Genny started working as an editorial intern for Va Mag during her junior year at GSU. After graduation, she landed a job with Business Wire as a Newsroom Editor and relocated to San Francisco, California. One year later, she moved again to work in Business Wire’s Nashville, Tennessee office. Genny now serves as Va Mag’s Assistant Editor. In 2012 she launched an online music magazine called Creative Control.
Blake Holmes ’13
College: B.A., Health Physical Education & Recreation, Alcorn State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: When Blake began his internship with Va Mag, he was working as an Attendant for the Chicago Park District. Now he serves as a Physical Instructor. “Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Learning about other people’s triumphs has given me extra motivation to chase my dreams as well. I started writing for Va Mag to keep my skills sharp, and ended up learning about people I would’ve never been introduced to.”
Stormm Van Rooi ’11
College: B.A., Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication, Georgia State University
The Va Mag Internship Experience: Stormm began her internship with Va Mag during her junior year of college. Eventually she was promoted to our A&E reporter. Although Stormm has a strong interest in writing, her passion is missionary work. She recently returned from Zimbabwe, after six months of voluntary mission work. While abroad, Stormm was able to establish a feeding program to support developing rural areas and provided administrative guidance and support to Mind the Gap, an orphanage in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Previously, she worked in operations management in the private sector. Stormm currently works as an international program assistant for the Emory Global Health Institute with an organization called International Association of Public Health Institutes, the International Associate of National Public Health Institutes. In her role, she works on web development, graphic design, and editorials.
Courtney Blackann ’13
College: Masters of Professional Studies, Journalism, Georgetown University,
Youngstown State University, B.G.S.
The Va Mag Internship Experience:
“I interned for VA Mag beginning December of 2013 and I was a weekly contributor until August of 2015. My time with VA Mag expanded my knowledge of feature writing, engaging in creative storytelling from multiple angles and working virtually with a team of editors to ensure the best work was being published. Guided by Jaya and Jay Franklin, I came away with a stronger skill set for writing in depth features.”
Stan Walters ’11
College: Georgia State University, English Literature
The Va Mag Internship Experience: “VA Mag provided me with a way to communicate great music and art. It was a pleasure working with Jay and Jaya. I also had the wonderful experience of getting feedback on my own articles by the artists and musicians themselves. Wonderful memories!”
Devon Cotta ’14
College: Kennesaw State University, B.A. in English, American Studies minor
Current Job: Freelance Writer
The Va Mag Experience: I enjoyed creating content for Va Mag. While not always immediately intrigued in an assigned subject, researching gave me the opportunity to investigate and appreciate each genre of art and artist, and express their accomplishments in my own way. I believe this experience helped me grow as a writer, especially after realizing that someone I was writing about might actually read the article. This is much different than a professor reading your paper in an academic setting. After a music artist tweeted about reading one of my stories, it made me realize how far reaching words can be, and how powerful. Visionary Artistry magazine provided a great opportunity to build my writing portfolio and I had fun working with a contemporary platform.
Isabella Gomez ’17
College: Georgia State University, B.A. in Journalism
Current Job: Social Discovery Intern, CNN
The Va Mag Experience: I was an editorial intern for Va Mag during my sophomore year, and I loved covering art and culture events. I then went on to become a contributing editor for Unsweetened Magazine and News and Politics freelance contributor for Teen Vogue. Currently, I’m a Social Discovery intern at CNN. I’m looking forward to graduation and my future plans as a writer. I’m eternally grateful to the Va Mag team for believing in me as a journalist and giving me my first platform for self-expression. Writing for Va Mag gave me the freedom to find creative angles and tell stories in the best way possible. Jaya and Genny always encouraged me to find my own voice and connect with the subject however worked best for me. I not only learned how to strengthen my writing skills, but learned about so many artists and musicians I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. They’re still some of my favorites today.
Chris Simmons ‘16
For more information on the Va Mag Internship Program send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.