Today marks the final day of my eight-week long internship with ECN Magazine. When I first began, my knowing of electric design and electronics was probably similar to the way ancient people viewed natural phenomena, a mixture of awe and respect with absolutely no ability to explain the “why” of it all.
Given my lack of electronic understanding, interning at ECN may have seemed odd; ultimately, my decision to intern with ECN came from my desire to learn more about editing, gain experience with the computer programs necessary for copyediting, and witness how a well-run editorial staff functions. While I will not be entering the electronic design community any time soon, I did learn more about technology, at least enough to write the sporadic blog.
During the course of the eight weeks I did learn everything that I initially wanted to know: how to copyedit properly, how to use copyediting programs, and how an editorial staff ought to run. I also learned that other, intangible qualities are necessary for copyediting like unabashedly writing pieces for a publication’s audience, gracefully accepting reader feedback, and casually disregarding the AP Stylebook’s stance on serial commas.
Overall, the main thing I learned from my time at ECN is that people do not fit into distinct either/or categories. Coming into this job, I expected to edit articles riddled with jargon and grammar issues. Instead, the pieces I read were well-written, thoughtful, clear, and concise. I quickly realized that one’s occupation in electronic design did not preclude the ability to communicate well. I also had qualms about my own preparedness to understand the articles I had to read. After all, the most technical experience I had prior with electronics was fixing a blown fuse. Understanding the articles I had to edit was not, to my surprise, incredibly difficult. In fact, nearly everything I read about electronics made sense, leading me to realize that my love of snappy sentences did not cloud my understanding of optoelectronics, signal-conditioning devices, and computer peripherals.
Characteristics of the technologically-inclined and creative are not mutually exclusive. Understanding an integrated circuit does not mean one cannot understand good communication and vice versa. What both come down to is the ability to problem solve and think logically.