Fashion and sports, two topics that are usually located at opposite ends of the spectrum, came together when David Cummings of ESPN the magazine and Delora Jones of InStyle magazine were featured for a panel discussion on Monday, April 14 in Marillac Hall. Cummings, Deputy Editor at ESPN the magazine, and Jones, Chief Correspondent and Internship Coordinator at InStyle magazine gave in depth advice on internships, and touched on such hot topics as women in sports journalism and career regrets. “If you don’t like this class you’re in the wrong field,” Cummings warned to students taking news-writing courses. Cummings, who has worked for The New York Times, Miami Herald, The Source, is now on his seventh year at ESPN the magazine. After originally considering a degree in accounting, Cummings credits his college RA on eventually deciding on sports journalism. “I followed my passion, I couldn’t fathom doing something I don’t like,” he said. Having previously worked at the Des Moines Register, Essence, and for Avon, Jones has been at InStyle for 11 years. She described her transition from newspaper writing to magazine writing as an easy switch.
“I said look if I can write three daily newspaper articles a day I can write about lipstick,” she said. When asked about any regrets they had in their careers, Jones explained how bored she was when working for Avon and advised students to work for a company they have interest in.
Cummings explained that despite sports journalism appearing to be a male dominated field, female reporters are far uncommon. As a result, he said that he feels “the bar is set a little higher”. Offering paralleled advice, Jones and Cummings emphasized how critical internships are and encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities offered around them such as writing for school publications. Jones stressed how important it is to look professional at an interview because “it takes more then someone who looks good on paper.” She told a story about an InStyle intern who was on her way to an interview adorning a ruffled miniskirt and fishnets that she had to have an intervention with. “I can usually tell within five or ten minutes if [someone] can work at InStyle,” Jones said. Both journalists also agree that it is vital for interns to have a good attitude and look at their position as a privilege, and an opportunity for growth since numerous times interns are considered for full time positions with the companies. On opportunities with up and coming urban lifestyle magazines, Cummings said to not pass them up. As a former writer for The Source, Cummings explained that working at any small urban lifestyle magazine can be beneficial because “you do everything.” Freshman Justin Thrift described the panel discussion as informative “I thought it was interesting, I took a lot from Mr. Cummings,” he said. Freshman Arthur Becerra said that he felt getting tips and learning about how to go about getting an internship was the most important. “The lecture gave me insight,” said Becerra. Aisha Casley, a freshman, agreed, saying now she knows what companies are looking for in an intern.