Bright Lights, Big City

Courtney Lindstrand is a sophomore from Greenville, NC. She can be reached at

Last week, I was lucky enough to be able to go on an amazing trip to New York City with UNC-Chapel Hill’s magazine club, Carolina Association of Future Magazine Editors (or CAFME). I made new friends and connections, explored the greatest city in the world, ate great food and overall had a fantastic time.

UNC-CH is a branch of Ed2010, which is basically a website that helps students and recent grads get jobs and internships in the magazine industry. Ed2010 set up some awesome tours, where we talked to editors and got to walk around the offices and see national magazines in production. We toured Fitness, Parents, the Food Network magazine and Marie Claire. The editors were so inspiring and helpful, and they gave us practical advice on how to get ahead in the somewhat cut-throat magazine world. The 18 students who went on the trip were all so smart and ambitious and fun to get to know. I feel so lucky to have met them all.

Our trip lasted from Sunday to Tuesday, with Sunday being a free day. I was in shopping heaven, as I made sure to hit up all the shops that you can’t find anywhere else but New York. This includes Zara and Topshop, two European brands that have recently made their debut in the states. Topshop had three floors of clothes and accessories and shoes. By the end of the day, I was so exhausted and in post-retail mania bliss. For dinner, we ate and watched the UNC-CH basketball game at Brother Jimmy’s, a North Carolina barbecue-themed restaurant where a ton of alumni living in the city were enjoying the game as well. The Tar Heel nation atmosphere was strong in the restaurant, but I really can’t talk about what it was like after the game as it is just far too emotionally vexing. Moving on!                   

The three-story Zara Flagship store on 5th avenue

The next two days were a whirlwind of tours and internship interviews. I was terrified I would get lost on the way to my interviews while taking the subway alone and navigating the grid. However, I am proud to report I did not get lost once! I made it to all of my meetings 15 minutes early and I stood in the lobby like the teacher’s pet, clutching my portfolio and resume with sweaty palms. Interviewing in buildings 55 stories tall with the nation’s top editors was nerve-wracking to say the least. Now I play the waiting game and weigh my options, all while contemplating what it will be like to actually live in the big city this summer. I am trying my best to phase out the use of the word “y’all,” as I received many grimaces, cringes and pitying smiles when it slipped out every once and awhile. Well, I guess that will just be one of the many challenges of being a Tar Heel transplant in the big city, but after this trip, I am confident that it’s where I belong.

Heart Publications

(publishes Cosmo, Marie Claire, the Food Network, etc.)  tower on 57th street