The Life of an elephant Intern. ~ Katie Feldhaus

Via elephant journal
on Jul 16, 2010
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Ahhh…to be an intern.

You know the homeless gent on the street holding up a sign will work for food? I know the feeling. After being an intern for elephant for the past three months, I have come to find out that working for “free” isn’t half bad.

Stumbling upon this internship has been an eye-opening experience. I went into it blind folded, not knowing too much about living mindfully—the whole concept of elephant. From day one, we jumped into posting blogs and learning how to edit articles—experience that will benefit me in my future as a journalist. But it’s the content of the articles that has had a major influence—teaching me how to live a great life while also being mindful toward others and our planet.

From insights on Buddhism and impermanence to finding ways to love yourself and sexy sustainability, there have been many things that have changed my way of thinking. The values of elephant have become my values as well.

Content aside, working for elephant gave me an insight on what it is like working for an online publication, which can be hectic one day and relaxed the next. Meetings at Waylon’s house, all of the interns busy at their computers and Waylon dancing around with his magic wand is usually how it goes. No, but seriously the elephant team is made up of a handful of people who support each other and elephant’s overall goal. I have enjoyed meeting new people in a different, exciting environment—and the free weekly dinners at Hapa Sushi and unlimited Yoga help a bit..!

The social media world is growing and I have learned a great deal about self promotion (clicks, clicks, clicks), twitter and facebook, getting information out into the cyber world to reach as many people as possible and I have learned from the twitter master.

My advice: looking for an internship that is boring, corporate and all about The Man? elephant is not for you. Interning at elephant is not the typical intern’s idea of getting coffee or delivering mail—you are involved with the heart, guts of the best from day one: the content. Your voice is taken seriously (we’re required to post one original article per week) and you are urged to keep what we do as personal as possible, making sure that we relate to what we post as much as our readers do.

I would say that Diana Mercer’s 10 Great Reasons to Support Elephant are the same as the 10 reasons why it kicks ass to be an intern at elephant:

1. It’s saucy: Where else can you write about things labeled ‘sexy’, ‘naked’, and ’supermodel’ with article headlines like, Can orgasm lead to Enlightenment without getting a slap on the wrist?

2. It’s irreverent: I love the BP solves the Oil Spill crisis. We tried to solve it. But when that failed, we figured why fix the spill, when we can fix the brand?

3. It’s reverent: Articles like Geertje Couwenbergh’s Impermanence Gym helped me realize what I can do to improve my way of life.

4. It’s uncomfortable: I agree with Diana on Gary Smith’s Wool is Cruel article about the horrific and truly disturbing treatment of sheep at the hands of Australia’s wool. Essential discomfort, essential awareness = essential action.

5. It’s inspiring: From articles of people chopping their hair off for the Gulf or A Star is Born, the boy who rocked Lady Gaga made me cry.

6. It’s laugh out loud: The double rainbow post is hilarious.

7. It’s unique: Many of the articles are clever and make you think. Some of them have underlying meanings that make elephant a free-for-all type of journalism to express yourself. Like My Big, Fat 2nd Class Marriage.

8. It’s independent: Independent media practices are few and far between and elephant works to support other independent business as well. Do you want mindful, independent media to go big?

9. It’s community creating: Elephant is about bringing people together, not only in the online community, but in our community as well.

10. It’s artsy: From music to art to eco-fashion, elephant has it all and supports those who express themselves in an artistic way. Like this Wearable Art article.

It is really just a great environment to work in, voice your opinions, support good-hearted values and try to lend an eco-friendly hand to make a small difference in the world.

Katie Feldhaus is a News & Editorial Journalism student at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is an editorial intern at She is currently living in Boulder and is a Colorado native, who loves being active and doing anything outside.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


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