Annabelle Schmitt

The Tab, CollegeFashionista
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Annabelle Schmitt

Major: Chinese, PR/Advertising
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Kennett Square, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity while searching for internships online. I wrote for the Tab for a semester after hearing about them from a friend and learned about their internship program after that semester. I discovered CollegeFashionista while searching for internships online.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internships improved my writing in a variety of ways. I learned how to properly interview others over Skype, through email, and in person. I learned about fashion journalism and blogging, and how to write posts that go deeper than just "telling" who someone is and what an outfit looks like. CollegeFashionista has also allowed me to build my Instagram and social media presence, which is a skill necessary for public relations majors. Typical college courses cannot teach these skills, so this was extremely valuable. I even received feedback on my Instagram to learn how I can improve my personal brand. With the Tab, I worked closely with an editor to develop my own story ideas and pick up breaking news stories. I learned to cover events and write hard-hitting opinion editorials. I particularly enjoyed the chance to attend political events such as the #NotMyPresident protest and Tim Kaine's event. I was able to reflect on such experiences as I wrote about them, deepening my own appreciation for politics.

"After participating in these internships, I discovered a passion for writing and fashion I did not have before."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internships allowed me to explore areas of interest outside my classes at Penn State. After participating in these internships, I discovered a passion for writing and fashion I did not have before. I even took on a second major, the public relations advertising option, as a result of realizing my talent and passion for writing, photography, social media, etc.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

It's been hard trying to find internships that combine my interests, but when looking into internships for the summer, I came across one with Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The position was for a PR intern, and I knew it was the right internship for me. I have applied already, and I can thank my internship experiences this past semester for giving me the experience I need to be a qualified candidate for the position. Although I am not yet sure about what I want to do when I graduate, even the act of applying for that internship showed me that a job similar to that one would suit my interests perfectly. My internship experiences have certainly guided me closer and closer to the path I'm meant to be on.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Not every Liberal Arts student will find this experience to be the perfect fit. However, I believe that for those interested in writing, these internships are more than worth it. They serve as a great first internship, and if you continue with them, more opportunities for different internships open up, such as my onsite internship with The Tab. Those interested in politics may also find The Tab useful, as one can cover different political events or write for Subplot, The Tab's vertical for political coverage.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I became an official Paterno Fellow this semester and was thus able to apply for further funding for my onsite internship with the Tab. When I originally applied and was accepted, I was concerned about paying for housing, as The Tab doesn't provide any. Through Liberal Arts enrichment funds and the Paterno Fellows program, I was able to receive enough funding to cover all of my expenses.

For more information on internship opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website
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