National Review, founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley Jr., is the nation’s premier journal of conservative thought. It publishes policy analysis, political reporting, book reviews, culture commentary, and reflection on first principles. Its staff and writers are a mix of traditionalist conservatives, classical liberals, and contemporary libertarians.
The Director's Intern will work in NR’s New York headquarters and be engaged in every step of the editorial process. She or he will participate in content-planning, conduct background research, copy-edit, fact-check, produce content for the website, and write blog posts and articles.
2017 Intern Reflection:
My time at National Review has been one of intellect, candor, and learning. Prior to interning here, I had no experience in journalism yet that never once stopped me of NR’s staff from believing in my ability to succeed in this realm of public service. Each day, I woke up happy to start another day at NR. From our daily morning conference meetings where we’d pitch article ideas that we were passionate about, to unforgettable lunches and conversations with other interns and employees; from editing other pieces and learning things you’ve never conceptualized to speaking with authors, lawyers, advocates, and whoever else works or is invited to NR on a weekly basis, this experience has been nothing short of amazing.
A bit quieter about my political opinions on Harvard’s campus, NR’s environment encouraged me to speak more candidly about the things that I believed in. I spent my summer writing pieces on free campus speech, abortion, welfare, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and President Trump’s tweets. The experience I’ve gained and the skills that I’ve learned have not only made me a better writer, editor, and intellectual, but have also bolstered my love for journalism and the efforts that go into the dissemination of political news. After these eight weeks, I’ve felt much more equipped to talk about politics and public policy and more confident in my opinions.
The best part of my time here has been reflecting on my own advancements and being proud to have come such a long way in such a short amount of time. The attitude here, as expressed by a member of the NR staff, is that “th[is] internship is supposed to be educational” and that we are “writing, being published, and learning” and should be proud of that. I would whole-heartedly recommend this internship for anyone that is either passionate about writing in politics or has no experience and would like to try something new. If you have a voice and want it heard, take the time to apply to not only work in the field of journalism, but learn from some of the incredible interns and employees that NR hires, just as I did this summer.
Sapna Rampersaud '19
2016 Intern Reflection:
National Review is quite the place.
At NR, an intern's day begins with a morning planning meeting, at which you are encouraged to pitch your piece ideas and discuss current political events with the staff writers and editors. In these meetings, you are truly treated as an equal, and the supportive intellectual atmosphere at during that hour each morning was my favorite part of the internship. After that, your day is spent writing your piece, receiving edits from your editors, and re-writing. On the side, you may also be assigned other odd jobs and tasks, like proofreading pieces from the print magazine (which is separate from National Review Online) or completing research tasks for the writers and editors. Besides that, you have the opportunity to keep up with the day's political events while also engaging in meaningful discussion on almost any topic you like. Because my internship was during the summer of an election year, conversations tended to revolve around Trump, Hillary, and the surrounding craziness, but we also discussed topics ranging from the culture on college campuses to Brexit to Asian/African dictators and beyond. As long as my idea was solid and my writing was good, I could write on any topic I wanted to, and that flexibility allowed me to really improve my writing skills and think more critically about things I care about. Online pieces and posts I wrote received hundreds of comments and shares, and one of my op-ed's was picked up by Real Clear Politics. On the print side of things (which is bi-weekly), I was able to write short pieces for the Week section at the beginning of the magazine, and also proofread longer articles and features written by some of the greatest writers and thinkers in the world.
Beyond the actual day-to-day writing and tasks, NR is just an amazing place to work. The staff is kind, supportive, and engaging, but are also incisive, insightful, and willing to defend and advance their principles with aplomb. And because the magazine is small relative to other massive media organizations, interns have a great opportunity to interact with staff at all levels, from fellow interns to senior editors. In getting to know the other members of NR, I learned as much about being a good teammate at a magazine as I did about writing and critical analysis, and for that I am very thankful.
If you are interested in conservatism, journalism, writing, or all three, I highly recommend this internship to you. I promise that you will learn more than you could imagine, and that you will have a blast doing so. When I think about my eight weeks at NR, all I can say is that it was truly, one of the best experiences of my life. Looking back, I laugh at the nervous at the intern who was unsure about this whole thing - I couldn't imagine having spent my summer any other way. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the internship, and please, please, please: apply for it.
Andrew Badinelli '18
2015 Intern Reflection:
William F. Buckley, founder of National Review, once said, “A conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” Unsurprisingly, my internship at NR was an exercise in “Stop!”-yelling and athwart-standing--that is to say, I spent this summer sharpening my classical-liberal values, learning how to write with more zeal and candor, and contributing to an earnest discussion on how to reform today’s dangerous political zeitgeist.
In the spirit of the liberty we were espousing, the three other interns and I were free to pitch our own ideas during our daily morning meeting, most of which we were able to write up into full-fledged pieces on National Review Online with our very own by-lines. I also wrote pieces for “The Week” section of the biweekly print magazine. Among a dozen other topics, I wrote on the death penalty, the Pope’s encyclical, and the tenth anniversary of Supreme court case Kelo v. New London. All of these pieces attracted a ton of traffic in the comments section, and many even got picked up by other news sites and blogs.
But the best part of this internship was learning from the writers and editors on the political and intellectual cutting edge. The office culture here is one of constant and unapologetic learning. The staff taught me investigative skills, like how to access and make sense of financial disclosure forms; intellectual skills, like how to produce concrete, verifiable arguments over visceral ones; and personal skills, like how to take an unpopular but necessary stance with aplomb. For all this I am thankful, and I recommend this internship to anyone interested in courageous journalism.
Shub Chhokra ’18