Alumni Spotlight: Troi Ratchford

HEARST – Alumni Spotlights highlight the success of THF interns with Hearst, a long standing supporter and the Foundation’s first Platinum Diversity Partner.

Troi Ratchford (THF ‘19)(THF ‘20)

Tell us about your host company, Hearst.
Hearst is the definition of a dream company. From a diverse set of employees to an empathetic CEO, Hearst has all that you want in a job. Throughout my internship, I never actually felt like an intern. They treated us as if we were truly a part of the company. That’s what makes Hearst stand out. The interns are just as integral to the company’s operations as any executive is. And, the cool swag and other benefits didn’t hurt either.

Please share your title.
Special Projects Associate in the Men’s Enthusiast Group

Please describe your duties & responsibilities.
I worked with both the Special Projects team and gear testing teams to build a company pitch list for deals and partnerships and uploaded those deals onto a software called Abenity. I also pitched events to increase membership to premium subscriptions for Runner’s World and Popular Mechanics. In addition, I conducted research on how to bring brand awareness to a younger audience and created multiple influencer campaigns.

How did your role/department fit into Hearst’s overall business objective/mission?
My department was responsible for extending the reach of these niche magazines beyond who you would initially expect. Bringing awareness (and interest) of running, bicycling, science and other topics to people of younger generations is both rewarding and inspirational. It fits into the bigger picture of people expanding their minds to learn new things.

What did a typical day look like for you?
A typical day included sending out surveys to current subscribers, researching start-up companies relevant to our brands, and sitting on meetings to understand the strategy of magazine subscriptions.

What did you like most about interning with Hearst?
I loved how many people throughout the business we were able to meet and interact with! We had a new speaker almost every day, and Hearst always made sure to choose people with different areas of expertise and people of diverse backgrounds. I was able to broaden my network more than I have at any other internship. And to be connected with Mr. Swartz (CEO) is just truly amazing!

What were the most rewarding and challenging parts of your role?
The most rewarding part of my role was my final presentation by far. I have never conducted a presentation virtually, and was really anxious about the whole process. Nonetheless, I was more than excited to offer suggestions to the editor-in-chiefs of these brands, with actual data that I collected to support them. The most challenging part of my role was just understanding the basics of the magazine industry. I am more so familiar with the entertainment sector, and my team had tons of acronyms and phrases they used daily that I was unfamiliar with – luckily, they always took the moment to teach me something new!

What particular (hard/soft) skills or talents were most essential to be effective in your internship role?
The skills that were most essential to be effective in my internship role were writing, research, data collection/analysis, and public relations.

How has your Hearst internship made an impact on your career?
The Hearst internship opened my mind to a career in the publishing industry. That was not something I would have otherwise considered. I also have a more well-rounded knowledge on publicity, as I now have a sense of the journalists’ perspective. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with, and my relationship with the other associates was just the cherry on top!

What advice would you give to THF interns as they begin internships/careers in media?
My advice to THF interns is to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you during your internship. If there is a speaker panel, do your research beforehand and ask good questions. If you have some free time, ask to shadow one of your colleagues or request an informational with someone on your team. Try to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can, because the experience will be over before you know it. Make friends with the other interns and HAVE FUN!