Former SR Intern Carter Nacke, Web Content Editor for KTAR

Little did I know, my future career began when I was a junior at Arizona State University. I was  enrolled as a slightly-disinterested print journalism major in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism – prestigious, I know – with a tourism minor. My goal was to become a travel writer, like those fortunate enough to be sent around the world to extravagant locations, much like the hosts of Travel Channel Shows.

But then I took a class entitled Business and Future of Journalism. Not only was I exposed to the fact that my field of journalism was forecasted – not predicted, forecasted – to be extinct within 30 years, but I also learned that the future of journalism as a whole was quickly moving to the digital realm, something I only used to submit papers or slaughter a few friends in Call of Duty. Having been faced with the very real possibility of graduating college into a dying field, I decided to bite the bullet and enroll myself in an online media course, hoping it would at least move my resume further up in the pile of the eventually unemployed.

I loved my online media class. I went from a person who basically only used the Internet to access Wikipedia to a full-blown web geek. I even took the advanced portion of the course the next semester, learning to design my own webpages and how to make Flash objects. I found myself shifting away from the ideal of being a travel writer (another job that could soon be left hungry) to some sort of multimedia journalist, something I still am pursuing.

I interned with a local radio station’s website, News/Talk 92.3 KTAR. While I spent my time, as many interns do, performing menial site updates, transcribing audio and maybe working on a few press releases, I did get to experience a fair bit of breaking news. At the end of the internship, I inquired about employment, was told there were no openings (I probably shouldn’t have shown up 30 minutes late a few times), but we parted ways amicably.

Fast forward one year. To make ends meet, I was bartending and managing a restaurant that I had worked at since I was 18. But then I got a call from my old boss at KTAR, who was looking for immediate help. I took the job and was moved from a part-time employee to a full-time Web Content Editor at KTAR.com in December 2011, after a year of working poor shifts and bugging my boss daily to bump me up.

Looking back on it, a series of well-taken hints and a leap of faith lead me to my current job, but it’s much more than that. I graduated with honors from a prestigious journalism school. I worked hard to make ends meet and even turned down a few job offers from sites like Yelp! that I knew were not for me. I held out for the job that would allow me to pay the bills, but that would also interest and challenge me.

What I took from everything was this: try everything you can once. Don’t take no for an answer and don’t sell yourself short. The economy and job market are really, really bad right now. You have to fight for every inch. But if you don’t fight for it, no one is sitting by waiting to help. Sometimes you have to make ends meet and there’s no shame in that, but make sure, when you sign that W-2 at the start of your new career, you’re where you want to be and doing what you want to do.

Catching Up with Past Interns

I am happy to bring you an exciting post this week that has been in the works for a while– an interview with Superstition Review interns from previous semesters. Here’s what they had to say about what they’re up to now, how SR helped them get there, and what they wish they had known when they were interns. Enjoy!

Superstition Review: What have you been doing since your internship with Superstition Review?

Sara Scoville: After graduating from ASU in May ’09, I have continued to conduct research for a collection of essays I’ve been working on since my last semester. The topic focuses on interaction and the relationships that form in the online gaming community amongst alpha males. I also work full time as a supervisor at a direct marketing company.

Melissa Silva: I’m now applying to work as an intern for Nordstrom. As a Capital Scholar, I’m applying to work for NPR and other media outlets in DC this summer.

Riki Meier: I’ve been working full-time at ASU during the day, and also taking a few independent study courses. Late last fall, I completed several graduate school applications, and I’m excited to say I was just accepted into the English PhD program at Tufts University! They are offering me full funding for five years. I’m absolutely thrilled as I know Tufts has an excellent program and I also love the Boston area!

Carter Nacke: Since working at Superstition Review, I have turned my focus to graduating. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be graduating in May with a degree in Print Journalism from the Cronkite School.

Alex Linden: Since my internship with Superstition Review, I finished my last year at Arizona State and applied to MFA programs for Poetry. I now attend Oklahoma State University and this semester will finish the first year of my MFA.

SR: Do you think your experience with Superstition Review has helped with what you’re doing now? How?

SS: I believe it most certainly has. I’ve worked for the same company for 12 years, so it was definitely nice to do something different. Trish is an amazing person and I absolutely loved learning from her! One thing that I appreciated most about her is the amount of trust and faith she had in me. It’s because of her belief in my abilities that I have a stronger sense of confidence in both my writing and professional life.

MS: Experience with publishing and Excel I think has helped reassure companies that I’m qualified to work for them.

RM: I do think that my work at Superstition Review helped my admission chances at Tufts, as Tufts has a reputation for wanting well-rounded (and diversified) applicants. Although I am going for a research degree, I think the fact I worked as an editor at a national literary magazine demonstrated that I don’t have only an analytical mind; I have a strong creative inclination as well.

CN: I think my experience did help. While I was in charge of financing and fundraising (which I’d never done before), SR helped me learn to balance work and school. I also saw first-hand how magazines are produced, which is extremely helpful for my magazine writing class.

AL: My experience with SR has definitely helped with what I do now. I believe my chances of getting into MFA programs would have been much less had I not done the internship. More importantly, I was exposed to the literary world and inspired to pursue similar work in the future. I now read for the Cimarron Review.

SR: Is there any advice you’d like to give current Superstition Review interns?

SS: Have respect for everyone involved throughout the entire process. Ask for help if you need it, and be willing to help if someone needs you. The success of the issue is dependent upon every single intern, so open lines of communication are of the utmost importance. Also, be proud of and enjoy what you’re contributing to the literary community.

MS: Work hard and try to learn as much as you can. I learned a lot about communicating professionally online and using Excel.

RM: For the current editors soliciting work from writers, I would say that one should approach soliciting writers like they should approach applying to graduate schools. One should have a number of “long-shots” writers on the list that one dreams of publishing, but the chances of publishing that person may be slim. Soliciting someone like Toni Morrison or Salman Rushdie may be analogous to applying to graduate school at Princeton or Harvard. If you diversify your solicitation list, you have far greater chances of getting lots of great literary pieces for review!

CN: Current interns: Get your stuff done early. Take it from someone who knows, assignments and work can pile up on you before you know what’s going on!

AL: Take advantage of every opportunity your internship provides. Research other literary journals, contact the writers you admire, and don’t read all of the submissions at once. 🙂