Posted: October 15, 2009
By Magdalena Georgieva '10
Following in the steps of your favorite writers can lead you down unexpected paths in life. For Mount Holyoke's Marianna Nash ’11, it led to a summer internship with Ms. magazine, the groundbreaking women's rights periodical that has published many of her favorite authors' short fiction stories.
“I wanted to be part of a magazine that has produced so much important work,” said Nash, who is now a news editor for the Mount Holyoke News.
An English major with a politics minor, Nash sought funding for an editorial internship at Ms. through the Career Development Center and received a stipend from the Mildred Altman Summer Internship Fund, enabling her to take the position at the magazine's sunny Beverly Hills office, far from her home in Queens, New York. Through the Alumnae Association’s networking Web site LifeNet, Nash contacted Jessica Dial '96, who helped her find a comfortable apartment in Westwood in time to start work.
While editorial interns elsewhere are usually assigned less important tasks, Nash was asked to fact-check the magazine's leading stories and write a short article and several news briefs. “The best thing about it was the amount of writing they let us do,” she said.
One of her most exciting assignments was fact-checking an article, titled “Baghdad Underground,” about a secret network of women's shelters in Iraq. “I did whatever had to be done to make sure the things we were printing were correct,” she said.
When she noticed the story included sensitive information about the shelters’ locations, Nash contacted the author’s main source, Iraqi activist Yanar Mohammed. The source confirmed that some pieces of information in the article were indeed too revealing and jeopardized the safety of the women in the shelters. Ms. removed this information from the story.
In response to Nash's diligent work, the Iraqi activist said that all magazines need the work ethics of Ms. For Nash, this response was the most rewarding moment in her internship.