Every big league outfit needs scouts and a farm system, and our intern program is SI's way of uncovering and developing editorial talent. Each year we give a half dozen collegians or recent college graduates several months of indoctrination in the inner workings of the magazine, with all parties keeping an eye on the future.
Among our current crop of six interns, the one who has been with us longest is Alan Shipnuck, a sports staffer at UCLA's Daily Bruin who came to New York in January to work on our GolfPlus section. Shipnuck won the job last summer with a convincing sales pitch to me on the 1st tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, where he was a starter. While working primarily as a reporter and fact checker. Shipnuck has also done some writing, filing stories from the Masters and the U.S. Open as well as notes from the LPGA, senior and Nike tours. He will return to the Daily Bruin in the fall as a senior but will also be a correspondent for us in California. "I'm living a dream," he says. "All you can hope for is to get a chance."
Brett Forrest, a sports editor at the Michigan Daily, is also interning with us as a reporter to gauge his interest in a sports-journalism career. Though he harbors dreams of covering hockey for SI—he once laced up his skates while sitting between NHL stars Gordie Howe and Eric Lindros—Forrest also has broader interests. The college senior has written a screenplay (a CIA thriller) and plans to try his hand at writing fiction. "I'm young and idealistic," he says. "I have thoughts of grand things."
Stephanie Storm, who is a senior at Kent State and the associate managing editor of the Daily Kent Stater, is already sold on sports journalism. Last summer she interned as a sports writer at The New York Times. This summer she is with us fact-checking and learning the nuances of the magazine world. In that role she misses the action of being on a beat: "I like to be out reporting, running down stories and going after the story behind the event. But after a couple of years as a newspaper sports reporter, my ultimate goal is to come back to SI as a writer."
Lars Anderson, who earned a master's degree from Columbia University's journalism school in May, has been interning in our news bureau—while writing a novel about the failed supercollider project. Anderson also hopes to be back at SI after a newspaper stint.
Jason Levine, a senior at Columbia, was such a success as an intern in our photo department last summer that we asked him to return to his role as a jack-of-all-trades this summer. Alas, the former associate photo editor and production manager of the Columbia Daily Spectator has no plans to return to us after this stint is over. He intends to go to medical school.
Tonya Leslie graduated from New Paltz ( N.Y.) College in May with a triple major in English, secondary education and black studies. Leslie has applied for secondary-school teaching positions in upstate New York, but her time in our copy department has left her with the dream of one day starting a magazine of her own. "I'm trying to learn everything about everything while I'm here," she says. And then, no doubt speaking for her fellow interns, she adds, "This is a fabulous opportunity. You have to take advantage of it."