So we’re back in action at UR after what was, for me, a seemingly short winter break during which I split my time between three activities – working, as I’m currently in severe debt, eating every Christmas cookie not nailed to the floor and searching for a summer internship! (Yay.)

As a journalism major, I’m required to participate in an “independent study” to graduate. This is a fancy way of asking me to do an internship before finishing my primary coursework, and yeah – it’s kind of a big deal.

So, much to the pleasant surprise of my parents, I spent hours at home in front of my laptop, a plate of dangerously delicious holiday food sitting loyally by my side, exhausting every internship option imaginable.

Now, let’s not joke around. I have no complaints about being born and raised in Sauquoit, N.Y. But it is not, by any means, even close to being within an internship-laden area. So do I resign myself to yet another summer at home, working for a low-end city newspaper? Absolutely not. I had my sights set a tad bit higher – let’s say, anywhere but Central New York. There was just one teeny problem – please see my primary activity over break (working) – I am poor. I don’t feel the need to elaborate. The four letter word depresses me enough as it is.

Therefore, a significant restriction was impressed upon me: find an internship where you can live for free. Or as close to free as you can manage. Right.

I have family in Dallas and Baltimore, so I lowered my sights from New York and L.A. to the more manageable cities of Dallas and Washington D.C. and searched on every internship Web site you can imagine. I applied and applied and applied. And finally, I received a response!

I was in a hotel room having a cocktail hour with friends when a restricted number popped up on my cell phone. Curiosity got the best of me and, cocktails impeding my better judgment, I answered the call.

Luckily, it was the Copy Editor of an up-and-coming magazine entitled MCLA: The Lax Magazine, calling to offer me an internship. The catch – while the editor is stationed in Dallas, this magazine is so up-and-coming that it has no home base yet! The writers, editors, advertisers, etc. reside all over the nation and submit their work via e-mail. In other words, my internship could be conducted from anywhere. Now I won’t lie, the offer sketched me out a bit at first. The promise of the required minimum of 10 hours of work per week and the opportunity to start immediately working for an “up-and-coming” magazine with no office? Ridiculously unconventional. However, a bit of research proved to me that the offer was legitimate. The Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) is devoted to the promotion of non-varsity collegiate lacrosse teams. It could provide me with the amount of work that I needed to receive credit for the internship, as well as the opportunity to really invest myself in the development of this magazine. I would work with subscriptions, advertising, interviewing and content. What more could an aspiring journalist ask for?

I immediately e-mailed my two UR advisors, the gentlemen who have the ultimate word as to whether this internship could complete my independent study. Amazingly, both agreed, but with the stipulation that I start the internship immediately to compensate for lacking an “in-office” experience. I would also keep a very thorough portfolio as a representation of my contributions to the publication for the duration of my internship. This portfolio would comprise the basis for my grade.

I’ve recently received my first writing assignment for the magazine: a 2,500-word team profile on Tulane University, which will hopefully be printed in February 2008. I am beyond excited to see my work in a nationally distributed magazine and am incredibly lucky to have this opportunity.

Nicewicz is a member of the class of 2009.

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