I’m graduating from college in less than a month. I was overlooking my transcript, checking to see if I would actually graduate (I will, thank goodness!), and it said that out of the 12 maximum amount of credits allotted to “internships,” I have zero. This could not be further from the reality of things. I would say that in my year working at FOX CITIES Magazine, the journalistic experience I have gained clocks in at much more than “12.”
I always knew that I had a knack for writing, but writing for FOX CITIES Magazine opened my eyes to journalism specifically. How can you make a story about a hot sauce interesting? How do you craft a story out of medical jargon that you barely understand, and make it relatable to an audience? How do you say what you want to say in less than 100 words?
What my English major from college could not teach me, FOX CITIES did. While college taught me how to write an analytical paper, journalism taught me that writing does not need to be insular, it doesn’t need to happen “in a vacuum.” Quite the opposite: writing is about people. You have to talk to people to get the story, you have to think about the people who are going to read it, you have to work together with other people who actually produce the magazine. Journalism is a creative arrangement of the facts, turning a snapshot of reality into an engaging story that a broad range of people would be interested in reading.
On a more personal level, FOX CITIES Magazine has allowed me to make Appleton, Wisconsin and the surrounding area more of a home. The magazine has brought me onto the stage and into the audience of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. It has sent me to lake houses with friendly neighbors, the recesses of the kitchen, local farms, to the comfortable chair of your own home. Through my work, I have been able to understand the actual essence of living in the Fox River Valley.
I know you’re all asking, “What are you going to do after graduation?” They all ask it. Well, here goes. After planning an extensive cross-country road trip with a friend and making the incredibly tough decision to postpone it, I will be in…Appleton this summer. (Look out for my band, Holy Sheboygan! in a local bar near you.) After that, I’m thinking it’s either going to be the road trip, or Nashville-bound, pursuing music for awhile. Mom says I need to have health insurance by the time I’m 26, so I suppose I will be looking for a journalism job somewhere in this beautiful country by then.
As this chapter in my life ends and propels me into the beginning of the next, I am incredibly grateful. Thank you to all of the FOX CITIES Magazine staff for the great lessons, collaborations, food (and recipes), and support. Thank you to all who read the magazine. It has been rewarding for me to write for you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Based on my experience here, I feel as if I can live anywhere and write about anything, so long as I have the support of a team and the loyalty of the community.
Other excellent interns will fill this position and write for all of you these upcoming years, and I will be moving elsewhere to pursue a writing/music career. But just as the ink on the pages of your magazine does not fade, neither will my memories and appreciation of this place and the people in it.
—By Cameron Carrus
Cameron, you are irreplaceable — a true one-of-a-kind. We can’t wait to celebrate your future successes with you, because there will be many.