Mia Sherin ’22 came to Kenyon knowing she wanted to write. So she did — op-eds for the Kenyon Collegian, academic essays and creative pieces for her English major. But still, “I honestly had no sense of what it would look like to be a writer in real life,” Sherin said. “I knew I enjoyed writing, and Kenyon definitely made me a good writer,” she noted. But the skillset required for an editorial career looked different than what she’d been honing in the classroom.
“I was always messaging different alumni and having calls with them,” said Sherin, who regularly tapped the Kenyon Career Network for connections and advice. When Assistant Professor of Political Science Lisa Leibowitz connected her with James Dennin ’13, a New York City-based writer, something clicked.
Through the Career Development Office’s Professional Extension Program, in which Kenyon alumni and parents create learning opportunities for students designed to emulate real-world work, Dennin worked with Sherin to develop her career aspirations. “He opened my eyes to how I could be a writer as an actual career that’s sustainable,” she said. Through Dennin, Sherin connected with people at the Bustle Digital Group, where she scored a fall internship. She also met editors at various digital publications, where she wrote freelance on topics ranging from TikTok influencers to personal finance.
During her senior year, Sherin was introduced by Dennin to Cooper Fleishman ’09, a longtime writer and editor who’d made the leap to audience development work at the agency Giant Spoon, where he oversaw audience strategy for the newly-relaunched Departures magazine. “She asked what skills she should pick up before entering the job market,” noted Fleishman. “I said, ‘Learn SEO!’,” referring to the process known as search engine optimization. “Amazingly, she didn’t hang up and quit journalism forever.” The two kept in touch, and early in Sherin’s final semester at Kenyon, a job opened up at Giant Spoon.