This year’s interns, Minna Jaffery, ’15, and Kathryn Vandervalk, ’16. (Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)

Internal affairs

Stepping into the whirlwind at the Magazine.

Each June brings a Monday morning when two College students appear at the Magazine’s offices for their first day as summer interns. They walk into a whirlwind. Inevitably, the start date falls during deadline week, when the whole staff is rushing about, headless-chicken-like, to get the July–Aug issue done. New blood in, new issue out—almost.

Associate editors Lydialyle Gibson and Jason Kelly, who run the intern program, plan ahead to ensure the newcomers have reporting and writing to dive into while the rest of us hunker down with proofing and production. But first impressions count, and they get a glimpse of us at our most manic: editing after the time for editing has passed, crowdsourcing puns for headlines, double-checking facts, running from color printer to proofreader’s desk to designer’s. Laughing a lot and not-quite-crying a little. What must they think of us?

Historically they’ve been unfazed, or tactful. This year’s interns, Minna Jaffery, ’15, and Kathryn Vandervalk, ’16, are no exception. They’re doing a wonderful job of acting as if the people around them are acting completely normal. We really appreciate it.

Minna is an English and Near Eastern languages and cultures double major who grew up in the Middle East. This summer she’s catching up on classic novels that weren’t assigned in her Bahrain high school—The Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Lolita, for instance—and reading contemporary Middle Eastern fiction for her BA thesis. She loves F. Scott Fitzgerald and London, where she studied last autumn quarter.

Kathryn came to the College from New Jersey, drawn by the Core curriculum. She’s majoring in English and performance studies, with mock trial and theater for extracurriculars, and gives campus tours for the admissions office. Growing up near New York City, she saw a lot of Broadway plays and admires Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? above all.

Look for Minna’s and Kathryn’s work in future print issues and on our website. Their stories will appear online regularly this summer as they help us provide fresh UChicago intelligence between mailings.

The Jeff Metcalf Internship Program, which has sponsored the Magazine’s interns since 1997, reached a milestone this year: 1,000 positions designated for students in the College (see “Summer Jobs Report”). Through alumni support, the Metcalfs offer UChicago students meaningful work and, unlike many internships of similar substance, meaningful pay. As part of the program from way back, we raise a glass to Career Advancement for reaching their grand—or we will, as soon as we get our heads back.