MBA student leads journalism session

The Daily Pennsylvanian
February 18, 1998

Paul Sherman

Who said Wharton students can't write?

The Kelly Writers House kicked off a semester-long workshop series yesterday on freelance writing with a seminar by first-year Wharton graduate student Paul Sherman, an experienced journalist, who told interested undergraduates about a career in journalism.

The meeting, attended by about seven people, was designed to inforrn students about the process of becoming a journalist or a freelance writer.

To be a successful journalist, Sherman said a love of the language is key.

"You have to be persistent, thrive off of new events and meeting people, and really love writing," he said.

Sherman added that he hoped "to demystify freelance writing for students."

Sherman, who graduated from Brown University five years ago, worked as a news assistant in the New York Times Mexico City bureau for three years.. He has also written freelance articles for Time magazine and The Miami Herald.

After coming to Penn last August, Sherman became involved in the Kelly Writers House as a way to interact with more writers.

"Paul Sherman came in and really liked the atmosphere," said Kerry Sherin, the resident coordinator of the Kelly Writers House. "He'll be a great resource for students who aren interested in making. the transition from student to journalist."

Aside from Sherman's informative teachings about the profession, the direction the journalist workshop will take depends primarily upon the participants.

Suggestions at the first meeting ranged from peer-reviewing each other's work to collaborating on an article for publication.

Many of the participants yesterday showed a serious interest in producing nonfiction writing. Several of them are current writers and editors for campus publications, including The Daily Pennsylvanian, and almost all have published works in magazines or circulating journals. They said they planned to use the workshop as a conduit to learn from each other's experiences.

"Students who attend this, workshop will have access to Paul Sherman as a resource," Sherin said. "But they will also have access to each other, upon which they can bring their ideas to fruition."

Although Penn has no official journalism program, Sherman noted that the University supports journalism through the resources of the Annenberg School for Communication and other writing activities sponsored by the Kelly Writers House. Additionally, many alumni have been successful in journalism and the media industry.

In addition, several department in the University give students a solid foundation and basic knowledge through which they can start journalism careers.

"Political science or philosophy offers a good background to write, Sherman said. "You can always mix journalism with the liberal arts."