Castleton State College professors often share and flaunt stories detailing the success of past students with current ones. These stories are often about exciting and stimulating jobs in big and bright cities where past students landed after working their way up the grueling and cut-throat ranks.
But Courtney Parker, a 2013 graduate and former Spartan newspaper editor, is proving to all that you can be successful without wandering far from your alma mater.
During her time at CSC she completed a year-long internship at the Rutland Herald, which helped open her eyes to the world of journalism.
“Writing has always been a strong passion of mine,” Parker said. “My time here at Castleton let me see my full potential.”
Her internship eventually landed her a part-time gig writing in the Herald’s newsroom. You can now find her byline on stories about Rutland Town’s government and general stories about various activities and events happening on the streets of Rutland.
She said although she mostly gets positive feedback on her stories, she has found that, in journalism, it is impossible to make everyone happy when trying to be unbiased.
During her time at The Spartan newspaper, Parker said mentor and professor David Blow helped guide and encourage her to be the writer she is today.
“She was very driven and had a huge impact on the Spartan,” Blow said. “She showed up on weekends to design and organize. She really kicked it into gear as a junior. She went above and beyond and the Herald loved her! It speaks volumes.”
Fellow Spartan workers found her to be influential and someone they could look up to.
“She’s like a big sister, I call her grandma Spartan. I’ve learned a lot from her and from working with her,” said Martina Marchese, a senior and current editor of the Spartan.
Through writing, Parker has been exposed to experiences that most would have missed out on, from observing a man talking to his dog as if it was a child, to writing emotional stories about suicide. Parker said she could connect and relate to those who were close to Brian Dagle, through the suicide loss of one of her own friends in high school. She said writing the story on Dagle’s death was an internal and difficult battle, but she kept it professional while still showing the emotion and sadness that everyone was feeling.
Although Parker has graduated from CSC, you can still find her in the College Advancement Office as a college relations specialist. In the position, she works closely with Director of College Advancement Jeff Weld. Parker currently is working on the school website writing news, events and updates.
“The connections you make and opportunities you make for yourself may turn into a full-time job,” Parker said, as a message to underclassmen.
Although not all of the internships are paid positions, all the hard work can lead to a successful job in the future, she said.
Jeff Weld had many positive things to say about Parker.
“I think that the things we liked the most about Courtney was that she had a lot of skills and things going for her and as a student she never stopped developing her skills,” said Weld. He said he believes that because of her past as CSC, she has a great perspective of seeing things, as well as many connections to students and faculty here on campus. Weld sees many positive things in Parker’s future.
“My hope for Courtney would be that at some point she would have a full-time position here,” he said.