One of the most rewarding aspects of ABC’s nonprofit educational mission for many of us on the ABC staff is our internship program. In past issues of HerbalGram we have profiled the activities of various pharmacy and nutrition interns, and we have also published articles by our editorial interns who major in journalism and English.
In 2005 we were fortunate to receive an intern named Courtney Cavaliere, a graduate student working on her master’s degree in journalism. Courtney impressed us
Cavaliere and Claudia
immediately. Her writing was excellent, she seldom made any typographical or spelling errors, and even her first drafts of articles were formatted properly and almost perfect. Also impressive was how this highly intelligent young woman was able to grasp what many people would consider fairly esoteric concepts related to the research, marketing, and regulation of herbs, dietary supplements, phytomedicines, plant-derived “nutraceutical” ingredients, etc.
Courtney spent about 9 months with us as a highly productive and prolific intern. When her internship was almost over, I asked her about her future plans. She told me that she would like to stay at ABC and work on HerbalGram and HerbalEGram, our then new electronic newsletter that is sent to all ABC members monthly. Within a nanosecond, I decided to hire her, and I instructed our finance manager to squeeze some funding from the budget so we could keep her.
This is probably one of the best management decisions I have ever made! HerbalGram (and HerbalEGram) readers already know her name; she usually has 6-10 bylines in almost every issue of HerbalGram and also writes most of the articles for HerbalEGram. She is responsible for many of our HerbalGram features, having co-authored the article on Wisconsin ginseng growers (see page 54 in this issue) and written the article on slippery elm conservation in our last issue (#74). And there are many more.
When given an assignment for a topic to write up, it is not uncommon for Courtney to send me a first draft within 2448 hours, with the article seemingly ready for publication, with numerous references and interviews of experts already included.
Not only does Courtney write well, she also is instrumental in our editorial process. She has now risen to the position of helping to supervise new journalism interns, and she also helps to manage our extensive peer-review process, among other editorial tasks.
There’s an old expression in business: “If you want to succeed, one of the first things you must do is hire people who are smarter than you!” I try to do this every time I am involved in the hiring process. In Courtney’s case, this is certainly true!