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Internship opportunities lead ASU student to post-graduation success

December 09, 2013

Student Edward Chaney has never received a grade lower than an “A” in his entire college career. It’s true, we checked.

And, no, he doesn’t spend all of his time in the library. In fact, he divides his time between school, internships and creating a life with his new wife.  

Chaney is using the benefits of his father’s G.I. Bill to attend Arizona State University, where he is studying creative writing in the Department of English. Through the department’s internship coordinator, Ruby Macksoud, Chaney has landed a series of internships that have provided hands-on training in the field.  

The first was a position teaching English as a second language (ESL) to women from Taiwan. He also worked with the Hayden’s Ferry Review, pouring over submissions, editing and putting together the publication’s yearly magazine.

“Sometimes your intro writing classes can be a lot like the Youtube comment section. Peers will just throw out opinions. This internship allowed me to think critically about a body of work to voice an opinion on the plot, characters, storyline, everything,” he said.

For his final internship with the Jeollanamdo Language Program, Chaney flew across the world to Korea, where he taught English through the visual use of comic books.

“It allowed me to be really creative. I would use the graphics to explain the characters and describe them. I would also use interjections like 'bam’ and 'pow,' and pretend to be a superhero to drive home the point,” he said.

The experience was so profound that he is going back again next year to teach. His wife, Kristen, also was accepted to the program and will be putting her teaching degree to work in the classroom. Chaney says he will be teaching 22 classes a week for one year with the possibility to extend another year. While abroad, the pair would like to travel to Japan, Malaysia and Laos.  

Chaney is set to graduate from ASU on Dec. 16 in Wells Fargo Arena. He says the best part of his college experience was working with the Department of English faculty and staff.

“I’m really thankful for Ruby and my advisor Linda Sullivan. I told them my ideas and they connected me with the right people to make it happen,” he said.

As for the future, he plans to take a job as an ESL teacher in California when he returns from Korea. Chaney is hoping that he can use his comedic life experiences to one day make a living as a comic book writer.

“I was in Lake Havasu once and it was so hot that my tires literally melted. I’ve also kicked a shark while surfing. It’s easily enough material for a book,” he said.