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Internships led journalism alumna to job she loves

June 30, 2009

A degree at Arizona State University can lead a Sun Devil just about anywhere. The following is part of a series that shows how ASU's young alumni are already making their mark on the state, nation and world. 

Ashlea Deahl gets puzzled looks when she tells people what she does. But it doesn’t bother the Phoenix Magazine editor-in-chief, who turns 30 this year.

“I love my job, have fun with it, and I think my team and I have made the magazine better than it’s ever been,” says Deahl, who graduated in 2003 with a degree in journalism.

Looking back, Deahl’s path to graduation was a bit like an obstacle course. Originally a communications major, Deahl was convinced by a journalism professor to switch majors, so that she could apply for newspaper internships. A pivotal move, it led to her interning with Phoenix Magazine and the Boston Globe.

“The Boston Globe was always my dream paper growing up,” says Deahl.

Her 2004 internship afforded her the opportunity to write in-depth feature articles, front-page stories and music and comedy reviews.

Mixing several ongoing writing jobs with going to school and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 22, she says, lengthened her timeline to graduate. But it did not, however, deter her.

“I always knew what I wanted to do, so I took the right steps to get there,” she says.

Today, Deahl manages her MS with medication, monitors her energy levels and rests when she needs to.

“I don’t have the stamina to go out and be as social as most of my peers do, and I’ve learned to be OK with that,” she says.

While her body may need more time to rest these days, her mind makes up it, only gaining motivation for her work and her career.

“Just knowing that I’m doing exactly what I always set out to do keeps me motivated and inspires me to always reach for higher goals.”

By Cecile Duhnke