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Working Women We Love: Mary Norkol

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.

Mary is a senior majoring in journalism and global/international studies with a French minor.

1. I know for a fact that you are currently holding a couple of different positions (internships, jobs etc), what are they and can you briefly explain what you do for each?  

I’m the editor-in-chief of Loyola’s student newspaper, the Loyola Phoenix, meaning I manage a group of about 18 staff members who work in everything from reporting to social media to web. I also read and edit every article that we publish and help writers and editors if they need it. I’m also an editorial intern at the Chicago Sun-Times, which means I’m kind of a jack of all trades. I’ve been mostly working with the murals and mosaics project tracking down artists to talk to them about their work, but sometimes I get to work on general assignment stories as well. Lastly, I work as a freelance breaking news reporter for the Daily Herald. I work remotely, which is nice, and I just jump on any breaking news in the northwest suburbs and write a quick article.

2. How do you manage everything on top of school? In what ways do you utilize your time differently than other students?

I’ve gotten used to doing my homework whenever I have a spare second – on the train, in between classes, etc. I also know sometimes I’ll have to stay up late or get up early to get everything done. And weekends are a lifesaver, I’ll usually spend several hours catching up on schoolwork either Saturday or Sunday. I’ve also figured out how to do my homework efficiently while still making sure I understand everything.

3. What has been the most interesting experience you’ve had in any given internship/job? 

It’s hard to pick just one. Any night in the Phoenix newsroom is an interesting experience in itself, and I’ve been able to learn a lot more about our university than I would have if I didn’t work for The Phoenix. Outside of that, I love getting sent out on stories for the Sun-Times. My first piece was a news feature on independent bookstores. If you know me, you know hanging out in local bookstores all day hardly felt like work.

4. Is there anything you want to fit in before you graduate, work-wise?

I want to do a little more reporting for The Phoenix before I graduate. I worked as news editor my junior year, which meant I was cranking out 2-3 articles each week, and now in my new role I don’t get to do that as much. Frankly, I miss being the one to ask the hard questions. I also hope I can help out more younger reporters! I love taking reporters under my wing and helping them navigate the university, writing drafts, working with editors, etc.

5. The fun part: what’s your dream job?

This is SUCH a hard question because I think I have about 12 dream jobs. All of them involve me working for a newspaper though – I’m not inclined to work in broadcast or radio. I’d like to work for a major daily paper. After my work with The Phoenix, I’ve become accustomed to reporting on difficult topics (suicide, sexual assault, street crime, LGBTQ issues, etc.) and I’d love to continue that. I think my job as a journalist is to amplify voices that need it, and hold institutions accountable at the same time. I’m all about the truth, hence my blunt personality. I also think it would be really interesting to focus on higher education in my reporting – my work with The Phoenix has taught me that each university functions almost like a town, complete with its own government, residents, etc. I guess that’s all a long-winded way of saying I’m not sure what my DREAM job is, but as long as I’m a reporter, I’ll be happy. If that doesn’t work out, well, I might be screwed.


Her Campus LUC CC Diana is a senior at Loyola University Chicago pursuing a bachelors degree in Creative Advertising, with a minor in Visual Communication. As a self-proclaimed horror novel enthusiast, avid drinker of intricate coffees, and pseudo art aficionado, Diana hopes to share her wide array of passions with the HERCampus readers.