Maria Margaronis, who was a Nation intern in 1983, writes from The Nation's London bureau. Her work has appeared in many other publications, including the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and Grand Street. In this interview Fall 2010 Nation intern Devon Bancroft asks Maria about her work and for career advice for aspiring journalists.
1. How did you get from being an intern to where you are?
You mean my exalted perch in The Nation's London bureau? By refusing to leave the magazine, even when I moved to the other side of the Atlantic.
2. Are you driven more by creative interest or moral outrage?
Both. But the most interesting pieces to write are the ones where you're not sure what you think when you begin.
3. How did you meet your husband, fellow writer for The Nation, D.D. Guttenplan?
At a genteel sherry party in Cambridge when we were students. He said, "Is anyone here interested in student pahlitics?" I pretended I was.
4. What is your opinion of fellow ex-Nation intern, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg?
Nick Clegg is enabling the most devastating attack on the British welfare state since its inception. The changes being introduced by his coalition government will never be reversed. During the big demonstration against education cuts and tuition fees in London in November 2010 a lot of angry students carried signs saying "Clegg lied." I agree with them.
I have a lot more time for that other ex-Nation intern in British politics, Labour leader Ed Miliband. But he has a very tough job ahead.
5. Are you offended by the new American Tea Party? When will it end?
Offended is the wrong word. The rise of the Tea Party is of a piece with the triumph of neo-liberal, deficit hawk economics across Europe, which is pushing thousands into poverty. Everywhere democracy is held hostage by "the markets." Since the socialist baby got thrown out with the Communist bathwater in the early 1990s there's been no effective counterweight to the power of capital. It won't end until we have a new, intellectually coherent and popular opposition.
6. What's one thing you wish you could have known about networking?
That you have to do it. Don't be ashamed--everyone else is at it.
7. What advice would you give to recent intern alumni, current interns, or future interns?
Get involved with projects and campaigns you care about even if you don't think they'll ever lead to a job. Write about what matters to you and get your work out there. Don't let career anxiety derail your real commitments. On the other hand, see my answer to question 6.