Where are they now?
An alumni profile of Jenn Sheridan
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According to the Sierra Nevada College website, “the Interdisciplinary Studies Program takes students beyond the traditional disciplines, encouraging them to make connections by thinking not in terms of ‘either/or’ but rather in ‘and.’” The program is intended to help students combine real world experience with their ideas and passions. Class of 2013 alumna Jenn Sheridan is the embodiment of these values.
After attending community college at College of the Siskiyous in her Northern California hometown of Weed, Sheridan transferred to SNC in 2011. She chose Interdisciplinary Journalism/ODAL as her major because it combined her two main areas of interest. “I’ve always been interested in reading and writing,” Sheridan said. “It was journalism that wrangled me in. But I was already choosing between going to school and going into a guiding program, so ODAL was the perfect combination.”
For her interdisciplinary service learning project, Sheridan collaborated with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. She delved through 10 years of Tahoe Rim Trail history and records and produced a digital history book that is still used today.
Sheridan credits her SNC journalism advisor, Tanya Canino, with helping her attain valuable experience and skills. “Tanya was really good at giving us real-world experience in journalism, and letting us do our own problem solving,” Sheridan said. “It was really helpful when I started working in the real world.”
Canino also encouraged Sheridan to apply for internships, which led her to a summer gig at Skiing magazine. After graduation, Sheridan put her degree to use by working at the local arts and entertainment magazine, Tahoe Weekly. Her experience at SNC and her Skiing magazine internship helped her move into an editorial position despite being the publication’s youngest employee. After several years, an assignment at Tahoe Weekly led her to connect with Jen Gurecki, co-founder of Coalition Snow, which calls itself “the first all-women’s ski and snowboard company.” Gurecki offered Sheridan a job working in marketing and co-running the winter demo tour for Coalition Snow. “We’re basically making fun skis, and marketing them to women who are looking for that,” Sheridan said.
While managing her job at Coalition Snow, Sheridan is also furthering her writing career by freelancing for Powder magazine and Teton Gravity Research. She credits her college and internship experience with helping her to establish valuable networking skills. Her advice to current SNC students is to “take advantage of the fact that [SNC] is such a small school, and your teachers know you by name. They’re really enthusiastic about making those connections for you. Don’t be apathetic about it, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”