Recent Graduate Scores Internships with Sports Illustrated & CBS News

· June 17, 2011

Southern Virginia University alumnus Jeff Gasser this month began a Sports Illustrated internship in the Time Inc. Summer Internship Program in New York City.

Because of Gasser’s previous work on a major investigation into crime and football that made the cover of Sports Illustrated and the CBS Evening News, Sports Illustrated Executive Editor B.J. Schecter contacted Gasser last semester and offered him the internship.

Gasser said that he is grateful for the opportunity to get firsthand experience in the professional world and to be working with the other interns.

“I’m excited to live in New York City and to work at Sports Illustrated, which is a great magazine,” Gasser said. “The writing is very sophisticated—the best sports writing you’re going to find.”

After his summer internship, Gasser will intern for CBS News this fall. He credits his preparation for both of these internships to Southern Virginia University Distinguished Professor of English Jeff Benedict. 

Gasser said that after he took a class from Benedict, he asked Benedict to recommend him for an internship in the news industry. Benedict responded that it would be best if Gasser interned with him first as preparation. Gasser said that his internship with Professor Benedict changed his life. 

“It was very demanding, but I got my name on a Sports Illustrated cover story, I worked as associate producer for a documentary on BYU-TV, I interviewed Warren Buffet—the third richest man in the world,” said Gasser. “I gained a lot of really great experiences at Southern Virginia. Much of it was thanks to the generosity and motivation Professor Benedict showed me, but also because I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to it. I treated this like it was my career and it ended up becoming that.”

Gasser said that he is grateful to have attended Southern Virginia because of the unique opportunity to develop relationships with professors.

“If it wasn’t for Southern Virginia’s idea of small classrooms and close relationships with your professors, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity,” said Gasser. “I think that is one of the most valuable things the university has to offer. Students can take these very unique opportunities; they just need to look for the opportunity and then ask, and they’ll reap the benefits of doing that.”