Matt Iorio ’03 can make cars fly! The successful rally racecar driver became the reigning North American Rally Champion in 2005, following his 2004 title as Rookie of the Year. Matt builds prototype racecars in Westmoreland, N.H., that burn 10 percent ethanol and get four miles to the gallon.

Careers: At 27, This Obie Journalist is the Talk of the Town

Some call The New Yorker the best read in town. Kate Julian ’00 calls it her employer—and a particularly demanding one at that. “Basically, I live there,” she said to a group of students in March.
As the A-issue editor, or deputy managing editor, Kate says her job is to consider the big picture—deciding what to cut, which cartoons and poems to add, and where to place ads. And while she does have a few “Talk of the Towns” under her belt, she admits that her usual job—“making sure all the trains are running on time”—involves plenty of grunt work, early mornings, and 11 p.m. quitting times.

The acclaim of the magazine, and Kate’s path to its doorway, drew dozens of listeners to a spacious room in Wilder Hall, where students sat packed like sardines and squatted along walls. “I have to start by saying that I’m really overwhelmed by how many people are here,” she said.

Audience members waited, pencils poised, to hear exactly what Kate’s job was and just how she got it. As a student, Kate majored in history and interned at Sierra and Civilization magazines. After college she worked at Marie Claire and Food & Wine as a fact-checker and as an editorial assistant at Lingua Franca.

“It’s a career path that many students are interested in and an area of the curriculum that Oberlin should build upon,” says Anne Trubek ’88, professor of rhetoric and composition, a departmental sponsor of the talk. “It’s intellectually challenging, rewarding, and certainly a way to make a difference in the world.”

First-year student Laurel Fuson, who writes for The Review, was one of the many students inspired by Kate’s early success. “She’s had amazingly good luck,” said Fuson. “Her story offers hope to fledgling writers…The New Yorker could be only six years away.”

But beyond good luck and preparation, said Kate, was Trubek’s Advanced Rhetoric and Composition course—the “single best class” she took in college. “My writing improved, and so did my willingness to take risks,” she said. “I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to pursue a career in such a crowded field otherwise.”

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