Student Makes Headlines at CNN

New York Semester intern Ali Larkin ’18 wrote one of the network’s most-read stories
March 2nd, 2017 by 

Larkin sits behind a desk with Codianni and another Holy Cross alumna at a CNN broadcast studio in New York City.
From left: Larkin poses with Melissa Kondak '06 and Codianni at a CNN broadcast studio in New York City.

Journalists are not typically the subject of a news story.

But CNN student intern Ali Larkin ’18 made a newsworthy accomplishment when a piece she penned for the network last Thursday soared to one of the most widely-read website stories that day.

The story, an emotional tale about a mother carrying a baby without a brain to term in order to donate its organs, was clicked on by readers all across the country. According to a company spokesperson, CNN Digital is the country’s number one online news destination and recorded 121 million multi-platform unique visitors last month.

“It’s been incredible having her here,” Larkin’s supervisor, Ashley Codianni ’07, wrote in an email. “Her stories are making a real impact.”

Larkin, an English major, is one of seven students enrolled in the New York Semester Program this spring, an opportunity for students to pair academics with hands-on experience. The program, which is in its first year, was modeled after the College’s successful Washington Semester Program, which typically attracts students with a government and public policy focus. The New York Semester is designed to attract students interested in media, finance and arts, adding to the wide range of experiences available.

“The idea is to give students both a liberal arts education and real-world experience,” said Alison Mangiero, director of the New York Semester Program. “Ali is a very strong writer, and she wanted to come to New York to break into journalism. The program is very competitive, and she was one of the top people we interviewed.”

Launching a New York Semester Program last fall made sense, Mangiero added, due to the strong Holy Cross alumni community in that region. Codianni, who is currently the director of social publishing at CNN Worldwide, credits the start of her career to a Holy Cross internship.

“The only reason I was able to work in this industry was because I interned at MSNBC during the DC Semester program,” Codianni wrote. “It totally changed my life and career.”

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