NSCS Member Authors Book While in College
November 14, 2005

Marc Zawel never imagined during his freshman year at Cornell University that he would be a published author five years later. Yet today, just over a year since his graduation, Marc has a 550-page published book under his belt.

As a student at Cornell, Marc was involved in more activities than there are hours in the day. Active in such organizations as NSCS, Mortar Board, and the Greek system, it was ultimately his involvement with Cornell’s student newspaper that led to the opportunity to write a book.

While serving as editor of the Cornell Daily Sun, Marc was contacted by College Prowler, a company formed by five recent Carnegie Mellon graduates that publishes insider reality guides on colleges across the country. College Prowler initially asked Marc to write a book solely about Cornell, but when somebody else snagged that authorship, Marc was presented with the opportunity to write a more comprehensive guide to the Ivy League.

“I saw the chance to write this book as a real opportunity. There weren’t any other comprehensive guides to the Ivy League at the time, so I jumped at this chance to create something different,” Marc says.

Marc spent many hours researching and writing, eventually turning this project into an independent study during his senior year. After two years researching schools and interviewing admissions counselors and students, his book — Untangling the Ivy League — was finally completed and published in October 2005.

Now living in Washington, D.C. and continuing his work as a freelance writer, Marc acknowledges the importance of maintaining access to the network of contacts he made while writing his book. “If you don’t realize the importance of networking during college, you’ll realize it soon after. The contacts you make through honors societies, or Greek organizations, or any other student activity, are vital and necessary. Take advantage of every opportunity before it’s too late because you can’t do it after you graduate,” he says.

Marc also remains connected to Cornell by offering advice and giving back to current students. “As an alumnus of Cornell, I feel I have a responsibility to help current students the same way that alumni helped me while I was a student. That’s how the system works, and I want to give back to that system.”

Marc encourages students wishing to pursue to a career in journalism or writing to “just keep writing” and to be persistent in getting works published. Acknowledging that it can be hard to sell your first piece, Marc recommends that students “write about what you know. Prove to a publisher that you can offer insight that they can’t get elsewhere.”

If you’re like Marc and want to write about the college experience, College Prowler might just be the perfect opportunity for you too. College Prowler publishes hundreds of college guides that require submissions from current students at those colleges. According to Editor-in-Chief Christina Koshzow (who is an NSCS member herself), “[College Prowler] is always looking for students to help write and update our guidebooks. It’s a great way to earn internship credit and get published nationwide.”

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