Thursday, March 15, 2007

An interview with Jenn Sterger. Really.

Since we first set eyes on Jenn Sterger, we've been quick to ridicule. Once she got an SI.com column, then all hell broke loose. We've ripped Jenn plenty here over the last 15 months or so and even at other sites. Sure we've laughed hard, but really, what's the point?

Rather than continue to tear into Jenn, we thought we'd, ya know, actually talk to her. Via Roger, the guy who works administration for Jennsterger.com (Roger's a true homie and a fan of the site, by the way), we were able to interact with Jenn and get an actual interview with her. No mocking. No satire. Just straight truth. (And a plea -- sorta -- to meet fellow Cowgirl Chrystal).

Fasten your seatbelts
.

For the record:

Name: Jennifer Lynnette Sterger
Age: 23
Occupation: Student at Florida State University; SI columnist; Model
Location: Lutz, Florida

Jenn, you've turned 15 minutes of fame -- thanks Brent Musburger! --into an SI column, a Maxim spread (sorta safe for work), an appearance in Playboy (safe for work), etc. What's this ride been like for you?

If this journey has taught me anything, it’s that life can be completely unpredictable. Events, people, and opportunity can take you by surprise, but ultimately, it’s what you choose to make of them that define who you are. I had a small window of opportunity, and faced a lot of criticism but in the end have parlayed what could have just been a fifteen second screen shot into a career of sorts. It’s about striking while the iron’s hot, and making the decisions you think will benefit you the most in the future. Life can be full of regrets and missed opportunities, but I think I have handled them as well as any other girl that falls down a rabbit hole into an unexpected, crazy adventure. It hasn’t changed who I am, but it has changed my outlook on life. Maybe made me a little stronger, a little wiser. It has definitely more than proved who my true friends are… and without my family and their support.. I dunno what I would do.

I feel my experience has really given my life a sense of direction and has filled a lot of voids many kids exiting college experience: The questions of who they are, and where they want to go next. I’ve expected the unexpected, and just rolled with it.

Tell us about the SI gig. How'd it'd come into play (you contact them? They contact you?) Also, what's the process like there? Do they edit you a lot or let you write freely? Do you have a contract with a required amount of columns or is it more the write-when-I-can deal?

Sports Illustrated was interested in doing a human interest story for their On Campus section last February. Arash Markazi contacted me, and after speaking with me, thought that the column would work better if it was written in my own words. The editors were a bit surprised with my writing abilities, as I suspect they were surprised I could write in complete sentences and original thoughts. They came up with the idea of the advice column. At first I was a little hesitant to say yes, after all I barely know how to handle situations in my own life. However, I realized it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I figured I would at least take a crack at it.

My writing is pretty uncensored and the main ideas and thoughts are usually still intact. Sometimes an editor with lack of knowledge in pop culture or relationship experience altogether might get in and take out some of my one liners, but the gist still remains the same. My blog is a little less censored and a little more “Jenn” but for the sake of word count, I would say my articles are pretty accurate in their depiction of my writing.

I write a column every Wednesday, whether it be for Scorecard (the traditional advice column), or On Campus. The videos of course come out every Wednesday, and so far have been pretty successful.

Dream job? Go.

I’m living it. Honestly, I don’t care what I end up doing for a living as long as it is something I am passionate about. The minute going to work becomes just a “job” is when I know I have exhausted that avenue. I think people change and evolve through their experiences in life, so who is to say your career shouldn’t as well?...I just want to be happy and successful in whatever I do. And I have the drive, determination, and support to do just that.

I’ve never really failed at anything I have put my heart into, and I am not about to start now.

You seem to be juggling a lot: school, the SI column and current road trip, modeling and we imagine you try to socialize from time to time. How do you do it all?

It’s all about time management and prioritizing. I used to have a huge issue with this back in high school, and was the queen of procrastination. Now, I have had to really take time out of my day to make a game plan for what I have to get accomplished. My mom taught me the beauty of making a to-do list at the end of the day. Once I list all the things I need to get done the next day, and put them in the most logical order… its gravy from there. I always make sure to make time for my family and friends though, especially if I am in a relationship with someone. It’s all about balancing business with pleasure, and if you really honestly care about someone…you can always make time.

A lot of blogs/websites -- this one included -- have taken cheap shots at you and give you an unfair amount of shit for really no reason. Does this stuff get to you at all?

When you put yourself in the public eye, you have to be able to handle the attention and criticism that comes with it. A lot of the people that attack me have never met me, nor will they…so I feel it’s unfair of people to pass judgment on someone they don’t even know. At first I took a lot of the things I read on the Internet and message boards very personally. It took a lot of adjustment and support from friends and family to show me that the good far outweighed the bad. In the end, I realized that the only opinions that should really matter to me are those of the people I care about.

What's it like going out -- in Tallahassee, on the road, etc. -- and essentially being a celebrity? Are you just swarmed? Ever give some of these guys the time of day? Probably don't have to pay for a drink though!

Don’t get me wrong, I have done my fair share of partying. After all, I did go to college at a Top Ten Party School. However, things started getting a little too crazy for my liking last spring. I couldn’t go to class in my pajamas anymore without getting comments and it just became too crazy to deal with once my Playboy hit the stands. I left Tallahassee and headed for the one place I could clear my head and get out of all the craziness…Lutz, FL (home). I’m finishing up my credits online, and living at home with my cat. Sure, it may sound a little boring, but I really do enjoy being away from the party scene.

I go out occasionally, but I have given up drinking. I did it as a New Year’s Resolution, but I am actually enjoying it. I don’t hate my life in the morning, and I don’t have to bust my butt in the gym quite as hard to work off the empty calories.

As far as dating goes, it’s tough. It’s really difficult sometimes to judge people’s motives for wanting to get to know you. I try to give everyone the benefit of a doubt, but most of the time I just have to go with my gut feeling. My friends joke with me, saying I have “ESP (N)…or something” when it comes to seeing people’s true character, especially guys. I’m sure I’ll find Mr. Right someday, but until then.. don’t expect me to be the girl that settles for Mr. Right Now just because he is available. I’d honestly rather be alone, than be with a second-rate significant other who lies and cheats on me. At least then, I know I am with someone who is honest.

The other Cowgirls haven't gotten the publicity that you have. (We're in love with Chrystal, by the way. Tell her hi for us). Why have you gotten this attention and them not so much? Does it bother them at all?

I think it all comes down to our individual goals we had. Chrystal really wasn’t interested in pursuing modeling after college, as she wanted to attend architecture school. Fabi was interested in acting and modeling, so she moved to South Florida after graduation where she is bartending and going on casting calls.

The new breed of cowgirls that hung with me when the others graduated have had their own accomplishments. CJ and Allison have both been in numerous publications. Allison had been both a coed of the week and month for Playboy. CJ is a dance major at Florida State, but she has also been in music videos and performed with various artists.

And me?...I have a full time gig with Sports Illustrated. I know, it’s a tough job...but someone’s gotta do it. The main reason I’m still out there is because people feel like they know me. College kids can relate to my experiences. Anyone that meets me can get a real sense for who I am, and what I am about because I really believe in being myself and being genuine with the people I meet. I’ve never been the type to pretend I am something I am not. Am I the hottest girl on FSU’s campus?...HA!..Hardly. My campus boasts thousands of gorgeous women, so just to be picked out of a crowd amongst them is an honor in itself. I just think I was smart enough to make the most out of the opportunities I was presented with. Sure, I could have sat back, laughed at the fact I was on tv, and moved on. But once I gave the “girl in the hat” a voice, people really took an interest in my story. Fate and luck took care of the rest. That’s what makes me different from the others.

You're about to graduate and seem to have many avenues you can go down -- writing, modeling, perhaps sportscasting even. What do you see yourself doing this time next year?

Honestly, I take each day as it comes at me. I don’t know what I will be doing five minutes from now, let alone a year from now. I really do enjoy writing for SI, and doing my online video segments for them, but that’s not to say I have to limit myself strictly to that. Modeling is fun from time to time, but it really isn’t my focus anymore. Your looks can only get you so far in life, and they only last for so long. I realize to keep my job and stay ahead of the game, I have to evolve. Sports, however, are my passion. Maybe its because I was never coordinated enough to play any of them (unlike my mother), or because my dad raised me like a son (taking me to Miami Hurricane games since I was old enough to walk and know how to insult a Gator)...I dunno. Regardless, the excitement and adrenaline of sports is just something I truly enjoy, so as long as I am involved with them…I think I’ll be happy regardless of what I do.

16 comments:

rstiles said...

AHHHHHHHH.....so this was the big surprise!?!?!?

SWEET....oh is Jen Sterget HOT!!!

Way to go Zach!

Jordi said...

Cool interview.

I actually got to meet Jenn for a moment at the FSU-Phillies spring training game in Clearwater (not too far from Lutz). She seemed nice, definitely pretty, and kinda down to earth. More power to her for doing what she does. She seems smart enough to not do anything too embarrassing so I don't think we'll see a sex tape or anything like that.
But anyway, great job on the interview.

JMC said...

wow. zach. I can't believe you didn't tell me this was happening. amazing.

DJR said...

Nice interview! She said she wasn't sure what she wants to do, so maybe she can become the nanny to my kids. I'm looking for extremely hot girls that like sports.

NFL Adam said...

Well done. Jerk.

WastingCompanyTime6 said...

I'm speechless. I am without speech.

So now that you two are BFF, Does this mean we won't find anymore scathing commentary on the Sterj on this blog anymore?

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

we'll see about the scathing, WCT. it's hard to get away from your roots...

JMC said...

maybe we can invite Jenn to work at camp and be the Journalism Specialist. I'd take her on my staff. And yes, I did intend that double meaning.

MCBias said...

Jenn isn't stupid, which is what irritates me about using the Cowgirl act to get the SI job. Knowing an opportunity when you see one doesn't mean that it's the right opportunity to take.

I think Erin Andrews picked the better path to becoming a sports journalist. She started lower down (i.e. Turner sports) and worked her way up to ESPN. Erin will probably have a longer career arc than Jenn, too, I would bet. Of course, if Jenn gets Steve Rushin's column at SI, then I'll shut up.

Ok, back to the one-line jokes. Just one serious take on the interview.

twins15 said...

Wow, you're kinda like a celebrity now... nice interview on both ends.

Signal to Noise said...

It's a nice surprise.

fla1212 said...

A writer who frequently uses "I dunno." What talent. Especially since it takes all the talent in the world to show your fake cans all over the internet.

Anonymous said...

What more could a man want in a woman - smart, gorgeous, down-to-earth and a FSU fan.....

Why do people get mad at someone for taking advantage of an opportunity given to them?

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