By Katie Neitz

Fueled by an incessant work ethic and insatiable sweet tooth, Ethan Marple ’22 is still showing up at his externship, nearly four months after the program concluded.

While job-shadowing experiences are intended to run for two to four days over the College’s winter break in January, Ethan has not been deterred by the program’s conclusion. He arrives at the office early each morning and settles into his self-appointed workspace, a center seat at the main conference-room table.

A student in a suit sits at a work table with his externship host.Marketing manager Monica Simpson ’98, a veteran externship host who has participated in the program for 10 years, says she has never seen a student display such dedication, especially for an unpaid, not-for-credit position.

“Quite accidentally, Ethan has become part of the Creative Media Productions team,” she says. “In a very literal sense. He’s taken the initiative to be at every single meeting. He’s always there at the center of things.”

Indeed, while Marple is not receiving any formal incentive, Simpson noted that he’s a frequent partaker of the office’s communal candy jar. Despite the fact that Simpson started replacing the standard fare, Hershey Kisses and fun-sized Snickers, with stale Werther’s Originals and expired candy corn, Marple remains committed.

Production manager Tom Riggs ’10 admits he was initially baffled and “a bit creeped out” by Marple’s ongoing presence, but he has since come to appreciate his contributions to the team. 

“Ethan offers great insight about The Walking Dead at our Monday morning staff meetings,” Riggs said. “He could talk about that show for hours. So I’m now hoping he’ll stay through the season finale.”

It’s unclear how Marple, who was unable to be reached for comment, is balancing his conference-room squatting with his coursework.

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