Celebrating Ticker Alumni: Jonathan Sperling

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Courtesy of Jonathan Sperling

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Copy Editor

The Ticker was founded in 1932 as the student run newspaper of City College’s Downtown Campus, making 2022 the newspaper’s 90th anniversary. To honor and celebrate the legacy of  The Ticker and of the members who kept it running, the News section will be publishing profiles of former Ticker members from throughout the years.

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While Baruch College and Ticker alumnus Jonathan Sperling no longer works as a journalist, his experiences from his time with The Ticker remain an important foundation for his role as an editorial assistant at McGraw-Hill Publishing as well as for who he is as a person.

“I feel like The Ticker shaped my life more than anything,” Sperling told The Ticker.

In his capacity at McGraw-Hill, Sperling utilizes many of the skills he learned at The Ticker and put into practice working at local newspapers like The Brooklyn Reporter, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and The Queens Daily Eagle.

As an editorial assistant at McGraw-Hill, Sperling has achieved a work-life balance. He also has a passion for educating people that made him a successful journalist.

“I’m one of those people that is like, work to live, not live to work,” Sperling said. “And so I thought that in the journalism industry, it was … long hours, not many benefits, not great pay … That’s the reality of journalism. I love reading and I love informing people and I love helping people. So I kind of went to an adjacent profession to journalism.”

Beyond his technical proficiencies and extensive experience editing, interviewing and writing, The Ticker contributed to Sperling’s core belief in the importance of collaborating with peers.

“The most important thing I learned [at The Ticker] was how to work with people who had different perspectives than me and to swallow my pride and realize that sometimes I was wrong,” he said. “And that everybody has their own way of looking at things and accomplishing things and finding a solution. It’s good to keep an open mind and open ears, with your friends and your colleagues.”

Sperling said he was enthralled with the creative environment of The Ticker from the very beginning. As a freshman, he knew that he wanted to write for his school newspaper. When he first entered The Ticker office, he knew he found the place where he belonged.

“When I walked into the Media Suite — back when we were able to like, actually walk into schools — it was just so inviting, and weird and chaotic,” he said. “And I was like, this is the place that I want to be.”

Sperling’s description of The Ticker also serves as an excellent characterization of himself.

At his job at McGraw-Hill Professional, he supports editors as they acquire books focused on adults, education and careers. He also looks over contracts and payments and manages book metadata and author queries, according to his LinkedIn.

“I really love, like, helping people learn things,” he said. “Anytime I can help people, like, improve their career or improve their life or anything like that, I’m having good time. McGraw Hill allows me to do that.”

Sperling described starting his job immediately in the midst of the pandemic as “weird.”

“I haven’t seen my coworkers a lot,” he said. “It’s been super weird, like, not only getting used to a newer job, but also doing it all from home. And not being in an office.”

The Ticker and its staff are inextricably linked because, as Sperling said in his farewell article to The Ticker, “from 2015 to 2019, over the course of writing more than 100 articles, I stuck it out at The Ticker for one reason. The people. Without you all The Ticker is nothing.”