Author Archives: Christina Dun

Christina Dun

About Christina Dun

Christina Dun is a recent Ryerson University journalism graduate based in Toronto, Ontario. She is an aspiring broadcast journalist with a love for the entertainment industry and pop culture. She is an avid blogger and social media addict. She is currently a freelance writer for CreativeInterns.com.

May05

Landing The Job: Marie Alcober

1098038_10153178729605160_2066378516_nOnce you land your dream internship, where do you go from there? Many students take on internships with the hopes of coming out with a job. Although it’s never a guarantee, there’s always opportunity to put yourself out there and get noticed. Recent Ryerson University journalism graduate Marie Alcober shares insight into how she went from an intern to a web producer at the Business News Network (BNN).

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a curious, fly-by-the-seat-off-my-pants kind of girl. I don’t shy away from new things and I’m not afraid to admit that I know very little. That’s what’s so great about the journalism industry. I get the opportunity to meet smart people and learn from their expertise everyday.

How did you first land your internship with BNN?

To be able to graduate, I had to complete an internship program during my fourth year at Ryerson University. The only goal I set for myself, really, was to do an internship that would really put me out of my comfort zone. I figured that this was my last chance to try something different before going into the “real world.” Initially, I had planned to do reporting in the Philippines, where I thought I could test my resilience. But when that didn’t pan out, I thought of the second hardest type of journalism that I thought I could never do: business. So I emailed my internship coordinator and she gave me a contact at BNN. I emailed the network’s executive producer and got an interview in two weeks.

What attracted you to this company?

The fact that it’s the only TV channel in Canada that focuses only on business and finance news. It’s a great place to have an immersive learning experience because you don’t get pulled into different areas of news.

What skills did you learn during your internship?

I learned to actually read reports—cover to cover. Journalism school teaches students to listen for “juicy quotes” but a lot of reporting is simply poring over documents. Surprisingly, in most cases the more interesting points are only glossed over in page one. You’ve got to dig deep.

How long did you intern with BNN?

Six weeks.

What was the most valuable thing you took from your internship experience?

When you throw yourself into a situation knowing that everything about it will be new and unfamiliar, it sort of gives you a sense of self like never before. That’s probably the most valuable thing I took from this—a self-assurance that I can dip my toes into all sorts of new and unfamiliar endeavors and not be afraid of them.

How did you turn your internship into a job?

The truth of it is, I simply asked. I let my supervisor know that I would make myself available for them if they ever need any help. I asked if I could stay on as an intern, so I could get the hang of everything, in case they needed someone to fill in during the holidays.

What role do you have within the company now?

I’m part of BNN.ca‘s web team. I edit and post videos and wire stories to the website. I also write mini-articles that go along with interview segments. Basically, I help make sure that the television segments are translated into web content that’s hopefully valuable to both the core BNN viewers and the wider online audience as well.

What advice do you have for other interns?

Don’t pretend like you know it all. The veterans will see right through you. And besides, it’s easier for you to absorb your surroundings when you let yourself become a blank slate.

Apr24

Intern Spotlight: Kailey Sibley

pName: Kailey Sibley

Intern Position Title: Social Media for CBC Olympics and Hockey Night in Canada

Company: CBC Sports

Location: Toronto

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a tiny sports fanatic living in downtown Toronto. I’ve recently finished the Radio & Television Arts program at Ryerson University, and am working my way into the world of sports broadcasting. I can tell you anything you need to know about the Stanley Cup, loose-leaf tea, and Orca Whales. I’m a huge fan of a good goal celebration, 4th-liner jerseys, and a solid playoff beard.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

I actually applied to do a shot-listing internship for Hockey Night in Canada. I had to send in my resume and cover letter around four times before I was contacted for an interview. The interview was terrible. I was told I would never get to actually watch any sports during the internship because I’d be too busy getting coffee for people and running up and down the stairs. I asked if they had any writing and social media internships available. I was told no. A month later they asked me if I would do a writing and social media internship for the Olympics. I said yes, obviously.

What attracted you to this company?

CBC Sports is the pinnacle of sports broadcasting in Canada. I grew up watching Don Cherry and Ron MacLean on Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night. The opportunity to be a part of the CBC Sports team during the Winter Olympics was too good to pass up.

What skills did you learn at your internship?

I now speak in 140-character bursts.

Could you describe what a typical day was like for you as an intern?

The Olympics were a crazy time on the CBC Sports floor. We had an awesome social media team working 24 hours a day, every day from Day -1 of the Olympics, to Day 16. As soon as I arrived for my 8 a.m. start, I was updating Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube constantly. Covering hockey was my main focus. I would sit and watch every single game, live-tweeting them from one account on my phone and another on my laptop. I feel like I didn’t look up from my screen until the night shift arrived to take over social media duties!

What was the most challenging part?

The first time I tweeted a mistake. Everyone always says, “It’s okay to make mistakes.” When you’re representing a major corporation on social media, it isn’t okay to make mistakes. Always quadruple-check your work!

Most memorable moment?

Live-tweeting the men’s gold medal hockey game on the CBC Olympics and Hockey Night in Canada accounts. I literally skipped into work at 5 a.m. that morning. It was like Christmas for me. This is closely followed by the time I got to have a slice of Don Cherry’s birthday cake.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Exciting–there’s always something happening there.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Be persistent. Know everyone, and make sure everyone knows you. Never be that person everyone sees around but no one actually knows who you are. Offer to work on your days off. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Even if everyone else is in jeans, if your boss dresses up, you should too. Try not to yawn in front of your employers. Be enthusiastic about everything. Never apologize for doing your job. Triple-check your work…then check it again.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

My boss, Monika Platek. She does everything from writing, to social media, to on-air work. I swear she never sleeps.

What is your dream job?

Anything that involves talking about sports into a microphone.

Feb24

Social Media Week 2014: Off-Campus Learning

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.44.46 AM

www.socialmediaweek.org

Although the official Social Media Week NYC campus was at the Highline Stages, there were lots of individually organized events that also took advantage of the SMW excitement. Here’s a quick recap of some of the things we learned from throughout the city.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.30.30 AMIs Social Killing Storytelling?

Where: AOL Headquarters

An impressive panel of industry experts came together at the AOL HQ, including Stacy Martinet of Mashable, James Bennet of The Atlantic, Heidi Moore of The Guardian, and Abigail Cusick of Bravo TV.  The panel was moderated by Tim McDonald of The Huffington Post, who kicked off a discussion revolving around the question: Is Social Killing Storytelling?

The unanimous answer: no.

“Being able to tell a great story isn’t tied to a specific length or medium,” says Stacy Martinet. The influx of social media has opened a lot of doors for the art of storytelling and it’s helping the media industry to get their content—long or short—seen by a wider audience.

And a tip for budding journalists: become a Twitter rock star. Heidi Moore of The Guardian spoke about how she uses Twitter and other social media platforms as an additional test during the hiring process. “You can tell the quality of a writer by their tweets,” says Moore. “ It’s a hiring tool.”

IMG_8930Calling All Journalists: How to Rebrand Yourself as a Content Marketing & Social Expert

Where: Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC

A powerhouse panel of industry insiders gave insight into the world of branded content. The panel consisted of Liz Miersch of Equinox, Anne Chertoff of Anne Chertoff Media, Jason Kaufman of Weber Shandwick and Nathan Lump of Condé Nast. The event was hosted by Masthead Media’s co-founders Amanda Pressner and Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich, who led the discussion on why journalists are becoming the key players when it comes to producing branded content.

All of the panelists had traditional editorial experience, but made the jump over to creating content for brands. For many companies, this is a completely new form of marketing, therefore opening a door of opportunities for individuals who know how to utilize social media and maximize money-making capabilities through branded content.

For Liz Miersch, her role as editor-in-chief of Q, an online magazine within the Equinox brand, didn’t exist before, so it’s been a learning experience. “You don’t have to be an expert before entering this space,” she says, “you enter this space and then become the expert.”

Journalists are the ones who are being looked to for knowledge and skills in the social and digital space. They know how to engage, interact and write compelling content. “Journalists know how to put soul into stories,” says Jason Kaufman.

DSC_0811Revolt TV: Watch, Engage, Invent

Where: The Dumbo Loft

Revolt TV and Huge held a special event focusing on social engagement and content programming. Joe McCaffrey of Huge carried a conversation with Jake Katz, VP of Audience Insight & Strategy at Revolt TV about the rise and fall of music television and Revolt TV’s vision for the future of the industry.

Revolt is a multi-platform TV network that was recently launched this past October by Sean Combs. It aims to be “the go-to source for music content, like ESPN is for sports,” explains Jake Katz.

An interesting point that came up was the importance of knowing your audience and how to strengthen your social media presence. Katz adds, “You can create a real meaningful experience on one platform” rather than stretch across as many as possible.

Although Social Media Week has come to an end, keep the conversation going. Tweet @CreativeInterns and let us know about your #SMWNYC experience!

Feb06

Intern Spotlight: Jacky Le

1797057_10153791614345725_818946895_nName: Jacky Le

Intern Position Title: Digital Intern

Company: FASHION Magazine

Location: Toronto/Vancouver

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a West Coast boy at heart raised in the yuppie and yogi-filled city of Vancouver. I kind of fell into writing and journalism during high school and eventually I cultivated a love for the fashion publishing industry, which has led me to relocate here in Toronto. I have a huge affinity for Beyonce, London fashion and pop culture, and I never shy away from a dance floor.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

For FASHION I was able to land the internship with a good word from an editor at FLARE Magazine where I had interned prior. Honestly it’s all about who you know and leaving a good impression from the get-go, that can really determine what your next job will be. Also, I landed the FLARE internship after spotting a tweet from one of the editors. It truly shows the power that social media has in our generation.

What attracted you to this company?

In my opinion FASHION & FLARE are at the highest echelon in the fashion industry within Canada. I always believe it’s important to learn from the best so that obviously influenced my decision on where I wanted to intern.

What skills are you learning at your internship?

Digital and interactive media plays a huge part in the fashion publishing industry now. People always say digital is where things are heading and I slightly agree. Unlike print, the turnover rate for content is super fast paced so you always have to be on the ball and ready to product content, as well as know what is current and in the news.

What has been a highlight so far?

Getting to be an integral part of the team. And I get a kick out of seeing my name in the magazine masthead as well.

Most challenging part?

Learning that it’s okay to make mistakes. As an intern this is the time in your career where you should be making mistakes. Simply learn from them and make sure you never make those mistakes again in the future when you enter the real work field.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

If I’m not skimming the internet or looking for pitches and buzz-worthy articles, I’m most likely working on an assigned post. As well, I’m scheduling tweets and Facebook posts for the ongoing days.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Fast-paced. I think that’s two? Oh well…haha.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Pick a magazine that you would ideally want to work for. Once you land that internship, chuck your ego and pride at the door and soak up as much information as you can. Be polite and always look as if you’re having the time of your life even when you’re not.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

Katie Grand, Nicola Formichetti , Derek Blasberg. As well as my former teacher Tyler Udall.

What is your dream job?

Senior editor at Vogue UK or W Magazine.  A boy can dream…

 

Jan28

Intern Spotlight: Jonathan Jackson

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 9.56.02 PMName: Jonathan Jackson

Intern Position Title: Social Media Editor

Company: TOPMAN Canada and Hudson’s Bay

Location: Toronto

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Toronto native. Worked in retail since 2006 for Hudson’s Bay and H&M. Attending Ryerson in the Business Management program majoring in Global Management and minoring in Finance. I knew about the brand before Hudson’s Bay launched it in Canada so I jumped at the opportunity to transfer to the new location on Queen and move downtown in 2012. I then worked for the brand for a year before I pursued an internship.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

The position had been posted in the back of the Topshop stock room for a solid month. After the position had been filled, I worked up the courage to send a detailed cover letter and resume asking to provide any help to the Marketing and Events Manager for Topshop/TOPMAN. I was called for an interview the next day in the afternoon and went in for an interview early that evening. On my way to another job I received an email asking to begin as soon as I could.

What attracted you to this company?

Strong company profile and market presence. I have worked for Hudson’s Bay for nearly 5 years now. Over these years I’ve witnessed first hand the changes the new board of directors have implemented and they are phenomenal. No other company in Canada has the history, the customer loyalty, and has been able to reinvent themselves so well to meet the needs of the Canadian consumer. These are key in companies that stand out to me when I look at where I want to be employed with in the future… Not to mention they just acquired Lord & Taylor!

What skills are you learning at your internship?

My boss has truly been inspirational in helping me to understand what an individual can achieve for a brand with social media marketing. She has helped me to keep cool and stay authentic to the brand when creating. Another skill I am learning to master is the art of editing. Less is always more in marketing so it’s key to make sure that what is being presented is clean and concise—most importantly COOL.

What has been a highlight so far?Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 9.58.01 PM

I had the opportunity to implement, monitor and report on a national marketing campaign for TOPMAN during the Christmas season called TOPMAN After Hours. It was exciting to be able to facilitate it with little help and receive the reaction that we did on our social platforms. Another highlight would be on Black Friday. As Black Friday is heavily dependent on social media, a lot of pressure was placed on the interns to deploy the content provided from those above us at the right times and drive sales.

Most challenging part?

Time management. I now go to school full-time, intern, and work in a restaurant so I am always short for time. The challenge doesn’t seem so challenging though when you enjoy working with your team as much as I do!

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

Walk five minutes on Queen St. to the Simpson Tower. Whip my Mac open and start scoping out TOPMAN Generation (TOPMAN’s online magazine/also an app), check their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what the head guys are doing back home in the England and in the US. Next I head downstairs to the store floor to snap a few shots of items, mannequins, and outfits that would be perfect for TOPMAN Canada. I then curate a Content Calendar using photos that other personal shoppers in TOPMAN locations across Canada and I have taken and create texts to accompany the shot. After a lot of editing and prayers, I either email my boss or we sit and go over everything. That is when the real learning happens.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Dynamic. While it looks like your standard office with no windows, women everywhere dressed in business casual attire and heels of course, the individuals working there are all full of life and truly have the goals of Hudson’s Bay at front of mind.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Be confident. Know what field you want to get into but don’t feel that you need to know exactly what you want in the future to gain knowledge from the internship. I was not sure about getting in to marketing but now that I have experience with a major corporation, I can see why the jobs are so attractive to business students.

What is your dream job?

I don’t really have a dream job. I just want to be able to do something that makes me happy and allows me to be just as content outside of work. Right now that would be to continue to work in marketing for an amazing company. Somewhere warm year-round would be ideal though!

Jan21

Make The Most Of Your Network

networking-eventThroughout college, you will learn the ongoing importance of networking. You may be getting sick of hearing that word, but get used to it. The art of communicating and connecting with new people to build lasting relationships is a skill that is imperative when (even before!) embarking on the job—and internship—hunt. As a fresh new year has begun, it also means that a new semester is underway and it’s getting that much closer to summer. By now, you should have at least a few contacts you’ve met along the way, and now’s the time to take it to the next level.

Start With Confidence

In order to build up a network of people you can turn to, look up to and get advice from, you need to be able to strike up a conversation. Sure, it may feel awkward sometimes, but you need to think, what have I got to lose? Get into the habit of attending a variety of events and putting yourself out there. Tip: if you don’t already have business cards, get some. You’ll look more professional and it’s an easy way to get your contact information out there.

Follow Up

Once you meet all these amazing people, you need to keep them in the loop and get in touch with them once in a while. No, it’s not okay to pester them daily about what they’ve been working on, but it is a good idea to shoot them an email once in a while to see how they’re doing. Following up is one of the simplest things to do; it just requires you to remember to do it.

Be Genuine

Like with any personal relationship you have on a daily basis, be yourself. When contacting people in your professional network, be sure to include some of your wonderful personality and don’t sound like a generic robot. Take note of any queues that you notice, such as a restaurant they talked about or that time they mentioned their dog Stanley. It’ll show you take interest on a human level and are observant. Avoid setting out to contact people with the objective of landing a job right away. But with that said, don’t go into it full of fluffy compliments either. Just be real.

 “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

Actor Steve Martin said those wise words and they hold true in any industry you hope to get into. You are essentially pitching yourself, and what you have to offer, to a potential employer or reference, so you should present the best you possible—an impeccable LinkedIn page and an impressive portfolio can work wonders. Once you establish a relationship with your contacts, keep an eye out for any hints on what they look for in new hires. Gather your knowledge and work on making yourself the most ideal candidate when summer rolls around or by the time you graduate. Let your vast network know what you’ve been up to and you never know, it could land you your dream job or internship!

Nov26

Get Involved On Campus

Amongst the hours you spend in classrooms listening to lectures and in the library buried in books, there is so much going on around campus that you might not be aware of. If you don’t take the time to see what’s out there, you could be missing out on some very cool and exciting opportunities. This goes for interning as well. In addition to searching for off-campus internships, getting involved on campus can be incredibly beneficial. Not only do you get to meet and collaborate with people who share your interests, but you also get the chance to learn valuable skills that you can take with you even after you graduate. We found a few students who are making the most of their time on campus. They shared their experiences with us and gave insight into what they’re learning along the way.

 

1394877_10200916929759878_601871716_nAndreia McLean, Wilfred Laurier University

“I am very actively involved in my campus’s Greek Life. Specifically in my own sorority, Alpha Phi, I serve on our executive board as the Panhellenic Delegate, bringing news from other sororities. I also oversee the recruitment process for all of the sororities on my campus.  I also serve on my campus’s Greek Council; a council of the Fraternities and Sororities on campus that cooperate to put on events to benefit different philanthropic initiatives, as well as socials to help unify us as a collective.

I’ve served in many different positions throughout my four years at Laurier, mostly in the recruitment or event planning departments, but this year has been my most involved. The skills I have learned in each of these roles are invaluable in the real working world. Recruitment has taught me how to sell anything from a product, to a group of people, to a lifestyle. And planning socials for the entire Greek Life community on my campus has taught me how to organize on a large scale, work with many different people, and plan and execute a successful large scale event. The skills I have learned through my leadership roles in Alpha Phi, Panhellenic, and Greek Council will be a great assist in finding, maintaining, and thriving in a working position after university.”

 

Raeniel Holgado, Simon Fraser University1420338_10153459231115328_1100437799_n

“At SFU, I am heavily involved with Enactus SFU. Enactus is a student-run organization that creates several entrepreneurial-driven projects to tackle various social issues within the community. In particular, I project manage a financial literacy program called “Count on Me”, which instills basic financial literacy skills to youth at-risk to inspire them to build a more sustainable future.

As a Project Manager, I learned a lot about managing a team and to hold every single member accountable. Another key take-away from my experience being a project lead is that time is your worst enemy. Hence, it’s pertinent to set S.M.A.R.T. goals to ensure you accomplish tasks in a timely fashion.”

 

Sam RNTS PicSam Sim, Ryerson University

“I’m involved in the Ted Rogers Management Conference (TRMC), Ryerson University Finance Society (RUFS) and the Ryerson Speech & Debate Association (RSDA). This year I’ve really gotten involved in the business community at Ryerson, especially with student groups. I’ve learned so much about marketing, management, team building and strategy from working on these teams. These are all skills you can’t just learn from reading a textbook. It’s much more effective to put them into practice.

There are so many other areas and industries I can take my journalism degree, besides just being a reporter. My interest ultimately lies in business and so being a part of these groups is not only allowing me to pick up useful business skills I can put on my resume, but an opportunity to explore all different industries to see what I’m passionate about.”

Nov07

Intern Spotlight: Callia Hargrove

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Name: Callia Hargrove

Intern Position Title: Digital/Social Media Intern

Company Name: Ralph Lauren

Location: New York

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a twenty-year-old native New Yorker. I live in Manhattan and attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’m currently interning in the social media department at Ralph Lauren. This is my fourth internship and so far, it’s one of the most exciting/interesting/challenging!

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

I got this internship through sheer luck. One of my old bosses at Of a Kind knew someone in the social media department at Ralph Lauren who was looking for an intern, and she recommended me. From there I went through two interviews and I started in September.

What attracted you to this company?

I love how classic Ralph Lauren is. I grew up wearing Ralph Lauren and it’s so great to have the opportunity to intern at a place with so much history. It’s also great that Ralph Lauren is one of the first companies that I’ve interned at that my family recognizes. To them, it’s like a little symbol that I’m making it.

What skills are you learning at this internship?

So many skills. This is my first internship in social media so I sort of went in a little blind. I was pretty well-versed on all of the different social channels but I was missing the connection between ideas and executions. I’m learning a lot about how to translate one idea into something that can live on all of the different social media platforms.

What has been a highlight so far?

Definitely helping out with Ralph Lauren’s involvement in the 2014 Olympics. I got to really lend some of my ideas to what’s coming up in terms of social, and it was very exciting to be involved with something so iconic.

Most challenging part?

To me the most challenging thing in all of my internships has been balancing my schedule. Along with interning, I have a part-time job at a photography museum and I go to school full-time. I literally have one day off a week. Sometimes it can be hard to find time to breathe, but in order to get where I want to be, I know that I have to hustle.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

Most days in the social media department start off with checking Ralph Lauren’s various social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). I’m mainly responsible for Pinterest so I check in with the team to see what we’re trying to achieve for the day and what needs to be pinned. Afterwards, we might have a brainstorm for a new initiative or continue working on a plan that’s almost in the execution stage. Social media is constantly changing, so each day brings something new.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Inspiring. Everyone on the social media team is great on their own, but seeing all of us come together and merge our ideas to create something that I can watch live on our social channels is so rewarding.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

I would say don’t let a “no” stop you. I’ve probably applied to over 50 internships and gotten offered less than 10. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Yolo is my motto and I’m always putting myself out there for things. In the fashion industry, nothing worth having comes easy, so be ready to work hard and make connections. Once you get that internship, all of your hard work will be worth it.

What is your dream job?

This changes every week. I know that I want to work in fashion in an area that combines writing and marketing, but I’m just not sure what that job looks like exactly. Right now I’m thinking a Digital Market Editor, but tomorrow I’ll probably have a different answer.

Nov05

Career Path Interview: Online Fashion Features Editor Julia Rubin

38-julia-rubin-photojennamariewakani

Julia Rubin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and now works as the Associate Online Editor for Fashion Features at Teen Vogue. She gives insight into her internship experiences and shares some advice for students hoping to break into the ever-growing fashion industry.

During college, where did you gain internship experience?

I interned every summer in college. I interned at Yves Saint Laurent in New York for my first two summers and I was in the creative services/visual merchandising department. We were responsible for anything visual that was not designing the clothes, so that was the window displays, general store curation, what events looked like, and it was great. I loved it, but I knew I wanted to try something else. So that third summer, I spent half the week interning at Chanel in the communications department and the other half in sales and marketing at Phaidon, which is a publisher, and they have lots of really cool art and fashion and food books. I did those internships when I was in school and was always in New York, but knew that none of them were totally the right fit. During the school year, I worked for the arts and culture magazine at school, kind of like The Village Voice for Penn. So I worked there since the first day of school and rose through the ranks and eventually was the Editor-In-Chief. In my junior year I started up the campus blog. It was great. It was the point when I realized I loved writing, loved editing, and loved the Internet. Even though I interned in fashion, I was much more interested in media, and because of my background in fashion, it was easy to put the two together and start off as a fashion writer and editor.

What was the most important thing you learned from interning?

I just really loved that as an intern, you’re an observer. I’ve always been really interested in seeing how groups of people work, what structures are like, how everything works, and all the nitty gritty stuff. In terms of general skills, just seeing that the people who were the happiest were the people who were really really into what they did. That’s how my team was at YSL for example. They were all so obsessed with all the visual stuff; they lived it and breathed it. So I wanted to find something that I felt that way about because that’s why they were so good at their jobs. That’s ultimately what led me to realizing that my passion was writing and editing.

What was the most challenging part along the way during the job hunt when you were fresh out of school?

For me, the hardest thing was coming to terms with the fact that I wanted to be a writer and editor. This is a pretty difficult industry and it can be a trying thing on a personal level. So just deciding that I was going to do it and diving in head first, was definitely the scariest.

How did you land a job at Teen Vogue?

My first job out of school was with a fashion news site called Styleite. I was there for two years and I started out as an intern and was promoted a few different times. By the time I left, I was the managing editor of the site. In my first year at Styleite, I received an email from a web editor at Teen Vogue. It was really the coolest email I’ve ever gotten. She told me that she read my stuff on Styleite and she really liked my article on Karlie Kloss. We ended up keeping in touch, helping each other out and having a professional email relationship. A year later, I got an email from her saying that there was a position opening on the web team that she thought I’d be perfect for and her boss would be reaching out. And she did. The rest is history.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

July was a very exciting month for me because a bunch of crazy things all happened at once. This was all within a matter of weeks, which was insane. I went to Berlin for a Selena Gomez event, which was really cool because I had never travelled anywhere, much less internationally, for work. That was super cool. Then I came back and found out that a feature story I had written for the magazine was green lit for an upcoming issue so I was hurrying to get that all together. It was super exciting because this was the first print story I had in the magazine and it was about teenage heroin use, which is a really crazy and important topic to cover right now. So I had to put the finishing touches on that. Also, Teen Vogue launched its video channel and I was able to be in one of the videos.  I don’t think I’m particularly good on camera but I was very flattered and really excited with how it all turned out. So it was cool to be able to do so many different things and it was very much a realization of how multi-faceted it is being at a magazine. Even though I’m on digital, I write lots of stories for the website but am still able to write for the magazine and work with video, so it was very cool to see all that come together and be a part of it.

What advice do you have for students hoping to get into this industry?

What I did was reach out to people I had some sort of connection to and really respected. The connection can be small. Reach out to people who are not total strangers and keep up with those people. Figuring out what you even like is also really important and just looking around. I found my first job from a tweet. A friend of the woman who became my boss told me to get in touch with her. It’s all just weird things like that. Always be open. Also don’t feel like you have to say yes. If you get a job opportunity that comes your way and you know that you’re not going to be happy there, don’t take it. If you genuinely think this is not something you want to do and you just want to say yes to end the job search, that’s not great. Wait until something comes along that could be an opportunity for you and a good launching point. Even if it ends up being something you don’t like, that’s okay too. Don’t be afraid to change direction. That’s okay. Get out as soon as you can. Life is too short.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I think that what I’ll ultimately do, or continue to do, probably doesn’t exist right now. When I started college, the job that I had by the time I graduated did not exist. It just didn’t. When I graduated high school in 2006, the idea that you could be a paid writer and editor on the Internet, writing about fashion, going to all the same events that the print editors were going to, it was just unheard of. Those jobs just did not exist and if they did, they were very few and far between. My job at Teen Vogue didn’t exist until I started there. So I kind of have to imagine that what I do next doesn’t exist yet. The media industry is something that is just rapidly changing and the digital world really is expanding. I tell anyone who is looking to be a journalist now that there actually are more opportunities because magazine website staff keep growing and web-only places have fully fleshed-out mastheads now, which is great. I find it really encouraging.

Oct22

Startup Tips From Techweek NYC

Aspiring entrepreneurs, digital media specialists, investors and all-around tech lovers gathered at 82 Mercer Street on October 17th for Techweek, the first to launch in New York City (it was originally founded in Chicago in 2011). This NYC edition was full of summits, workshops, the LAUNCH startup competition and fashion tech runway show.

It was great to see so many passionate people following their dreams and who are eager to become their own bosses—many of them students or recent graduates. So this was definitely an event to take notes if you’re thinking of starting your own company, not to mention a great opportunity to network like crazy. Here’s a quick list of some of the key points that I learned from spending the day surrounded by such innovative and inspirational people with contagious entrepreneurial spirits.

1. Collaborate.

A great way to get your company out there is to work with other like-minded businesses. Whether that may be through some special cross-promotions or creative partnerships, there are so many different ways to do this. Think outside the box. This is how you can set yourself apart. An awesome example of a company coming up with cool collaborations is  Warby Parker, the affordable and stylish eyewear company that also helps others (for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need). One of their most popular collaborations was with the Man of Steel movie franchise, bringing the iconic Clark Kent-style frames to life. They’ve also teamed up with Ghostly, The Standard Hotel, and Pencils of Promise just to name a few. Through these projects, they’ve been able to put themselves on the map and are becoming a go-to eyewear destination, both online and off.

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Tim Riley, Director of Online Experience at Warby Parker

2. Be open.

I think the best way to thrive in such an innovative environment is to have an open mind. Sure, you have this fantastic idea, but always remember that things can change quickly. Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes said it best during his panel on making it in New York City, “Don’t get married to your idea, be open to redesign.” He wrote Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office, a book that takes a look into how the hip hop mogul took the business world by storm. Great ideas take time to develop and sometimes you have to go through quite a journey before reaching the final product—Jay-Z is no exception. Having an open mind makes this process much smoother.

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Kelly Reid (left) interviews Zack O’Malley Greenburg (right)

3. Build up a strong team.

Yes, you want to be independent, but everyone could use a solid support system. When starting up your own company, there’s a lot of planning (and stress) that goes into it, so it’s important to put together a reliable team of people you can depend on to help follow through with your vision. The co-founders of Hukkster, Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, agree that “when you start your own thing, it’s constant pounding the pavement. When you have a team, it’s nice to have people helping you along the way.” Hukkster is a shopping app that aims to help customers find the best deals. They formed their team from a network they created and got references of people who would be fitting for the company.

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Hukkster co-founders Erica Bell (centre) and Katie Finnegan (right)

For more info on Techweek, be sure to visit www.techweek.com