I have always been infatuated with writing. In high school, I joined my school’s newspaper team and became editor-in-chief. As much as I loved the newsroom, I found that with time I wanted to shift my attention more towards magazine journalism with a particular focus on beauty and fashion. So when it came to choosing a major in the College of Media, I got creative to mold something as close as I could get. I chose a major in Journalism with a concentration in Advertising and embraced extracurricular activities related to my passions. During college, I attained leadership positions as Editor-in-Chief of Spread Magazine and President of JAMS (Journalism Advertising Media Students). This helped me develop a well-rounded skill set that spanned across broadcasting, advertising, and media. I was also appointed as Head Editor for Her Campus, an online magazine for college women, which was helpful because it provided a broad range of writing opportunities. Additionally, I satisfied my hunger for fashion experience with my involvement in organizations like the Fashion Network, the first fashion-oriented club on campus, and CollegeFashionista, a national writing platform for college students.

If I had to attribute the beginning of my career path to one moment, I have to thank Journalism Professor Walter Harrington, who taught a course called Great Books of Journalism. I went to his office hours one day to discuss a paper I had written for his class, but ended up chatting with him about what I wanted to do after graduation. Although fashion and beauty wasn’t his expertise, he did some research before the next class period and found a scholarship for me to apply to. Referrals from this interaction are what sparked my first off-campus experience with the industry. I first interned for InStyle Magazine during the summer following my sophomore year, and then for the American Society for Magazine Editors (ASME) after my junior year. ASME has a selective college program where 20–30 students across the country are assigned to different magazines in New York and Washington, D.C. I was assigned to Reader’s Digest and was able to freelance for them after my internship concluded.

The best part of the ASME internship was the chance to attend workshops and networking opportunities with people in the industry. I was able to connect with a recruiter from Hearst Magazines, and her advice and support were beyond helpful. When an entry-level position opened up, she recommended me for the position, where I was able to write for 8 different magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Women’s Health.

Now I am an Editorial Beauty and Health Assistant for Marie Claire Magazine. I love being able to do the two things that I enjoy most–writing with fashion and beauty. Every day is different, and being able to meet so many amazing people on a daily basis is endlessly inspiring. Above all, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my story and voice on national platforms (in both print and digital formats) that I’ve read since childhood.

For students back on campus, I cannot stress enough the importance of networking. Go to classes and lectures. There’s a lot of things that you can learn from textbooks, but there’s something irreplaceable about talking to people face-to-face. Even something as simple as attending office hours can set your career path on the right track.