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  •   Joanna Gaden commented on this post about 2 months ago
    Hi bSmart women who are writers of blog posts, novels, magazines, and all types of creative content!

    Stephanie Harris is our Smart Woman College student feature this month and she's here to answer your questions about transitioning from student to professional writer!

    Stephanie is a senior at the University of Michigan with a focus in Communication Studies and English Literature. She's passionate about making a positive impact through storytelling, content creation, and integrated marketing communications. With internship experience at both local and national publications, she brings a nuanced perspective to the fields of journalism and marketing, one that incorporates both an extensive knowledge of media studies and a strong command of the written word. As a Summer 2018 ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) intern at Time Inc.'s Real Simple magazine, Stephanie is happy to offer advice about interning in New York and navigating the magazine journalism world, as well as using editorial experience to transition to a business role.

    I'll kick things off with a few questions for Stephanie:

    1) What is your perspective on the future of print vs. digital editorial?
    2) How can college women use their love of writing to create a career?
    3) How can bSmart women become better writers / network with writers / publishers / agents?
    4) How will you use your talent for writing to serve the world?

    All bSmart women are welcome to ask Stephanie their questions! In particular, I'm tagging:

    Chloe Brown Caitland Winsett Hailey Peters Jamie Celeste Abbi Kirollos Sofia Rosa Bianchi Amanda Wowk Ashley Tolman Charlotte Kasper Sara Klimek Amanda Alex Wieser Isabella Ortiz Madeline Howard Meghan Loftus Molly Goodspeed Nina Godridge Allison Donlan Arielle Westcott Lauren Benning Brooke Kushwaha Bridgette Ramirez Mary-Catherine Canavan Caroline Ghisolfi Laney Byler Deanne Swaringen Deanne Swaringen Danielle Gabriel Emily Forbes Elsie Grathwohl Haley Saffren Hannah Young Jasmin Boyce Joanna Gaden Angelina Eimannsberger Jisu Choi Julia Kell Katie Feuerstein Kelly Lindenau Margo Rometo Morgan Hipps Nefertari Bilal Nuri Matthew Olivia Mills Orliana Morag Madeline Peterson Rikki Weiss Regan Lavin Susie Poore Teagan Monaco Therese Boccini Zoë Kaplan
    • Hello Stephanie,

      I hope all is well, I am so thrilled to connect with you! My questions are...

      1. Have you ever been sent out on a special project?Hello Stephanie,

      I hope all is well, I am so thrilled to connect with you! My questions are...

      1. Have you ever been sent out on a special project? What has that experience/a favorite experience of this nature been like?

      2. What content do you like writing about the most? Are most of your assignments research, interview, or self-based?

      3. Who are some of your favorite authors/what are some of your favorite publications to read? What do you normally take from the content that you are drawn towards/what drives you to explore the content that you normally indulge in?

      4. What are your plans upon graduating? Do you have any specific ultimate goal in mind?

      5. What was your experience like living in New York for the first time? What was your favorite part about living in NYC?

      Best,
      Sofia Bianchi
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    • Hi Stephanie!

      I'm really curious to know what it was like to relocate for an internship? Was it paid? If not, how did you finance living in New York?Hi Stephanie!

      I'm really curious to know what it was like to relocate for an internship? Was it paid? If not, how did you finance living in New York? Would you recommend NYC as a good place to intern?

      Also, I'm interested in hearing what you think about the importance/relevance of creative writing in the workplace.

      Thanks for your time!
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    • Hi Stephanie!
      1. Do you have a mentor that is a writer?
      2. When/if you experience writer's block, how do you move forward with confidence in your ownHi Stephanie!
      1. Do you have a mentor that is a writer?
      2. When/if you experience writer's block, how do you move forward with confidence in your own voice?
      3. Do you feel more of a connection to work that you've created in the journalism field or in your English literature coursework?
      4. Do you find a common theme in the writing that inspires your work the most?
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    • keep writing, girl!
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    • Hi All! Here are my answers to Meagan's excellent questions:

      1) What is your perspective on the future of print vs. digital editorial?

      There will alHi All! Here are my answers to Meagan's excellent questions:

      1) What is your perspective on the future of print vs. digital editorial?

      There will always be a special place in my heart for print publications — but that definitely isn't the case for most readers. I was lucky enough to work at Real Simple, which is a magazine that relies heavily on print subscriptions, so I was able to see both the print side and online side of editorial. I do think that the future of journalism is digital, but that doesn't mean it will be any less interactive. In fact, the work that's being done specifically at The New Yorker and The New York Times is revolutionary, and will lead us to the future of editorial. Specifically, I think podcasts, videos, and interactive text are here to stay. What that means for writers, I'm not sure — I'm definitely looking into taking some coding classes, because knowing how a webpage works is becoming essential in the field.

      2) How can college women use their love of writing to create a career?

      The only way to turn writing into a career is to WRITE and write a lot. Although it may not be an official job or internship, take advantage of platforms that will publish your writing, such as student publications or freelance opportunities. Being able to submit a portfolio of published work is essential to any editorial application. I would also challenge young women to realize that writing can be used in most jobs and fields out there — it's a skill that's extremely valuable, and a love for writing can translate to many different jobs, not strictly editorial jobs.

      3) How can bSmart women become better writers / network with writers / publishers / agents?

      Writing is a very difficult field to break into, but never underestimate the power of persistence — especially when it comes to cold emailing/LinkedIn messaging writers and editors who inspire you. You never know who will be able to write you a referral or recommendation down the line, and it's important to form meaningful relationships during every experience you have. I would also recommend that you make a website and attach it to your LinkedIn profile. Mine is  https://stephaniejosephineharris.contently.com/ and I built it on the "Contently" app.

      4) How will you use your talent for writing to serve the world?

      Whether I use writing in a marketing job, business job, or editorial job, I think that being able to communicate with audiences in an authentic, human way is inspiring. I'd love to work at a company that enables its consumers, because it's not enough for me to sell a product, I want to be able to serve as the middle man between a regular person and his/her goals.
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    • Hi Sofia! Here are my answers to your questions

      1. Have you ever been sent out on a special project? What has that experience/a favorite experiencHi Sofia! Here are my answers to your questions

      1. Have you ever been sent out on a special project? What has that experience/a favorite experience of this nature been like?

      Yes! A lot of my projects had to do with product launches, so I've attended various trade shows and product launch parties in NYC that were really interesting and fun! I think my favorite experience was the West Elm holiday launch, because I was able to see a lot of the Christmas offerings before they were released, and I served as a representative for Real Simple to take notes on which products our readers would want to know about.

      2. What content do you like writing about the most? Are most of your assignments research, interview, or self-based?

      I love personal essays because I feel most connected to my own work when I'm able to be candid. However, most of my assignments have been more formal writing, which was definitely a challenge. As far as what I did last summer, I wrote a lot of product roundups, influencer interviews, and feature stories about service-related subjects (such as How To's).

      3. Who are some of your favorite authors/what are some of your favorite publications to read? What do you normally take from the content that you are drawn towards/what drives you to explore the content that you normally indulge in?

      I love reading The New York Times because I think they do such an excellent job with digital journalism. I subscribe to the NYT Morning Briefing newsletter and I suggest that all people do! It's an awesome way to start the day. As far as indulgence, I really love reading Allure magazine because I'm a beauty/skincare fanatic. I think their "Best of Beauty" project is incredible, and you can really rely on the writers there, which I really admire.

      4. What are your plans upon graduating? Do you have any specific ultimate goal in mind?

      I am currently interviewing, but I am more openminded than I've ever been. I'm exploring opportunities at large e-commerce companies, advertising agencies, and brands in roles that have to do with product marketing, content strategy, and public relations. Although it's overwhelming, it's refreshing to know that my editorial background has opened doors for jobs that aren't only editorial-focused. Above all, I'm looking to work at a company that stands by values that align with my own.

      5. What was your experience like living in New York for the first time? What was your favorite part about living in NYC?

      It was crazy! I'm from Chicago, so it felt like I was cheating on my city a bit. Being able to live in NYC in the East Village was a huge privilege, and it was so exhilarating to be at the center of the journalism world, and to be around such inspiring people. My favorite part about living in NYC was the freedom I had to explore — the subway system makes it super easy to navigate Manhattan, and I found myself traversing the entire island on any given Saturday. I definitely miss the shopping in SoHo, reading in Central Park, and bar hopping in the East Village!
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    • Hi Hailey! You can find my answers below:

      I'm really curious to know what it was like to relocate for an internship? Was it paid? If not, how did Hi Hailey! You can find my answers below:

      I'm really curious to know what it was like to relocate for an internship? Was it paid? If not, how did you finance living in New York? Would you recommend NYC as a good place to intern?

      It was super exciting! The internship was paid, which really helped the relocation process. ASME (my internship program) set up my housing at an NYU dorm, which made everything a lot easier. If you can apply for NYU housing, I'd strongly recommend that, just because I know that apartment hunting can be difficult. I would definitely recommend interning in NYC because I made SO many connections. It was so easy to grab a coffee with someone after work or to take tours of different offices. If you are planning on living in NYC after graduation, I think it's a great idea to try to intern there beforehand, just to get a feel for the city so that your first job isn't as overwhelming.

      Also, I'm interested in hearing what you think about the importance/relevance of creative writing in the workplace.

      SO relevant! In my opinion, creativity is one of the most sought-after skills because it's so difficult to learn on the job. If you're someone who's drawn to creative work, I would definitely suggest looking into a creative ad agency such as Ogilvy.
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    • Hi Molly! Here are my answers to your great questions:

      1. Do you have a mentor that is a writer?

      Yes! A lot of my mentors are from previous inteHi Molly! Here are my answers to your great questions:

      1. Do you have a mentor that is a writer?

      Yes! A lot of my mentors are from previous internships (Meagan included!), as well as connections I made at other publications while on the job. I was lucky enough to work in a building that housed multiple magazines, so I have been able to do informational interviews with a ton of people. I also think it's important not to overlook your peer mentors — during my job search this semester, I've called on those who are just a few years older than me while applying to different jobs, and they've been able to refer me or look over my application.

      2. When/if you experience writer's block, how do you move forward with confidence in your own voice?

      I'm a big advocate for the brain dump. I will open up a blank document and write down every single thing that comes into my head. Most of it ends up being trash, but there are always a few golden ideas that end up turning into a story or a thesis.

      3. Do you feel more of a connection to work that you've created in the journalism field or in your English literature coursework?

      I feel more of a personal connection to my own work, but I feel as though my background in English has given me the tool kit to use the English language to the best of my ability. Most of writing is creative imitation, so being able to read and appreciate great writing is key to producing great writing. George Saunders is one of my favorite writers, and his ability to write impactful short stories has been incredibly helpful in my own writing.

      4. Do you find a common theme in the writing that inspires your work the most?

      The gut reaction. All of my favorite pieces of writing have left me with a profound feeling of change, and I think that has translated to many of my own pieces. I think that the reader should leave my pieces with a new perspective, idea, or feeling — it doesn't have to be life-changing, but what's the point of writing something if it doesn't do something?
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    • Stephanie Harris,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful feedback! So glad to connect with you and looking forward to staying in touchStephanie Harris,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful feedback! So glad to connect with you and looking forward to staying in touch for the future!

      Best,
      Sofia Bianchi
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    • Stephanie Harris This is all so helpful!!

      I just created my own Contently page, because I've been meaning to create my own blog but wasn't sure wherStephanie Harris This is all so helpful!!

      I just created my own Contently page, because I've been meaning to create my own blog but wasn't sure where to start-- thanks for the suggestion!

      It's so awesome to see a fellow U of M student pursuing writing and doing so well! (I just graduated in April, so no longer a student, but definitely feel that my Psych major at U of M prepared me to become a better writer)

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  •   Meagan Hooper commented on this post about 4 months ago
    Hello to all of our bSmart members who are abroad right now!

    What country are you in and how are you liking your experience?

    Off the top of my head, I believe Allison Donlan Zoë Kaplan Charlotte Kasper Caroline Ghisolfi are abroad.

    Who else is overseas this fall?! <3

    • Hi! I’m leaving for London (studying at UCL) this Sunday and really excited! Not only will I get to study at the British Museum, but I’ll be getting tHi! I’m leaving for London (studying at UCL) this Sunday and really excited! Not only will I get to study at the British Museum, but I’ll be getting to travel with some of my closest friends (right now I’m planning a trip to Greece). Hope everyone else is having a great semester abroad! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences  More ...
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    • Ahhh! So fun! I believe Zoë Kaplan will also be in London. And I'll be there in October.

      Be sure to let me know if art direction is too much worAhhh! So fun! I believe Zoë Kaplan will also be in London. And I'll be there in October.

      Be sure to let me know if art direction is too much work! xoxo
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    • Hi Meagan and Charlotte! I just arrived in London as well and will be studying at King’s College this semester. My orientation for school starts next Hi Meagan and Charlotte! I just arrived in London as well and will be studying at King’s College this semester. My orientation for school starts next week (on my birthday!) and I can’t wait to get started.   More ...
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    • Zoe and Charlotte - You two should connect while you're over there! Zoe's about a 20 minute walk from the British Museum. I'll let you both know whenZoe and Charlotte - You two should connect while you're over there! Zoe's about a 20 minute walk from the British Museum. I'll let you both know when Harriet and I are in London if we can make it over! (Staying in Kensington and Notting Hill with Paris and Provence in between!)  More ...
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