The magazine industry is often perceived in one of two ways: We envision working at a high-profile publication while leading a fabulous life in New York, or we think of “The Devil Wears Prada.”
These specific images either excite us or scare us away from ever even trying to break into journalism.
Then, of course, there’s that whole harsh reality that aspiring journalists will not get jobs. But is this really the case?
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Ed@TCNJ, the College’s chapter of a national networking group designed for students interested in working for a magazine or other media outlet, toured the Seventeen magazine offices.
The organization met and talked with College alumni and current editors Annemarie Conte (’01) and Tammy Tibbetts (’07), who also provided a tour. There are a total of three alumni from the College presently working at Seventeen.
How’s that for no jobs for journalism majors — especially journalism majors who are bred from a very small program at a school that is sought after for science and education?
Ambition and the willingness to learn any and every avenue of the magazine industry helped these women to succeed. They worked hard and established lasting connections, largely due to their impeccable work at their college internships.
Most importantly, it is evident that they were not discouraged from anything people said about the journalism world. They wanted it, and they got it.
Working for a magazine, especially at Seventeen, is a rewarding experience. It is a chance to be creative, help and entertain people, be passionate about your work and learn so much more about the world. Yes, this may sound cliché, but it’s also very true.
These are only some of the reasons why I want to work for a magazine.
You can call me an exceedingly ambitious dreamer or a hard worker who knows what she wants (I’d much prefer this reference). I have yet to be scared off by the prospect of not getting a job or encountering an infamous Anna Wintour-type.
Look at Tammy Tibbetts. She did not let anything stop her.
Tibbetts started a blog and website, as part of Professor Kim Pearson’s Introduction to Professional Writing class, that featured writers who inspired her. The friend of one of Tibbetts’ role models eventually Googled her friend and found Tibbett’s site. Soon, Tibbetts found herself communicating with the woman she looked up to.
Tibbetts became an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) scholar and began an internship at Seventeen by the fall semester of her sophomore year.
She was ultimately hungry for the chance to tell people’s stories.
As the late Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
Tibbetts stayed ambitious. She had the hunger. She had “it.”
We hear about “it” all the time. Actors have to have “it” and successful future CEOs need “it.” But what is “it?” Talent is often the definition of “it,” but I think it is so much more. “It” is the will to succeed, to not stop — and this is the case in any industry.
When I walked into Seventeen, I felt an otherwise dormant hunger erupt. Suddenly, I saw my aspirations expand from College-related executive board positions to what I want out of life.
I have had an idea of what I wanted for quite some time. I am very future-minded, but the possibilities never quite hit me.
As I sat at the conference table with my peers and talked with Tibbetts and Conte, I felt myself coming alive and becoming a member, if only for a minute, of the magazine world.
Like these inspiring women, I want to have the chance to be a storyteller too. At 19 years old, a fire was ignited within me at Seventeen.