Where do EAs go to schmooze with senior editors, find out how to fill their “downtime” at work, and learn the secrets to getting promoted? Ed’s Fourth Annual EA SquareTable Event! Twenty-four EAs from magazines like Jewish Living, Woman’s Day, Amber, Time Out New York Kids, and Harper’s Bazaar came to Plan B, a bar in New York City’s East Village, on Tuesday night, January 15th, for Appletinis and answers to all the questions they’ve been pondering, but were too afraid to ask!
After the anxious EAs had the chance to mingle, five upper-level editors, including Seventeen‘s executive editor, Joanna Saltz, and Marie Claire‘s deputy editor, Marty Munson, showed up straight from the office to meet with groups of EAs, matched to them by Ed’s special projects director, Jessica Strul.
Over chocolate caramel Dale and Thomas popcorn (which, by the way, was very yummy!) EAs let their editorial guards down, asking the senior-level editors at their tables questions like, “How do I go about freelancing at other publications?”, “How should I approach senior editors about upper-level positions?”, and “How do I adjust to an ever-changing staff?”
“At our table, we were looking for advice on how to pitch ideas for our sections,” says Blythe Simmons, an EA at O, the Oprah magazine. “I had never been to a SquareTable event before, but it was awesome. The editors answered all of our questions—even the ones we didn’t think to ask,” says Simmons who met with both Munson and Jillian Mackenzie, Allure‘s deputy editor.
“I asked about being promoted and got great advice about not selling yourself short and knowing your value,” says Patrice Williams an EA at In Style, who spoke with Deb Baer, a deputy editor at In Touch Weekly, and Munson.
Munson participated in the EA SquareTable event because she’s happy to help EAs succeed in this tough-to-break-into industry. But, she says, EAs aren’t the only people who benefit from the event. “By advising EAs on choosing careers according to their true passions and interests, I’m also helping editors [who hire these candidates],” says Munson.
Though she offered many bits of helpful advice for the EAs she met, Munson left each one with this: “Spend some time investing in your next area of interest. You all have a lot of great talent, so don’t waste your time working for someone who’s nasty.”
Munson also gave Ed the scoop on what she seeks in EAs she hires: “I look for enthusiasm in the magazine. Some people come in and are so worried about what I want from them in the position, but I care more about their individual interests and strengths.”
Two hours and about eight half-empty popcorn tins later, the EAs left Plan B filled with inspiration. Ed wouldn’t be surprised if these EAs wind up returning to a future SquareTable event—as senior editors themselves.
—Kristin Granero, Ed Reporter