What is your career backstory? I’ve jumped around quite a bit. I was a philosophy major in college at Holy Cross (Massachusetts) and had no idea what my “grown up” life was going to be or look like. I ended up scoring a job after college at Condé Nast with Lucky magazine on the advertising side, then jumped to Men’s Health and Women’s Health at Rodale to work sales as well. While I was there I was completely fascinated by the editorial team; I took a fashion writing class through Mediabistro that was taught by a magazine editor and she encouraged us to start our own blogs. I became obsessed with my little blog; it provided me with a canvas to show future employers that I was a strong writer and had a voice. Shortly after the class ended, I saw a job opening on Hearst Careers for an Editor in Chief’s assistant; I knew that would be the position that could potentially make my career. I got called weeks after I applied, and after a few rounds of interviews, I got the job! After being the EIC’s assistant for a few years I became fascinated by all things digital, so I applied for the position to be Town & Country’s web editor…two years later, here I am!
What is an industry pet peeve of yours? This is more of a New York pet peeve than industry one, but people don’t smile enough. I’m such a people person. I’m asking the barista at Starbucks about her nail color and random people in the Hearst elevator what perfume they’re wearing. I’m interested in engaging with people and smile at strangers. Some think it’s charming, but others think I’m a loon!
What is a must-have on the job? A sense of humor, a smile, and the ability to think quick on your feet.
What is your favorite work perk? The beauty closet!
You started out at Lucky being a Sales Assistant; what made you cross over to editorial? I KNEW I needed to be in editorial because I am a total creative and was so intrigued with the writing world.
You’ve been at Town & Country for almost five years; what is it about the publication that clicked with you? The editors at this publication are like family. I met many of my closest lifelong friends through work. Our editor in chief, Jay Fielden, is an intelligent and beyond interesting guy; I’ve learned so much from him. My boss, Hearst Digital Editorial Director and VP of Content, Kate Lewis, has trained me and turned into a fast thinking web editor. She is Awesome…with a capital A.
This is your second post at Town & Country; some in the industry believe that you need to move on to other publications in order to work their way up the masthead. What is your advice for moving up at the same publication? I have a really strong bond with the brand, and in some ways, it really feels like being the Web Editor is a new job.I sit on Hearst’s “digital floor” which is where the other web editors from all of the magazines sit too, and it’s a totally different vibe here. I love it and I just love the history of Town & Country—it’s a classic American magazine—I’m so proud to be associated with it and it’s post on the web.
You have a strong social media presence that personifies a Town & Country editor; do you see it as part of your job? No not at all, I just FULLY embrace social media! I’m a glass-half-full kind of lady when it comes to Instagram and Facebook. I love seeing what my friends, family members, and work acquaintances are up to. It inspires my work, restaurant choices, recipes, and fashion ideas! I just love it! My friends and family are like “CUT it out!” when I post photos of them on Instagram…but I’m like “Guys, look how good you look with this Valencia filter”, and they quietly agree!
What is your advice for applying and getting an editor’s attention during the application process? I love a clean and concise cover letter; one with no grammatical errors and thatgets to the point. Be confident without being pushy and use proper etiquette.
What is a favorite published piece that you’ve written? I have the most fun collaborating with my fellow editors. My best guy friend in the world, Sam Dangremond (T&C’s Associate Editor), and I sit down over a cup of coffee, and come up with these listicles. We crack each other up! My favorite that we’ve done together is: “The Preppiest Pick-Up Lines”
What is some advice you have for others trying to break into the industry? Just don’t give up! Be yourself. Be an individual. Embrace your quirks, educate yourself in professional etiquette, develop a unique voice via social media. Being kind and leaving the right impressions on the right people is what I believe will help you move along in this industry.
Micaela English was photographed in Hearst Tower by Kelly Stuart.
Amanda Jean Black is a guest blogger at Ed2010, sharing stories from her site onthemasthead.com. When not hunting down publishing’s elite for an interview, you can find the native New Yorker obsessing about style and culture, shopping for designer streetwear, and jamming out to 90′s alt rock.