BA, French, Duke
"After college, I actually worked at Club Med for about a year in France, which was fun, but definitely not something for the long haul. I came back to the states, specifically to New York, where many of my friends were working, and initially was looking for a job in advertising. I sent my resume everywhere, had interviews with all the major agencies, and even lots of smaller ones, but wasn't able to land anything. This despite the fact that it was the mid 1990s, the economy was booming AND advertisers had their highest billings ever! Without some creative background, or a formal introduction, it was difficult to make it past the HR screen. And the alumni network from my college wasn't particularly useful for this industry.
"I did get a break from one of the people I had interviewed with however, who said that a friend who worked at a magazine was looking for a circulation assistant. Truth be told, I hadn't even considered magazine publishing, or even circulation and the pay was certain to be a pittance, but as times were tough, I said what the heck, and gave it a go. It turned out that it was at a women's fitness publication.
Circulation, as it turned out, involved a combination of sales and marketing skills, which I turned out to be pretty good at. I quickly got a hang of selling to potential advertisers, learning the intricacies of direct mail, and best of all, I got along with my boss, who, it turned out, was one of the stars in the company. "I was promoted from the circulation assistant to the assistant circulation manager within two years. During that time, my boss was asked to head up the business side of a new startup celebrity magazine backed by one of the industry's publishing powerhouses. It was a brand new venture, so she went and asked me to come with her.