English Major Alums Give Back to Undergraduate Writers

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Mere months after her graduation, English major Ruby Buddemeyer FCLC’18, can afford her own apartment in Nolita, thanks to her job as a celebrity editor at Bustle.com. And Alanna Martine Kilkeary, FCLC’16, is now living on the Upper East, thanks to her job as a beauty writer and editor at PopSugar.com.

Both visited “Writing for Publication,” a new class taught by Professor Elizabeth Stone, to share their route from their English classes at Lincoln Center and involvement in campus publications to internships (Harper’s Bazaar for Alanna) and freelance writing (MarieClaire.com for Ruby) to full-time employment. 

“I didn’t know how to write a story at all,” says Alanna. “My adviser [Professor Mary Bly] told me to join The Observer, where I eventually became the Features editor.” 

Ruby began writing features at The Observer and then moved on to become editor in chief at Fordham’s Flash, finding mentors along the way, including Professor Bly, who told her to develop her own voice in her writing. 

Topics covered by the alums? The importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), informational coffees, and how to pass the “edit test” some publications give to potential employees. Oh, and the best way to get a foot in the door? Internships and networking, networking, networking.